Big Louis Costillo, last of the old-style gang leaders is slain, and his former bodyguard Tony Camonte is taken into custody. Since Costillo's body has never been found, the police have to release him, though they strongly suspect Johnny Lovo paid Tony to remove Big Louis. Tony begins taking over the rackets in town with violent enforcement, and he becomes a threat to Johnny and the other bosses unless they work for Tony. Meanwhile, Tony's sister wants to be more independent, but finds it difficult to escape from her brother's overprotective grasp. The dissatisfaction of the other bosses and the relentless pursuit of the police push Tony towards a major confrontation.
One of the most violent movies ever made. Every other scene is someone getting shot.
There are some very clever moments, however. The secretary character is what the Coens dream of, and the opening camera shot is ages ahead of its time.
This movie doesn't just use violence as a gimmick; it's a genuinely good film, even 81 years after it was made.
Had totally forgotten Boris Karloff shows up following an ear-shattering montage of drive-by killings. Paul Muni absolutely dwarfs every performance in the picture, it's no surprise that Frankenstein's monster gets shafted. Muni's Tony remains scarily contemporary. This particular low-life will always exist, adaptable to all forms of modernism. He engulfs the movie with a haze of timelessness and status as a classic.
Howard Hawks' white-knuckle, violent gangster classic Scarface may pale in comparison to the remake in terms of success and popularity, given that De Palma's film was practically an instant cult classic and has remained a strong presence in pop culture over the years, but for many reasons I think it's both much more interesting and superior to the remake. At 90 minutes it is roughly half the running time of the 80s version, and the pace is accordingly high. It moves at the same speed as the many bullets fired during it, and like its many drive-by shootouts flies by the screen, giving you not a moment to breathe. Its no non-sense and brutal approach to the source material is…
Part of my Directors deepdive.
Same director, and same writer as His Girl Friday. That says alot about the talent inherent in the two.
Watched De Palma's remake probably four or five times before I'd even heard of the original, or that De Palma's Scarface was something other than an original itself. Took me quite a few years before I got round to seeing this as well.
Hawks Scarface is a much angrier film. Hawks is angry at just about everything that is wrong with society. Much of wich still exists to this day.
This was also my first Paul Muni experience, and he really does have an extraordinary presence. But Karloff and Raft aren't far behind, performance wise.
Listen, Little Boy, in this business there's only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do it first, do it yourself, and keep on doing it.
It's one of the three films credited with the beginning of the true gangster films along with Little Caesar and The Public Enemy. Over 60 gangster films were released between 1930 to 1932 and yet these are the three that are remembered as the ones that started it all.
Scarface was apparently the most controversial and violent gangster film to come out at the time and would remain so for years as the stricter Hays Code was beginning to be enforced. The film is violent and raw. It's filled…
No time for a full review tonight but suffice it to say it delivers on almost every score. You can see it creating so many gangster movie cliches but it still carries real power 80 years on however many times you've seen the whirring calendar pages or bodies with notes attached thrown out of moving cars.
The recurring x motif and Raft's tossing coin work really well too, just that slightly too in your face to be artistic but instead carrying a real slightly brash macho swagger and energy. It's a gangster movie sure but its very recognisably a Hawks picture too.
Muni is great, ape like, brutal, becoming more and more like the hunted focus of a monster movie…
I need to watch De Palma's again, but for the time being: Muni > Pacino.
Go state your business.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I've had the remake of Scarface sitting in my collection for a good three years now, but I just never got around to finally watching the damn thing. And the worst part is that it's not even my copy! I think my friend forgot I even have it in the first place.
So what do I go and do? I find the original laying around during a clearance sale. Now my mentality is "Well, I suppose I should watch this before I see the remake". I'm a prick.
So much like my other classic film viewings, this is one of the more influential gangster pictures around. Meaning there's moments of "Ok, seen that 3 times. And THAT about twice" but…
One of the very first gangster films, it chronicles the rise, corruption, and fall of a boy raised in a shoot-em-up environment. Well-told brief tale.
One of the best gangster movies from the '30s.
The gangster film in which all other gangster films should be judged. Portrays the late 20's-early 30's well.
Howard Hawks' "Scarface" is one of the most important gangster films ever made and I think that every modern gangster flick owes all to it. There wouldn't be any "Goodfellas" or remake "Scarface" or maybe even "The Godfather" without this piece of cinema. It takes us to America's age of gangsters where the country is near as wild as the wild west. Even though the film is pretty violent and dark, it's full of elements of comedy.
It tells a story about vicious but immature and naive man called Tony who wants to "own the world". He lives in his own fantasy world and believes that he is untouchable. He clearly wants to control everything around him and as he…
Howard Hawks' Scarface is the fifth watch in my Coursera course The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, sound and color. I have always meant to see it - owned it for ages - so this course makes for a more than good excuse to finally see it.
Paul Muni is an amazing actor and received many accolades for his work in his day. This is more than earned and an Oscar for his work here would have not been undeserved. Scarface is a gritty compact gangster tale that pulls no punches - certainly for the time it was made in - and is also a very good looking film as well. There is nothing early sound film clunky going on here.…