8.3/10
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883 user 152 critic

Scarface (1983)

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

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414 ( 54)

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Top Rated Movies #106 | Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Arnaldo Santana ...
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Michael P. Moran ...
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Storyline

Tony Montana manages to leave Cuba during the Mariel exodus of 1980. He finds himself in a Florida refugee camp but his friend Manny has a way out for them: undertake a contract killing and arrangements will be made to get a green card. He's soon working for drug dealer Frank Lopez and shows his mettle when a deal with Colombian drug dealers goes bad. He also brings a new level of violence to Miami. Tony is protective of his younger sister but his mother knows what he does for a living and disowns him. Tony is impatient and wants it all however, including Frank's empire and his mistress Elvira Hancock. Once at the top however, Tony's outrageous actions make him a target and everything comes crumbling down. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was Tony Montana. The world will remember him by another name...SCARFACE. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caracortada  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,597,536, 11 December 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$45,598,982

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$65,884,703
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Bregman offered relative newcomer Oliver Stone a chance to overhaul the screenplay, but Stone - who was still reeling from the box office disappointment of his film, The Hand (1981), wasn't interested.

"I didn't like the original movie that much," Stone told Creative Screenwriting. "It didn't really hit me at all and I had no desire to make another Italian gangster picture because so many had been done so well, there would be no point to it.

The origin of it, according to Martin Bregman, [was that] Al had seen the '30s version on television, he loved it and expressed to Marty as his long-time mentor/partner that he'd like to do a role like that. So Marty presented it to me and I had no interest in doing a period piece." Sidney Lumet was the first choice to direct this film, and it was his idea to make the characters Cuban and to include the 1980 Mariel harbor boat lift in the story.

"Sidney Lumet came up with the idea of what's happening today in Miami, and it inspired Bregman," Pacino told Empire Magazine. "He and Oliver Stone got together and produced a script that had a lot of energy and was very well written. Stone was writing about stuff that was touching on things that were going on in the world, he was in touch with that energy and that rage and that underbelly."

"Sidney Lumet had stepped into the deal," Stone said. "Sidney had a great idea to take the 1930s American prohibition gangster movie and make it into a modern immigrant gangster movie dealing with the same problems that we had then, that we're prohibiting drugs instead of alcohol. There's a prohibition against drugs that's created the same criminal class as (prohibition of alcohol) created the Mafia. It was a remarkable idea."

Although Lumet's involvement was what lured Stone into the project, when Bregman contacted Stone again about the project later, his opinion changed. According to Stone: "Sidney Lumet hated my script. I don't know if he'd say that in public himself, I sound like a petulant screenwriter saying that, I'd rather not say that word. Let me say that Sidney did not understand my script, whereas Bregman wanted to continue in that direction with Al." See more »

Goofs

In the original version, when the "police" were about to arrest Tony, they are helping him count the money (for the second time). The cameraman's thumb can be seen briefly. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Fidel Castro: ...los que no se adapten... al esfuerzo y al heroísmo de una revolución... ¡No los queremos! ¡No los necesitamos!
[in subtitles: They are unwilling to adapt to the spirit of our revolution. We don't want them! We don't need them!]
Fidel Castro: [Translation word-for-word:... the ones that won't adapt... to the effort and heroism of a revolution... We don't want them! We don't need them!]
See more »

Crazy Credits

We see a proverb at the beginning of the movie that says: "Enjoy yourself, every day above ground is a good day." ANONYMOUS, MIAMI 1981 See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Hit Wonderland: Ghetto Supastar by Pras (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Strangers in the Night
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Music by Bert Kaempfert
Lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Grandiose, bloodyminded and implacable
18 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is one of my all time favorites.

If the movie has a flaw, it's that it comes at you like a raging bull. It doesn't so much engage the viewer as assault him. ''Scarface'' is as voracious and unyielding a production as Tony Montana himself. Nothing is left to the viewer's imagination.

Moroder's languorous synthpop fits the action to a tee. Like the chorus in a Greek tragedy, it wails and gnashes, broods and tugs, a constant reminder of Tony's inexorable fate.

Not so much a tale of caution as a disaster in progress, ''Scarface'' rips across the screen with the unstoppable force of a runaway train.


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