Thirty-seven years ago today, “Scarface” starring Al Pacino opened in theatres. A poor Tony Montana, played by Pacino, arrives in Florida from Cuba in 1980 and goes on to become wealthy after becoming involved with the booming cocaine business. However, things eventually fall apart when he becomes addicted to the drug and his world collapses. The movie was directed by Brian De Palma and based on an Oilver Stone screenplay. In addition to Al Pacino, the film co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and is loosely based on a 1932 gangster movie with the same title, directed by Howard Hawks and claims to have been partly inspired by real-life mobster, Al “Scarface” Capone.
De Palma’s version of “Scarface” received mixed reviews on its release main due to its extreme violence, profanity, and drug use. The movie grossed $45M at the domestic box office and $66M worldwide and as a result, would eventually receive pop-culture status, especially in the hip hop music scene, in addition to comic books, tv shows, and video games.
Casting Call & Filming
Robert De Niro was originally offered the role of Tony Montana, however after turning it down, Pacino insisted he play the lead. He worked with boxer, Roberto Duran, to build the physique he wanted for the role and trained with experts in knife combat. Although the film takes place in Miami, most of it was actually shot in Los Angeles because the Miami Tourist Board declined requests to film there fearing it would deter tourism to the city and affiliate it to drugs and gangsters. Filming began in November ’82 and completed in May ’83 – spanning over 24 weeks. Filming was stopped twice due to severe weather in California, once due to Pacino injuring himself during a fight scene, and two stuntmen were injured in a premature bomb explosion.
Say hello to my little friend!”Tony Montana, closing scene
The infamous scene at the end featured a single-camera shot, directed by Steven Spielberg, who was visiting the set at the time.
WARNING: the footage below contains scenes of extreme violence and coarse language
A New Version?
In 2011, Universal announced the development of a new version of “Scarface”; neither a sequel nor a remake. However after several screenplay and director changes, the film was delayed several times. Eventually, on May 14, 2020, it was announced that Luca Guadagnino had signed on to direct the film with the script being written by the Coen brothers. No further information has been made available since.