IMDb > Scarface (1932)
Scarface
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Scarface (1932) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   17,082 votes »
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Directors:
Writers:
Armitage Trail (novel)
Ben Hecht (screen story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Scarface on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 April 1932 (USA) See more »
Plot:
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(18 articles)
The Men Who Would Be Hughes (Plus Hepburn and the end of Rko)
 (From Alt Film Guide. 6 November 2014, 1:37 PM, PST)

Review: 'Boardwalk Empire' - 'Devil You Know'
 (From Hitfix. 12 October 2014, 7:00 PM, PDT)

Watch ‘Pre-Code’ Hollywood films on TCM all month
 (From SoundOnSight. 3 September 2014, 8:24 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
What a sensational film! What an actor Paul Muni! See more (270 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Muni ... Tony

Ann Dvorak ... Cesca
Karen Morley ... Poppy
Osgood Perkins ... Johnny Lovo
C. Henry Gordon ... Inspector Guarino

George Raft ... Rinaldo
Vince Barnett ... Angelo

Boris Karloff ... Tom Gaffney
Purnell Pratt ... Publisher
Tully Marshall ... Managing Editor
Inez Palange ... Tony's Mother

Edwin Maxwell ... Detective Chief
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Armetta ... Pietro - Barber (uncredited)
Gus Arnheim ... Orchestra Leader (uncredited)
Eugenie Besserer ... Citizens Committee Member (uncredited)
Maurice Black ... Jim - Headwaiter (uncredited)
William Burress ... Judge (alternate ending) (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Waiter at Columbia Cafe (uncredited)
Virginia Dabney ... Mabel (uncredited)
William B. Davidson ... Citizens Committee Member (uncredited)
James Durkin ... Newspaper Man (uncredited)
Eddie Fetherston ... Reporter (uncredited)

Paul Fix ... Hood with Gaffney (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Prison Guard (alternate ending) (uncredited)
Gus Arnheim and His Orchestra ... Paradise Club Orchestra (uncredited)

Jean Harlow ... Blonde at Paradise Club - Cameo appearance in nightclub (uncredited)

Howard Hawks ... Man on Bed (uncredited)
Brandon Hurst ... Citizens Committee Member (uncredited)
John Kelly ... One of Costillo's Hoods (uncredited)
Hank Mann ... Stag Party Janitor (uncredited)
Dennis O'Keefe ... Night Club Patron (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... One of Costillo's Hoods (uncredited)
Pedro Regas ... Tony - Bodyguard (uncredited)
Warner Richmond ... Cesca's Dance Partner (uncredited)
Constantine Romanoff ... Henchman (uncredited)
Bert Starkey ... Epstein - Lawyer (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... One of Costillo's Hoods (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... One of Costillo's Hoods (uncredited)
Helen C. Thompson ... Sadie Thompson (uncredited)
Nick Thompson ... One of Costillo's Hoods (uncredited)
Ellinor Vanderveer ... Theatregoer (uncredited)
Harry J. Vejar ... Big Louis Costillo (uncredited)
Douglas Walton ... Cesca's Boyfriend (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Hawks 
Richard Rosson (co-director)
 
Writing credits
Armitage Trail (novel "Scarface")

Ben Hecht (screen story)

Seton I. Miller (continuity) &
John Lee Mahin (continuity) &
W.R. Burnett (continuity)

Seton I. Miller (dialogue) &
John Lee Mahin (dialogue) &
W.R. Burnett (dialogue)

Howard Hawks  uncredited
Fred Pasley  adaptation (uncredited)

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer (uncredited)
Howard Hughes .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Adolph Tandler (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Lee Garmes 
L. William O'Connell  (as L.W. O'Connell)
 
Film Editing by
Edward Curtiss 
Lewis Milestone (uncredited)
 
Set Decoration by
Harry Oliver (settings)
 
Production Management
Charles Stallings .... production manager
 
Sound Department
William Snyder .... sound engineer
 
Visual Effects by
Howard A. Anderson .... process photography (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Frances Miles .... stunt double: Ann Dvorak (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles Bohny .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Roy Clark .... camera operator (uncredited)
Warner Cruze .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Eugene Kornman .... still photographer (uncredited)
Warren Lynch .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Douglass Biggs .... editorial advisor
 
Music Department
Gus Arnheim .... musical director
Adolph Tandler .... musical director
 
Other crew
W.R. Burnett .... continuity
Howard Hughes .... presenter
John Lee Mahin .... continuity
Seton I. Miller .... continuity
E.B. Derr .... supervisor (uncredited)
Howard Hughes .... direction supervisor (uncredited)
Lincoln Quarberg .... general press representative (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
93 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Finland:K-16 (1998) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:6 (DVD rating) | Norway:16 (1984) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) | USA:Passed (original rating) | USA:PG (re-release) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
At one point, a list of prior offenses is read, including possession/use of brass knuckles and "saps". Saps, or sap gloves, are gloves with lead or steel granules sewn into the knuckles and backs of the hands.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Some of These DaysSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
44 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
What a sensational film! What an actor Paul Muni!, 22 March 2002
Author: pzanardo (pzanardo@math.unipd.it) from Padova, Italy

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.

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