Scarface (1983)

Scarface (1983)

Taglines: He loved the American Dream. With a Vengeance.

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.

Scarface is a 1983 American crime film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. The film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in 1980s to Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug kingpin. The cast also features Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Steven Bauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Scarface (1983)

Scarface was released on December 9, 1983 and was a box office success, grossing $44 million. Initial critical reception was mixed, with criticism over excessive violence and profanity and graphic drug usage. Some Cuban expatriates in Miami objected to the film’s portrayal of Cubans as criminals and drug traffickers.

In the years that followed, the film has received reappraisal from critics, considered by some to be one of the best mob films ever made and in general. Screenwriters and directors such as Martin Scorsese have praised the film, which has been referenced extensively in rap music, comic books, and video games.

About the Story

In 1980, Cuban refugee Antonio “Tony” Montana (Al Pacino) arrives in Miami, Florida, where he is sent to a refugee camp with his best friend Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer) and their associates Angel (Pepe Serna) and Chi-Chi (Ángel Salazar). The four are released from the camp in exchange for assassinating a former Cuban government official at the request of wealthy drug dealer Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia), and they are given green cards. They become dishwashers in a diner.

Frank’s henchman Omar Suarez (F. Murray Abraham) gives the group the opportunity to purchase cocaine from Colombian dealers, but the deal collapses. Angel is dismembered with a chainsaw, while Manny and Chi-Chi rescue Tony and kill the Colombians. Suspecting that Omar betrayed them, Tony and Manny insist on personally delivering the recovered drugs and money to Frank. During their meeting, Tony is attracted to Frank’s girlfriend Elvira Hancock (Michelle Pfeiffer). He and Manny are hired to work for Frank.

Scarface (1983)

Months later, Tony visits his mother Georgina (Míriam Colón) and younger sister Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), of whom he is fiercely protective. Disgusted by his life of crime, Georgina throws Tony out. Manny comments on Gina’s beauty before being warned by Tony to stay away from her. Frank sends Tony and Omar to Bolivia to meet with cocaine kingpin Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar). Tony negotiates a deal without Frank’s approval, angering Omar, who leaves to contact Frank. Sosa claims that Omar is a police informant and then has Tony witness as a beaten Omar is hanged from a helicopter. Tony vouches for Frank’s organization, so Sosa agrees to the deal, parting with a warning that Tony should never betray him.

Back in Miami, Frank is infuriated by Omar’s demise and the unauthorized deal struck by Tony, prompting Tony to establish his own organization. At a nightclub, corrupt detective Mel Bernstein (Harris Yulin) attempts to extort money from Tony in return for police protection and information. Tony angers Frank further by openly pursuing Elvira in the club.

Gina is also there, and Tony notices her dancing and being groped by a man. Hit men attempt to assassinate Tony, but he escapes from the club. Tony, Manny, and Chi-Chi go to Frank’s office, certain that his former boss sent both Bernstein and the assassins. At gunpoint, Frank confesses to his involvement and begs for his life, but he and Bernstein are killed.

Scarface Movie Poster (1983)

Scarface (1983)

Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, Paul Shenar, Ángel Salazar, Al Israel
Screenplay by: Oliver Stone
Cinematography by: John A. Alonzo
Film Editing by: Gerald B. Greenberg, David Ray
Costume Design by: Patricia Norris
Set Decoration by: Bruce Weintraub
Art Direction by: Edward Richardson
Music by: Giorgio Moroder
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 9, 1983