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Scarface (1983)

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

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

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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 loved the American Dream. With a Vengeance. 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

In creating the Freedom Town sequence, Brian De Palma and visual consultant Ferdinando Scarfiotti researched actual events and found that in 1980, newly arrived Marielitos were housed in a hastily constructed camp beneath a Miami freeway. For the movie, the camp was erected in Los Angeles, beneath the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbour freeways. The final riot in Freedom town called for some linguistic agility, as many of the six hundred extras spoke Spanish; thus safety required careful translation prior to each set-up. See more »

Goofs

When Tony and Angel go up to Hector's apartment to make an attempted purchase of drugs, the sun is shining from the west side of the north-south street (an afternoon shot). In the next scene when a girl standing in the street is flirting with Manny in his get-away convertible, the sun is shining from the east (a morning shot). In the next scene when Tony chases Hector down to the street to finish Hector off, the sun is again on the west side of the street (a late afternoon shot). 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!]
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Crazy Credits

In the opening we see a crawl text (with narrator) that reads: "In May of 1980, Fidel Castro in an effort to normalize relations with the Carter Administration opened the harbor at Mariel, Cuba with the apparent intention of letting some of his people join their relatives in the United States. Within seventy-two hours, 3,000 U.S. boats were headed for Cuba. In the next few weeks, it became evident that Castro was forcing the boat owners to carry back with them not only their relatives but the dregs of his jail population. By the time the port was closed 125,000 'Marielitos' had landed in Florida. An estimated 25,000 had criminal records. This is the story of that minority those they call 'Los Bandidos'." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Justice League Unlimited: Double Date (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Vamos a Bailar
Performed by Maria Conchita Alonso (as Maria Conchita)
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics by Maria Conchita Alonso (as Maria Conchita)
Courtesy of A&M Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"You wanna play rough?? OKAY!"
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Scarface" has a major cult following even now, 22 years after its release.

It has also been widely criticized as being very tacky, unrefined, over-the-top and all bloated up! These are people who compare Scarface to The Godfather movies. It is true that on the technical front, (cinematography, screenplay, direction, etc.) Scarface is way behind 'The Godfather'.

But it is also true, that what Scarface has and some other gangster movies lack, is the rawness, the sheer crude approach of the gangsters. The Latino gangsters in this movie look much more menacing and real than any of the polished Italian or Irish gangsters from other gangster classics like 'The Godfather' or 'Goodfellas'. This is one of the major winning points of Scarface and I strongly believe that this fact has been written off as "tackiness" by most critics! I have seen the original 1932 Scarface, and I must say that both these movies are way too different from each other and should be seen as two different movies instead of praising the original over the "remake"!

Al Pacino has been criticized to be over-the-top and loud in this movie. But how about considering that that is precisely the way the film-makers wanted Tony Montana's character to be! He is this angry young man who takes hasty decisions and throws fits of tantrum every other minute! He is not the calm Michael Corleone here. He is Tony Montana, a very tacky, uneducated individual who doesn't really think much and gets angry all the time!

There is definitely a very 80s feel to this movie. The soundtrack is all 80s! I love some of the songs, including 'Gina and Elvira's theme', 'Push it to the limit' and the title track instrumental.

There are some memorable and beautifully shot sequences, including the famous chainsaw scene, the Rebenga hit, the first meeting with Sosa and Tony's visit to his mother's.

About the performances: Al Pacino is brilliant as the angry Cuban refugee. He has reportedly mentioned that he enjoyed playing Tony Montana the most in his entire career. And it really does seem like he has enjoyed himself thoroughly in all his scenes! One wonders what "Scarface" would be like without Pacino. I just couldn't imagine anyone else portraying Tony Montana and in all probabilities, the film wouldn't be as effective without him!

Steven Bauer shines as Tony's friend Manny.

Robert Loggia is wonderful as Tony's boss, Lopez. So is F. Murray Abraham (as Omar) in a small role.

Then there is some eye-candy in the form of Elvira played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She looks beautiful and is adequate in her role.

The director does go a bit overboard during a particular part in the climax. Without revealing anything, I would only say that that was the only little part that suffers due to improper handling.

"Scarface" is definitely one of the most entertaining and one of the best gangster movies to ever come out. Enjoy it for what it is: a raw portrayal of the Drug Lords and their gangland!


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