MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 758 this week

Scarface (1932)

Passed  -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  9 April 1932 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 17,593 users  
Reviews: 273 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.

Writers:

(novel), (screen story), 8 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 04 May 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 05 Mar 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 08 Nov 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 15 Jan 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Scarface" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Scarface (1932)

Scarface (1932) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Scarface.

User Polls

2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hell's Angels (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Brothers Monte and Ray leave Oxford to join the Royal Flying Corps. Ray loves Helen; Helen enjoys an affair with Monte; before they leave on their mission over Germany they find her in still another man's arms.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Edmund Goulding, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ben Lyon, James Hall, Jean Harlow
The Outlaw (1943)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Western legends Pat Garrett, Doc Holliday and Billy the Kid are played against each other over the law and the attentions of vivacious country vixen Rio McDonald.

Directors: Howard Hughes, Howard Hawks
Stars: Jack Buetel, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Russell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Little Caesar (1931)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Scarface (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel while succumbing to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
White Heat (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Crime | Drama | Thriller

An immigrant rises to the top of the criminal underworld in the United States.

Director: Pablo Larraín
Atishbaz (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

Shamsher Singh Rajput lives a poor lifestyle in British India along with his widowed mom, a sister, Asha, and makes a living through crime. He is in love with a gypsy dancer, Reshma, and ... See full summary »

Director: Mukhtar Ahmed
Stars: Tom Alter, Renu Arya, Prem Chopra
Scarface (TV Short 1982)
Short | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Serge Gainsbourg
Stars: Jane Birkin, Daniel Duval
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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) »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scarface, the Shame of the Nation  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Closeup of score sheet in bowling alley scene defies all rules of traditional scoring. See more »

Quotes

John 'Johnny' Lovo: What do you use to think with, an empty beer keg?
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 »

Connections

Spoofed in Malibu Beach Party (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
What a sensational film! What an actor Paul Muni!
22 March 2002 | by (Padova, Italy) – See all my reviews

One of the best directors ever makes one of the best films ever: Howard Hawks makes "Scarface". Everything is outstanding in this masterpiece of cinema, the exciting, neatly told story of the raise and fall of Tony Camonte (Al Capone's alter-ego). Powerful script, magnificent black and white photography, excellent camera-work, an important and courageous social message, just four years after the St. Valentine's massacre.

Great action and great psychological design of the characters are perfectly woven into the story. One brilliant, innovative idea follows another. An example is the not-shown-scene of the St. Valentine's massacre. Another beautiful intuition: a key-point of the story is the arrival on the scene of the machine guns, destined to bring the gang-wars to an unheard-of level of violence. Look at Tony's scaring bliss when he handles the terrible weapon for the first time... The montage is extraordinary. Take the celebrated bowling-hall scene: we have a dozen of distinct, splendid shots, perfectly tied together. "Scarface" has a pace impressive for intensity. Not a single second is wasted in its narration.

The cinematic language attains its highest level. Look how Guino Rinaldo (the great George Raft) is introduced. A man is reading a newspaper in a barber shop. The approaching siren of a police-car is heard. Without even leaving his chair, the man throws his gun in the basket of towels, and, impassive, he restarts to read. In few seconds we have got a precise hint of the personality of Guino: smart, cool-headed, laconic, professional. Soon we will see that in fact he is the cornerstone of Tony's power and success in crime.

Another gem of cinematic language. Tony and his boss Lovo in the chamber of Poppy, Lovo's girl-friend. Poppy is doing her make-up. Tony tries to chat with her. Poppy doesn't pay attention. She is even rude with him. Her dressing-gown has slipped, showing Poppy's legs. Tony peeps at them. Poppy clearly notes it and she DOES NOT fix the dressing-gown...

George Raft, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley (Poppy), Osgood Perkins (the spine-less boss Lovo) make a fantastic job. And then there is Paul Muni as Tony Camonte... how good an actor he is could only be eye-witnessed, words can't describe the power of his performance. Tony is cruel, loathsome, brutal, hideous: we all hate him. Tony's clash with Lovo, with the sadistic suspense he deliberately creates, is a really ghastly scene. Nonetheless, Muni succeeds to be even touching, when Tony shows his childish enthusiasm for bad-taste "expensive" stuff, ties, silk shirts, luxury restaurants etc. Tony's final nervous breakdown is essential for the moral message of "Scarface", but it could have been a weakness of the film. Yet Muni is so great, so intense, that he can render Tony's disgusting sudden cowardice in a smooth, realistic way, and without provoking in the audience any sympathy for the gangster (an important aim for the film-makers).

A crucial theme of the movie is Tony's morbid affection (to say the least) toward his sister Cesca (Ann Dvorak). Well... "Scarface" would deserve a book, not just a comment. Let me skip this important motive of "brotherly love", which is extremely difficult to judge correctly, in my opinion.

How can a comic character like the illiterate "gangster-secretary", who never gets the name at the telephone, fit so well in the tragic, action-packed story of "Scarface"? The answer is: Hawks' artistic genius.

"Scarface", Muni, Hawks... That is great Art of Cinema.


44 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the remake is obviously 'better'... nakuk
The first use of the big 'F Word' in sound movies? raiders1913-1
Witch Scarface is better and... XxDonLombardixX
witch scarface... frankcostelo
The 'X' symbolism dengelke
PLEASE!!! where can i buy it!!! derkaderka258
Discuss Scarface (1932) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?