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Scarface (1932)

Passed  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  9 April 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 18,478 users  
Reviews: 276 user | 64 critic

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.


(novel), (screen story), 8 more credits »
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Title: Scarface (1932)

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Complete credited cast:
Karen Morley ...
Osgood Perkins ...
C. Henry Gordon ...
Inspector Guarino
Vince Barnett ...
Tom Gaffney
Purnell Pratt ...
Managing Editor
Inez Palange ...
Tony's Mother
Detective Chief


Johnny Lovo rises to the head of the bootlegging crime syndicate on the south side of Chicago following the murder of former head, Big Louis Costillo. Johnny contracted Big Louis' bodyguard, Tony Camonte, to make the hit on his boss. Tony becomes Johnny's second in command. Johnny is not averse to killing anyone who gets in his and Johnny's way. As Tony is thinking bigger than Johnny and is not afraid of anyone or anything, Tony increasingly makes decisions on his own instead of following Johnny's orders, especially in not treading on the north side run by an Irish gang led by a man named O'Hara, of whom Johnny is afraid. Tony's murder spree increases, he taking out anyone who stands in his and Johnny's way of absolute control on the south side, and in Tony's view absolute control of the entire city. Tony's actions place an unspoken strain between Tony and Johnny to the point of the two knowing that they can't exist in their idealized world with the other. Tony's ultimate downfall may... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

police | mob | murder | gangster | beer | See All (151) »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 April 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scarface, the Shame of the Nation  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Screenwriter Ben Hecht was a former Chicago journalist familiar with the city's Prohibition-era gangsters, including Al Capone. During the filming Hecht returned to his Los Angeles hotel room one night to find two Capone torpedoes waiting for him. The gangsters demanded to know if the movie was about Capone. Hecht assured them it wasn't, saying that the character Tony Camonte was based on gangsters like "Big" Jim Colosimo and Charles Dion O'Bannion. "Then why is the movie called Scarface?" one of the hoods demanded. "Everyone will think it's about Capone!" "That's the reason," said Hecht. "If you call the movie Scarface (1932), people will think it's about Capone and come to see it. It's part of the racket we call show business." The Capone hoods, who appreciated the value of a scam, left the hotel placated. See more »


When Poppy visits Tony, she hold the flower, but Tony has it in the next shot. See more »


Poppy: Why don't you get yourself a girl, Tony?
Tony Camonte: I'm workin' on that now.
Poppy: Yeah? Well, don't tire yourself out.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty. Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurence, and the purpose of this picture is to demand of the government: "What are you going to do about it?". The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it? See more »


Sextet from 'Lucia di Lammermoor'
Music by Gaetano Donizetti
[Whistled by Paul Muni as Tony before he kills Costillo and Lovo]
See more »

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User Reviews

The rise and fall of a power hungry mobster.
31 July 2001 | by (Muskogee OK) – See all my reviews

Howard Hawks directs this harsh and frank and sometimes humorous look at a small time gangster's(Paul Muni) taste of success before his mob world crumbles around him. This is one of the best gangster movies of the 1930's. Very well written and full of terrific characters. Fast paced and free flowing story line.

My favorite scene is when the Muni character first gets his hands on a machine gun. This arrogant, violence driven mobster becomes child like with a brand new toy. Others in this fine crime drama are Osgood Perkins, George Raft, Ann Dvorak, Boris Karloff and C. Henry Gordon. Also notable are Karen Morley and Edwin Maxwell as the Chief of Detectives.

Ambition, greed and pride come before a fall. The mob way or no way is a tough way to live. Excellent flick.

34 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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