The Fragrance of Women (1992)

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German title The fragrance of women
Original title Scent of a Woman
The fragrance of women Title 2011.jpg
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1992
length 150 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Martin Brest
script Bo Goldman
production Martin Brest
music Thomas Newman
camera Donald E. Thorin
cut William Steinkamp ,
Michael Tronick ,
Harvey Rosenstock

The scent of women (original title: Scent of a Woman ) is an American film drama directed by Martin Brest from 1992 . The film is a literary adaptation with Chris O'Donnell and Al Pacino in the leading roles. It is based on the novel by Giovanni Arpino and the film of the same name by Dino Risi from 1974 based on it.


Charlie Simms, who comes from a low-income background, attends a coveted boarding school for future managers with the help of a scholarship. One day he and his schoolmate George witness the preparations for an evil prank against the school principal Trask. The school director is humiliated as an opportunist in front of the assembled students and doused with white paint along with his expensive company car. When the director learns that Charlie and George are accomplices of the prank, he shortly afterwards confronts them. George and Charlie are silent on principle, however, because they do not want to be traitors. The director gives them the choice of convicting the perpetrators or being kicked out of the school. They have a few days to decide before they have to answer questions from the school committee at a hearing. Trask also offers Charlie a scholarship to study at Harvard University , should he reveal the names of the perpetrators. While George, the son of wealthy parents and one of the main sponsors of the boarding school, flies carelessly to Vermont to ski Thanksgiving , Charlie has to make a decision that will have a lasting impact on his life.

To earn some money, Charlie takes a job as a supervisor for former Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade. The man who has been blind for a few years lives bitterly on his niece Karen's property near the boarding school, drinks a lot and utters many malicious slogans. Slade takes the student to New York City to spend Thanksgiving weekend there, which he is no longer able to do on his own. Although Charlie has difficulties at first to face the hostile Colonel, a growing respect develops between the two men, who at first glance seem so opposite.

But then Charlie has to find out what the adventurous weekend - Frank calls it a "pleasure tour" - actually serves in the big city: A suite in a luxury hotel , an exquisite dinner, visiting his older brother, sleeping with a beautiful woman - and as a highlight Colonel Slade wants to shoot himself in full parade uniform . His young companion gets into a second dilemma: In addition to his problems at school, he is now also afraid that Frank will actually commit suicide.

When Charlie catches him with the loaded gun, Frank threatens to kill them both. However, Charlie manages to convince Frank not to do it. The two can finally be driven back to the boarding school, where Charlie has to face the school committee.

Just as Headmaster Trask is branding Charlie as a troublemaker in front of the assembled student body and wants to throw him out, while George is hiding behind his influential father, the Colonel suddenly appears: In a fiery speech, he accuses both George and the three boys of the prank responsible for cowardice. Trask, who wants to expel Charlie from school, accuses him of raising an elite of traitors and spineless cowards in his school. After the end of his speech, the committee decides over Trask's head that Charlie can stay at the school and should not be questioned further on this matter. George should get neither praise nor recognition for his behavior and the three friends (who were named as possible perpetrators, but for whom nothing could be proven) should be put under observation until further notice.

When Frank leaves the school premises, Frank runs after the political teacher Christine Downes to thank him for his courageous speech. He impresses her (like other women before) by telling her the soap she uses, which he can recognize by the scent. At this point the film reveals a turning point in Frank's life, as Frank has always dreamed of one day meeting a woman who not only stays with him for one night, but who he can also feel and smell the next morning.

Charlie's weekend job is finally over. The Colonel goes back to his niece's house, where he lives in a neighboring house. Charlie watches him from a distance, standing by the car, as he meets the children playing in the courtyard and greets them this time (in contrast to his behavior before the trip) in a very friendly and warm manner.


The music for the tango in the film is Por una cabeza by Carlos Gardel ; known from several other films . In addition, José Padilla Sánchez's La Violetera is used, which appeared as a musical motif for a blind flower seller in Charlie Chaplin's City Lights as early as 1931 .

The film was shot in the New York Plaza Hotel, which at the time belonged to the later US President Donald Trump . As a condition for filming permission, he asked for a cameo , similar to Kevin Alone in New York . The scene was shot but cut from the film before it was released.

The women's fragrance started with mostly positive reviews and was just in time to be considered for the 1993 Academy Awards. In fact, in addition to grossing over $ 130 million worldwide, the film also received four Oscar nominations.

Cast and dubbing

The German-language dubbing of the film was done by Berliner Synchron GmbH . The dialogue book was written by Alexander Löwe and the dialogue was directed by Clemens Frohmann .

role actor Voice actor
Lt. Col. Frank Slade Al Pacino Klaus Kindler
Charlie Simms Chris O'Donnell Frank Schröder
Mr. Trask James Rebhorn Klaus Jepsen
donna Gabrielle Anwar Maja Dürr
George Willis Jr. Philip Seymour Hoffman Stefan Fredrich
WR Slade, Frank's brother Richard Venture Hans Nitschke
Randy Slade, Frank's nephew Bradley Whitford Martin Keßler
Karen Rossi, Frank's niece Sally Murphy Irina von Bentheim
Harry Havemeyer Nicholas Sadler Michael Deffert
Trent Potter Todd Louiso Dietmar miracle
Manny, the chauffeur Gene Canfield Uwe Karpa
Mrs. Hunsaker June Squibb Christel Merian
Police Officer Gore Ron Eldard Christian Olsen
George Willis, Sr. Baxter Harris Gerd Blahuschek


  • Lexicon of International Films : A compelling character study of a torn, only outwardly inexorable man. Al Pacino turns his role into an unparalleled solo performance.
  • Heyne Film Yearbook 1994: A film that is largely successful in terms of its dramatic structure and which impresses above all with the brilliant theatrical performance of Al Pacino.
  • Cinema : A fragrant remake of the Italian tragicomedy of the same name from 1974. Pacino won an Oscar. Conclusion: a lot of pathos and a virtuoso playing star




  • Best director: Martin Brest
  • Best film: Martin Brest
  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Bo Goldman


  • Best Actor: Al Pacino

Golden Globe


  • Best Supporting Actor: Chris O'Donnell


  • Best film drama
  • Best Actor in the Drama Category: Al Pacino
  • Best Screenplay: Bo Goldman

The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating “particularly valuable”.


  • Giovanni Arpino: The fragrance of women. 5th edition. Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-06950-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Yohana Desta: Donald Trump Forced His Way into Scent of a Woman, Then Got Cut from the Film Anyway. Accessed December 31, 2018 .
  2. The fragrance of women. In: German dubbing file , accessed on April 4, 2020 .
  3. The fragrance of women. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed October 23, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used