The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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
When making the drug deal with the Colombians, there is a "USA Today" newspaper box on the corner of the street as they are arriving - "USA Today" did not begin circulating until 1983. See more »
...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!]
[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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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 »
Ya know when one looks at this Brian DePalma film today, I'm sure there has been allot of criticism about how dated it is. Also, about the violence. When I looked at this film on VHS when I was 20, I thought it was ulta-violent and gritty as well. But I didn't get 'it'.
A few decades go by and man, how I know how much I didn't get in this film!! This is a remake of an excellent film which was done back in the 30's/40's. How can you improve upon a classic? Ya don't. But you tell a tale that is brought up to date through the eyes of the "new immigrants" during the most greed ridden decade, the over indulgent 80's. DePalma, Stone and the gang present an ambitious, disturbing and darn right good film.
Yes....Disco was dying and New Wave/Punk were taking over but these immigrants from Cuba who had to make a new home in Florida couldn't tell the difference. It was exciting, it was what they wanted but how to get it???? To these immigrants, there was only one way to get it in Florida where they were..by having lots of money and to get the money, you had to take over running a drug empire.
Al Pacino was fantastic to me as Tony Montana, the "little train that could". What an amazing way to have your lead character look at America: to fight, kill, steal. lie, cheat all to get -- "the money, the women and the power."
That's what Tony saw as the American dream.
He wanted it, he wanted to live it and in his circle saw nothing wrong with how he went to get it. Tony Montana's command of the English language was heavily saturated with the "f" word but what did you expect, Emily Post's finishing school for him and his co-horts? Look at how they CAME to America, what they knew, what they were exposed to. This is the way Tony and his crew chose to "be all they can be in America." It was all about the power. Tony Montana would and did ANYTHING to achieve it..it all its violent, lying, stealing, crooked, thieving glory.
The part of the film that personified the 1980's to me, is the money laundering. Tony's crew bringing sacks of drug money to the bank. Did those around Tony and his crew care? At the clubs where he spent and drank? Nope. Money was money and with money, you get the power. Tony was living high off the hog. He and his pretty blond American trophy he married played well by Michelle Pfieffer.
After Tony Montana's rise to power, he finds out its really crappy up there. He's riddled with doubt, he's drug addicted, he's paranoid, he's surrounded by those who want to take him on in a bloody take-over, his trophy 80's American blonde drug addicted wife he finds out is a bore, he needs to keep atop of his empire because...he's going down. And down he goes in a horrific violent fashion, but again I ask, what do you expect?
This is the quintessential 1980's film telling you a warped tale of how some misunderstand the American Dream...to obsession. It's violent, bloody, overly so..but it drives the point disturbingly home. Not all Cubans thrown out of Cuba who landed in Florida in the 80's were anything like Tony Montana. Give me a break. But the showing of how miserable the 1980's were with its emphasis on greed and money as the only measures in the USA to "be somebody" and have power took its tool on these poor characters and their lives in America.
Makes you wonder -- has anything from then -- been learned today?
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