All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
The rise and fall of a power hungry mobster.
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.
"Look at ma shit!"
Oh wait, wrong movie. I am guessing there's a version of that scene in the Pacino remake, and that's what James Franco's Spring Breakers character would have been referencing. But it's the first thing I thought about when I saw Paul Muni's Tony showing off for his gangster-moll-to-be.
Despite the fact that he sometimes linguistically wanders into Chico Marx territory, Muni's Scarface is a revelation: Larger than life, scary, charming, funny, and surprisingly layered. For all the violence - and this film is very violent - it's his boyish glee when shooting off his first tommy gun that will stick with me. And also his need to find out the ending of the play he was…
I'm not gonna lie, Scarface is not a perfect film—the secondary acting isn't great, the commentary on violence (more like an excuse for Howard Hawks to have fun with a violent film) felt a lot more present back in '32 than what it does now (and, to top it off, the film sometimes loses itself in its own violence), it lacks a bit of emotional impact and the editing isn't the best (the truth is that Scarface looks like a set of small episodes of the life of Tony Camonte and not like a continuous film—what I mean is that the way the scenes are cut together doesn't favor the film). However, the truth is that I had a truly…
Film #7 of Project 30
”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.”
Produced by the legendary Howard Hughes and directed by Howard Hawks, Scarface is considered to be one of the most influential films of the gangster genre and it’s no surprise that many plot and character points that nowadays we call cliches of the genre actually originate from this 90 minute roller coaster: The hot tempered ambitous mobster who is having anger management problems is at the center of the plot, he is someone who’s doing everything he can to grab the woman he wants and when…
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.
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…
"I'll tell you what to do. Make laws and see that they're obeyed, if we have to have martial law to do it! ~ Mr. Garston
Back when Howard Hughes was making movies, he was also making political statements. This particular film was his indictment of government institutions turning a blind eye to organized crime during Prohibition. He believed lawmakers were spending too much time trying to regulate business and industry and not enough keeping the public safe from gang violence.
Based upon the novel by Armitage Trail, much of the story mirrors headline news, from drive-by shootings with tommy guns to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Audiences of the day would have easily understood that the loose cannon Antonio…
I enjoyed it better than the 1983 remake, so that's something I guess. There are plenty of genuinely great sequences in this film--car chases, shootouts, everything you'd probably expect from the genre. But it just never really quite coheres as a film. Where it really starts to fall apart is in the endgame, just when it seemed poised to actually bring everything together with some genuinely emotionally affecting moments. The biggest problem is that Paul Muni, who had until this point of the film acquitted himself quite well, suddenly inexplicably no-sells the biggest emotional moments of the film.
Of course, it's also possible the film also could've been dramatically better if it hadn't been gutted by the censors. Reading through…
yea it perf
muni an all-timer
The message at the beginning truly goes a long way in setting a context for the film: while watching it, you get to a point where you kinda like the characters, or find the montages of constant carnage fun, you suddenly remember that text and look at them as monsters and cold-blooded killers they are. It's anything but a passive viewing experience.
Week #30 of The Letterboxd Seasonal Challenge: Pre-Code Hollywood Week.
I was not perpared for how frenetically paced this film was; with the exception of the somewhat didactic scenes of city officials discussing violence Scarface is firing on all cylinders all the time, delivering shootout after shootout with just enough romantic pursuits and betrayals to give you enough breath in between the violent outbursts. Also, for some odd reason Hawks's comedic genius is clearest to me when he's not directing comedies.
Like its more famous 80s remake, Howard Hawks' gangster film survives on iconography rather than quality. Like its remake, its excess is now considered both satirical and iconic. In fact the similarities don't end there.
Charting the rise and fall of Tony 'Scarface' Camonte, this film similarly is violent. The violence is just as mindless, there's no sense of impact or toll felt here. The gunfire is never-ending yet little of it is truly felt. The story hangs together with disparate scenes never building to a climax that feels earned. The characters are all unlikable which would be fine so long as they were at least interesting. Paul Muni plays the lead like a Universal monster. He lurches and lugs…
This isn't noir- it's pure expressionism, studio-style. A cast filled with character actors gives the film an exaggerated feel, along with the shadow-filled sets and hammy acting. All this goodness is in vain, however, due to a more or less cookie-cutter gangster story that doesn't bring anything new to the table. Hawks isn't very Hawks here- thank god he went on to be bigger and better.
Tony Camonte: I don't know nothin'. I don't see nothin'. I don't hear nothin'. When I do I don't tell the cops. Understand?
Week 30 - Letterboxd Season Challenge 2015-16 - Pre-Code Hollywood Week
First, I loved the PSA in the beginning of the movie. I believe all films should have some sort of PSA in the beginning. No hidden agendas here. Second, I cannot recall seeing such a violent film from the 1930's. This must have been a horrific watch for some moviegoers in 1932. Overall, a very good movie that had some uneven spots, but not enough to put a damper on this oldie, but goodie.
The first 1012 films are from The 1,000 Greatest Films list, and maintain the original order. The films that follow…
More Info to come