In this off-kilter drama, Al Pacino stars as jaded racecar driver BOBBY DEERFIELD. While Deerfield's stamina and adroit driving skill propel him to champion status, his lover Lillian (Marthe Keller) is dying from a fatal disease. Unable to cope with it all, Deerfield turns to Lydia (Anny Duprey), an obsessed fan, for comfort.
As with Pollack's THREE DAYS TO CONDOR, BOBBY DEERFIELD captures the fashion trends of the late 1970s and early 1980s (over-sized sunglasses, feathered hair) and uses these stylish accents to add to the film's overall visual appeal. Featuring a soundtrack by fusion jazzmaster Dave Grusin, BOBBY DEERFIELD is actually a funny film. Its over-the-top dramatic extremes become obtuse and hilarious. (A similar pattern is seen in the masterpiece FARGO.) Despite its dramatic cover, the comical undertones of BOBBY DEERFIELD may well be on cue with Pollack's intended tone.
Sydney Pollack directs this romantic European drama starring Al Pacino as Bobby Deerfield, a cripplingly self-absorbed champion Grand Prix race driver who is accustomed to facing death each time he drives. When Bobby falls for a terminally ill Italian aristocrat named Lillian Morelli, played wistfully by Marthe Keller, the common ground they find brings out heretofore unknown feelings in each. The two loners discover they have run headlong into a love that slowly erodes and changes both their perspectives. Pollack's gripping, intense film includes some exciting footage of actual Formula One drivers: Carlos Pace, Tom Pryce, James Hunt, Patrick Depaillier, and Mario Andretti. The film was shot entirely on location in Europe. The screenplay is based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel HEAVEN HAS NO FAVOURITES.