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Scarface (1983)

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2:18 | Trailer
In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writer:

Oliver Stone (screenplay by)
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Popularity
509 ( 185)
Top Rated Movies #102 | Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Tony Montana
Steven Bauer ... Manny Ribera
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Elvira
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Gina
Robert Loggia ... Frank Lopez
Miriam Colon ... Mama Montana
F. Murray Abraham ... Omar
Paul Shenar ... Alejandro Sosa
Harris Yulin ... Bernstein
Ángel Salazar ... Chi Chi
Arnaldo Santana Arnaldo Santana ... Ernie
Pepe Serna ... Angel
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Nick The Pig
Al Israel ... Hector The Toad
Dennis Holahan ... Banker
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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 wanted to live the American Dream until the end. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Scarface See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,597,536, 11 December 1983

Gross USA:

$45,408,703

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$66,023,329
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (original release)| DTS (Blu-ray release) (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1)| DTS (DTS: X)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

USA Today boxes visible in background of scenes on Miami Beach early in the film, just after Tony leaves the government camp. USA Today did not begin service in Florida until the fall of 1982, while the scene takes place shortly after the April 1980 Mariel Harbor boat lift. 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 »

Alternate Versions

When originally released in theaters the film featured an intermission which is absent from subsequent home video and theatrical releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Poetic Justice (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Shake It Up
Performed by Elizabeth Daily
Music by Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics by Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Barrow
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Exceed to Excess
12 September 2004 | by akpiggottSee all my reviews

Every great gangster movie has under-currents of human drama. Don't expect an emotional story of guilt, retribution and despair from "Scarface". This is a tale of ferocious greed, corruption, and power. The darker side of the fabled "American Dream".

Anybody complaining about the "cheesiness" of this film is missing the point. The superficial characters, cheesy music, and dated fashions further fuel the criticism of this life of diabolical excess. Nothing in the lives of these characters really matter, not on any human level at least. In fact the film practically borderlines satire, ironic considering all the gangsta rappers that were positively inspired by the lifestyle of Tony Montana.

This isn't Brian DePalma's strongest directorial effort, it is occasionally excellent and well-handled (particularly the memorable finale), but frequently sinks to sloppy and misled. Thankfully, it is supported by a very strong script by Oliver Stone (probably good therapy for him, considering the coke habit he was tackling at the time). The themes are consistent, with the focus primarily on the life of Tony Montana, and the evolution of his character as he is consumed by greed and power. The dialogue is also excellent, see-sawing comfortably between humour and drama. There are many stand-out lines, which have since wormed their way into popular culture in one form or another.

The cast help make it what it is as well, but this is really Pacino's film. One of his earlier less subtle performances (something much more common from him nowadays), this is a world entirely separate from Michael Corleone and Frank Serpico. Yet he is as watchable here as ever, in very entertaining (and intentionally over-the-top) form. It is hard to imagine another Tony Montana after seeing this film, in possibly one of the most mimicked performances ever. Pfeiffer stood out as dull and uncomfortable on first viewing, but I've come to realize how she plays out the part of the bored little wife. Not an exceptional effort, but unfairly misjudged. The supporting players are very good too, particularly Paul Shenar as the suave Alejandro Sosa.

Powerful, occasionally humorous, sometimes shocking, and continually controversial. "Scarface" is one of the films of the eighties (whatever that might mean to you). An essential and accessible gangster flick, and a pop-culture landmark. 9/10


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