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Scarface (1983)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  9 December 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 487,207 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 824 user | 145 critic | 9 from

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel while succumbing to greed.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ángel Salazar ...
Arnaldo Santana ...
Michael P. Moran ...
Al Israel ...


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 Columbian 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


He loved the American Dream. With a Vengeance. See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caracortada  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$242,821 (USA) (19 September 2003)


$44,700,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the "scorecard" feature on the Platinum Edition DVD, the word "fuck" and its derivatives are used 226 times for an average of 1.32 fucks per minute. See more »


When Tony and the guys are following the white car outside the United Nations building to blow it up remotely, there are two beer cans and two food containers on the dashboard of their car. In the exterior shots of Tony and the guys in the car, the beer can closest to Tony is partially crumbled. But in the interior shots of Tony's point of view, the crumbled beer can is perfectly straight and not crumbed. The beer can is crumbled in the exterior shots and undamaged in the interior shots. See more »


[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

Scarface is a fiction account of the activities of a small group of ruthless criminals. The characters do not represent the Cuban/ American Community and it would be erroneous and unfair to suggest that they do. The vast majority of Cuban/Americans have demonstrated a dedication, vitality, and enterprise that has enriched the American scene. See more »


Referenced in New Jack City (1991) See more »


Rush Rush
Performed by Deborah Harry
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics by Deborah Harry
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"You wanna play rough?? OKAY!"
19 December 2005 | by (India) – 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!

296 of 360 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Michelle Pfeiffer, gorgeous here, or....? NikkiFromSiberia
Time for another remake. eden820
What do you think happened to Elvira? chainsawfamily
One bit i never understood.... ticope87
Why so much love for this pile of crap? eneman23
Better than The Godfather? amrowntree
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