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The Authentic Experience

I was watching last week's episode of Pawn Stars and they needed a signature authentication of a Godfather movie script. They suspected a personal note on the inside of the script was from Al Pacino, but were not certain as it was just signed "Al."

So, I brace myself for Drew Max to enter with his giant briefcase and magnifying glass... but lo and behold, John Reznikoff comes strutting in!

What a pleasant surprise.

John did a great job and really appeared to have some expertise -- a stark contrast from the usual autograph "expert."

Did the boys from Las Vegas get wind of Drew Max's less than stellar reputation and replace him with John?

Here's a clip of the Pawn Stars segment on the script:

Tags: al, pacino, pawn, reznikoff, ruddy, stars, the godfather

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I love pawn stars as well and had a couple quick questions about the episode discussed here. I'm curious about a couple of things that seemed off... Why was John's last name and/or company name not disclosed on the show? Every other "expert" that is on Pawn Stars reveals both. I would think that it would be good for business if John were to disclose this information? I"m also curious what exemplars were used in authenticating the Al Pacino autograph... I"m no expert myself but something just seemed 'off' about this piece... any comments or opinions?

Regarding using the last name, I presume that was part of the agreement for whatever reason, but only John can answer that.


I also presume that they are given a copy in advance to review and compare exemplars. He's probably seen it well before he walks in the shop for the shoot.

Hi Dan,

I see we're neighbors! I live in the OC, too.

I haven't seen the episode, but Zippy said the piece was a note signed "Al", so examining the handwriting on the note for Pacino's writing characteristics and signs of forgery would be the most important.

Did they show the letter close enough that viewers could read the writing? If so, it would be fun to compare them. Here are a few examples of Pacino's handwriting, written in person in front of Larry Grobel, who wrote our September 2006 cover story on Al Pacino:

This image is a little small, but it looks like a favorable comparison.

[Replaced with larger image.]



Not that I had any doubt John would do his homework before appearing on national TV to authenticate something.  :-)

The script inscription is circa 1971 and what I uploaded is from the 1990s or later.
I just saw the episode in question...Hollywood type autos are not my cup of tea but I will add I have seen Pacino sign his name Al.P...I have also seen him sign just Al...My friend got him about 2 years ago in person...the auto was un-readable and pretty bad...also no last name...i am really not sure...but what I am sure of is my boys Pacino is pretty bad but authentic...and no last name...
I understand what you are saying... but would you as an authenticator be able to look at an Al Pacino 'check mark' and authenticate it as an authentic Pacino autograph? Doubtful. Leading authenticators simply won't authenticate autographs like Pacino for this reason, it really isn't possible. I would like to see the exemplars that "John" used and curious how he determined that this "AL" was indeed signed by Pacino.
I agree that John did a great job on Pawn Stars. Reznikoff is one of the finest autograph authenticators in the world and we are proud to have him as one of our third-party consultants.  Any time a legitimate authority appears on television or in the press, it's great for all of us in the industry.
care to elaborate on that at all? I realize that you are a little biased towards John and are here to talk him up. I am in no way trying to attack John I am just trying to focus on this specific (very public) authentication of the Pacino piece. I am shocked that any authenticator could actually authenticate this piece and am curious what exemplars were used... was strange to me that John's last name and/or company were not mentioned when every other expert on that show reveals both? John?
That was my choice,
Thanks everybody.
John, thanks for the BRIEF reply. Curious what exemplars were used to authenticate the Al Pacino signature? Please enlighten us if possible. Also, being in the autograph business and given the opportunity to promote yourself and your business to millions of viewers via one of the most popular shows on television.... what would lead you to make the choice to leave your name and company name out of it? Seems odd...

Mike, I think dan is right on the viewership and it is leading the pack on cable with 6.9 million estimated viewers according to a 7/23/11 poll.


Program Net Time Viewers (000) 18-49 Rating
Pawn Stars HIST 10:30 PM 6995 2.7
Pawn Stars HIST 10:00 PM 6376 2.3
WWE Entertainment USA 10:00 PM 5126 1.8
American Pickers HIST 9:00 PM 5289 1.7
WWE Entertainment USA 9:00 PM 4484 1.5
Switched At Birth FAM 9:00 PM 3144 1.3
Basketball Wives 3 VH1 8:00 PM 2327 1.3
RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 10:00 PM 6040 1.1
Single Ladies VH1 9:00 PM 2015 1.1
CLOSER, THE TNT 9:00 PM 6150 1.1


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