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Scarface (1983)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama


Scarface (1983) Poster

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

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8.3/10
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  • Al Pacino and Brian De Palma in Scarface (1983)
  • Al Pacino in Scarface (1983)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface (1983)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer and Brian De Palma in Scarface (1983)
  • Joe Manganiello at an event for Scarface (1983)
  • Al Pacino and Brian De Palma in Scarface (1983)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


19 December 2005 | Aditya_Gokhale
10
| "You wanna play rough?? OKAY!"
"Scarface" has a major cult following even now, 22 years after its release.

It has also been widely criticized as being very tacky, unrefined, over-the-top and all bloated up! These are people who compare Scarface to The Godfather movies. It is true that on the technical front, (cinematography, screenplay, direction, etc.) Scarface is way behind 'The Godfather'.

But it is also true, that what Scarface has and some other gangster movies lack, is the rawness, the sheer crude approach of the gangsters. The Latino gangsters in this movie look much more menacing and real than any of the polished Italian or Irish gangsters from other gangster classics like 'The Godfather' or 'Goodfellas'. This is one of the major winning points of Scarface and I strongly believe that this fact has been written off as "tackiness" by most critics! I have seen the original 1932 Scarface, and I must say that both these movies are way too different from each other and should be seen as two different movies instead of praising the original over the "remake"!

Al Pacino has been criticized to be over-the-top and loud in this movie. But how about considering that that is precisely the way the film-makers wanted Tony Montana's character to be! He is this angry young man who takes hasty decisions and throws fits of tantrum every other minute! He is not the calm Michael Corleone here. He is Tony Montana, a very tacky, uneducated individual who doesn't really think much and gets angry all the time!

There is definitely a very 80s feel to this movie. The soundtrack is all 80s! I love some of the songs, including 'Gina and Elvira's theme', 'Push it to the limit' and the title track instrumental.

There are some memorable and beautifully shot sequences, including the famous chainsaw scene, the Rebenga hit, the first meeting with Sosa and Tony's visit to his mother's.

About the performances: Al Pacino is brilliant as the angry Cuban refugee. He has reportedly mentioned that he enjoyed playing Tony Montana the most in his entire career. And it really does seem like he has enjoyed himself thoroughly in all his scenes! One wonders what "Scarface" would be like without Pacino. I just couldn't imagine anyone else portraying Tony Montana and in all probabilities, the film wouldn't be as effective without him!

Steven Bauer shines as Tony's friend Manny.

Robert Loggia is wonderful as Tony's boss, Lopez. So is F. Murray Abraham (as Omar) in a small role.

Then there is some eye-candy in the form of Elvira played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She looks beautiful and is adequate in her role.

The director does go a bit overboard during a particular part in the climax. Without revealing anything, I would only say that that was the only little part that suffers due to improper handling.

"Scarface" is definitely one of the most entertaining and one of the best gangster movies to ever come out. Enjoy it for what it is: a raw portrayal of the Drug Lords and their gangland!

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The prop firearms were equipped with electronic synchronizing devices so that they would only fire when the camera shutter was open. The result was that the guns' muzzle flashes are much more visible and consistent than in most movies.


Quotes

Fidel Castro: ...los que no se adapten... al esfuerzo y al heroísmo de una revolución... ¡No los queremos! ¡No los necesitamos!


Goofs

In the double cross scene when Hector throws the chainsaw out the window we see blood all over it, but in the next shot when Hector jumps out the window and lands on the floor with the chainsaw and when we see him on the floor injured the chainsaw is spotless and all the blood is gone.


Crazy Credits

In the opening we see a crawl text (with narrator) that reads: "In May of 1980, Fidel Castro in an effort to normalize relations with the Carter Administration opened the harbor at Mariel, Cuba with the apparent intention of letting some of his people join their relatives in the United States. Within seventy-two hours, 3,000 U.S. boats were headed for Cuba. In the next few weeks, it became evident that Castro was forcing the boat owners to carry back with them not only their relatives but the dregs of his jail population. By the time the port was closed 125,000 'Marielitos' had landed in Florida. An estimated 25,000 had criminal records. This is the story of that minority those they call 'Los Bandidos'."


Alternate Versions

Much of the chainsaw murder and the shootout at the end of the movie was cut in Norway before its cinema release; later video versions are uncut.


Soundtracks

Dance Dance Dance
Performed by
Beth Anderson (as Beth Andersen)
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics by Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Barrow

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama

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