Bobby Deerfield

Bobby Deerfield is a 1977 American romantic drama film directed by Sydney Pollack, and stars Al Pacino and Marthe Keller. Based on Erich Maria Remarque's 1961 novel Heaven Has No Favorites, the film is about a famous American race car driver on the European circuit who falls in love with an enigmatic Swiss woman who is terminally ill.[2] Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.[3]

Bobby Deerfield
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySydney Pollack
Produced bySydney Pollack
Screenplay byAlvin Sargent
Based onHeaven Has No Favorites
by Erich Maria Remarque
Music byDave Grusin
CinematographyHenri Decaë
Edited byFredric Steinkamp
Distributed by
  • Columbia Pictures (North America)
  • Warner Bros. (International)
Release date
  • September 29, 1977 (1977-09-29) (USA)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$9,300,000 (USA)[1]


Formula One auto racer Bobby Deerfield is a calculating, control-obsessed loner who has become used to winning the checkered flag on the track. But after he witnesses a fiery crash that kills a teammate and seriously wounds a competitor, Deerfield becomes unsettled by the spectre of death.

During a visit to the survivor, Deerfield's world is further set askew when he meets Lillian Morelli (Marthe Keller), a quirky, impulsive woman racing against time.



Critical response

Critics panned Bobby Deerfield as an over-the-top melodrama with a plodding story line; audiences reportedly laughed at scenes intended to be dramatic. Race-film fans, expecting another Grand Prix or Le Mans, were disappointed that the story did not play out on the race track; however, the action footage was filmed by racing cinematographers over the course of the 1976 Formula One season and features actual drivers, including Carlos Pace, Tom Pryce, James Hunt, Patrick Depailler and Mario Andretti. Vincent Canby of The New York Times said that it "may turn out to be the year's most cynical movie made by people who know better, including Sydney Pollack, the director, and Alvin Sargent, who wrote the screenplay."

Critics continue to give the film negative reviews and the film has a 31% on Rotten Tomatoes. Time Out stated that the film is a "classic example of a Hollywood director being struck down by a lethal 'art' attack as soon as he sets foot in Europe."

Bobby Deerfield was released on DVD for the first time on March 11, 2008. The soundtrack, recorded on the Casablanca Records label, has been unavailable for years.

Box office

Bobby Deerfield grossed $9,300,000 in the United States.[1]

Awards and nominations

  • 1978 Golden Globe Award Nomination for Best Motion Picture Actor, Drama (Al Pacino)[3]

Differences from the novel

Remarque's novel on which the screenplay is based is far different from the movie, taking place just after World War II.

See also


  1. "Bobby Deerfield". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  2. "Bobby Deerfield". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  3. "Awards for Bobby Deerfield". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  4. "Full cast and crew of Bobby Deerfield". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
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