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Scarface (1932)

Passed | | Action, Crime, Drama | 9 April 1932 (USA)
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) | 6 more credits »
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Inspector Guarino
...
Rinaldo
Vince Barnett ...
Angelo
...
Purnell Pratt ...
Publisher
...
Managing Editor
Inez Palange ...
Tony's Mother
...
Detective Chief
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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, and 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 be... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About one hour into the film, upon entering the Paradise Club, Tony, i.e. Paul Muni is greeted by a blonde who looks suspiciously like Jean Harlow. Harlow biographer David Stenn claims that this is indeed Jean Harlow herself, in an uncredited cameo appearance, but Harlow biographer Mark Vieira authoritatively states that it cannot be Harlow, because she was away from Hollywood at the time the scene was filmed, and so the actress in question must be a Harlow lookalike, deliberately positioned to look like her. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Tony Camonte: There's only one thing that gets orders and gives orders.
[points to Tommy Gun]
Tony Camonte: And this is it. That's how I got the south side for you, and that's how I'm gonna get the north side for you. It's a typewriter. I'm gonna write my name all over this town with it, in big letters!
John 'Johnny' Lovo: Hey, stop him somebody!
Tony Camonte: Get out of my way Johnny, I'm gonna spit!
[starts firing]
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

Referenced in Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Some of These Days
(1910)
Written by Shelton Brooks
Played by Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra
Danced to by Ann Dvorak and Warner Richmond, Karen Morley and Paul Muni and other couples
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Muni, Robinson and Cagney
4 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Inevitably, Scarface will be compared with the near-contemporary gangster films, Little Caesar and Public Enemy, and Paul Muni with their stars Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney. What does it tell us about that era: that all three careers took off with portrayals of gang leaders? The three performances significantly differ. Robinson rises to the top by the use of a crafty intelligence as well as violence; Cagney by a type of shrewdness and personal charisma. Paul Muni's Tony Comonte is neither intelligent nor personable; his manners are crude; and at times he is almost childlike in his behavior: for instance, when he is enjoying a play and is interrupted after the second act, summoned to do another killing,and leaves a henchman behind, who can tell him later how it came out, then is delighted to hear that the "guy with the collar" didn't get the girl; rather, the rougher suitor. He can be described as cunning and animistic: a young wolf who eliminates any rival who stands in his way; finally the leader of the pack One can be moved by Robinson's last words, "Is this the end of Little Caesar?" or by Cagney's body falling through the open door of his family home, he having been killed off-screen. Comonte's death is that of a trapped or cornered animal, wordless in a beautifully staged sequence,as brutal as his life, depicted for the audience in every detail. Of the three portrayals, Muni's comes across to me as the most chilling, in its enactment of instinctive evil. How ironic that He would later win his greatest fame for his performances as Emile Zola and Louis Pasteur.


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