Runtime: 2hr 49m
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Paul Shenar, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F. Murray Abraham, Harris Yulin, Ángel Salazar, Pepe Serna
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/60029681
“Scarface” chronicles the life of a Cuban refugee who came to America in May, 1980, when Fidel Castro opened the harbour at Mariel Bay, Cuba, with the apparent intention of letting some of his people join their families back in America. As the movie’s opening intro explains, of the 125,000 Cubans who came to America that year, an estimated 25,000 had criminal backgrounds.
Antonio Montana (Al Pacino) was one of those criminals who came to America from Cuba and successfully set up his own kingdom of cocaine, wealth and greed. We see him in the first few minutes of the film being interviewed by police regarding his background. He’s asked about the scar that stretches from his eyebrow down to his cheek. He gives all the right responses and is sent off to a quarantine camp along with his long-time friend, Manny (Steven Bauer). After murdering a man in the camp as a favour for a Mafia kingpin named Frank (Robert Loggia), the two buddies are given green cards and released from the camp. Eventually they land another job for Frank and their wealth and greed starts to grow.
Every time we see Tony Montana he is a bit better off. Better clothes, better means of transportation. He visits his mother at her small little home in Miami to show off his fortune. He tries to give her money but she says that people like him give bad names to the hard-working Cubans (like herself) who have come to America and work legitimately for a living.
But Tony’s sister, Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) doesn’t think so. She adores her brother and accepts $1,000 from him as a present. But it backfires and soon Gina is hanging out in the fancy clubs and getting felt up by men. Tony sees this and anger lights up in his eyes like fire. This happens twice in the movie. Both times are in regards to his sister. Manny explains to Gina that Tony doesn’t want her to turn out like him because she is the only thing pure left in his life. Soon Tony is so powerful that he overthrows Frank and marries his girl (Michelle Pfeiffer), who becomes so depressed that she sleeps all day and snorts all night.
I decided to watch Scarface because it’s on a ‘100 films that you must watch’ poster that me and my better half are making our way through. I was looking forward to watching it because I know that it’s widely regarded as a classic. However, I wasn’t blown away by it. It’s a pretty standard rise-to-power story that’s excessive in everything it does. From the acting to the violence to the language to the drug use to the sound to the runtime – everything is over-the-top. I get that excess is the point, but it’s just unpleasant to watch at times. Still, there are some impressive moments, and I think this film sticks the landing in the third act. I’m glad I got to say hello to Scarface, but I doubt I’ll watch it again.