All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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…
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…
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.
This review is an indictment of the motion picture SCARFFACE (1932) and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty.
That is my little play on the opening title card from the movie SCARFACE. It’s a movie that may be the grandfather of American gangster pictures. It at least concreated the “gutter-to-penthouse” formula that still frames most of the organized crime movies to this day.
I was surprised at the lack of music and background noise in this movie. The film felt so modern other than the soundtrack. Of course the language and styles were different, but thematically, this movie would fit right into today’s cinematic culture. I was also…
"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…
1932 > 1983
One of the best crime films of all time with Paul Muni as a badass gangster out to control Chicago (a hardly veiled reference to Al-Capone who was very much alive and powerful at the time). Paul Muni who was a great actor brings this film to life, the movie is bit kitsch at times but is so influential to future filmmaking. The remake in the1980s has nothing on the original.
As tragic as it is beautiful Scarface shines above most of all gangster films I have seen. There was never a moment that I became bored. I was constantly infatuated with the life the characters lived and by god it's a violent one. It doesn't hold back. Every death is hard to watch, even when opposing characters die you feel for them. In an constantly growing industry that glorifies violence it is quite refreshing to see it looked upon in this light and that's coming from someone that is quite a fan of violent movies cough cough Kill Bill cough cough Battle Royale, but I digress. There are real consequences to the each characters actions. Not a little pat on…
The irony of Scarface is not lost on me. The film (literally) begins with the message of "this picture is an indictment of gang rule", but this didn't stop it from spawning multitudes of more violent and aggressive gangster films and shaping the genre. The film itself isn't perfect by any means. There are some questionable editing choices, terrible displays of acting, and lackluster shots. But for 1932, I'm cutting it some slack. The story itself is quite enamoring, and Paul Muni really brings the character of Tony to life. Even in modern day, one can get a sense for how controversial and surprising it must have been to watch Scarface some 83 years ago. Maybe it's just that old-world charm affecting me, but I truly enjoyed this from beginning to end.
Considering how controversial this film was at the time of its 1932 release regarding its violent content, the original Scarface hasn't aged well, has it?
What disappoints me more about the film is that I little I felt regarding our main character Scarface, played by Paul Muni, who in that same year had a compelling performance in the extremely underrated prison flick I Am a Prisoner from a Chain Gang (seriously, if you haven't seen that film, check it out). Not only is his accent ridiculously over-the-top and goofy, but despite his Al Capone connection, the film does little to set up his descent into the criminal world, and fails miserable in making the character a compelling, tragic character. Like…
by /u/montypython22, who is also on Letterboxd!
The American Dream is at the forefront of two of the great gangster pictures of all time. Both brawny and bold in their own ways. Both with hotheaded, out-of-control protagonists, anti-heroes who you love to hate. Both heroes ascending the ranks of the criminal underworld only to have their entire worlds crumble before their very eyes.
Howard Hawks’s Scarface has become one of the defining landmarks of American cinema. Jean-Luc Godard once proclaimed it the best American sound film of all time. (Though not the best of its kind; that honor he would bestow upon Josef Von Sternberg’s underseen gangster masterpiece Underworld ). It is traditionally seen as the first great Hawksian masterpiece,…
Haven't seen this version for about 15 years, but couldn't help but be equally mesmerized by its timelessness and laughing out loud at the myriad unintentionally funny moments. Highly recommended for a repeat viewing if you haven't in a tick...
Howard Hawks directs a dark violent tale of one man's unrelenting desire to have everything no matter how illegal or depraved. Paul Muni as Scarface moves with a boxers fighting stance and sneers like a pack dog on the hunt. His omnivorous desires are almost spiritual and he pursues them all openly and with violence. Sadly, the force of this pre-code movie is undercut by the meddling of censors who demanded story changes and what amounts to an apology at the start of the film.
While Howard Hawks remains one of the great American directors, the true auteur of his BALL OF FIRE (1941, 111 min, 16mm) may be Billy Wilder, who co-authored the script with Charles Brackett. The comedy—about eight bookish professors who take in a nightclub singer to help co-write an encyclopedia entry on slang—is more rooted in caricature, Hawks’ greatest contributions to the genre (HIS GIRL FRIDAY, MONKEY BUSINESS), having more in common with the social satires Wilder would go on to direct (THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, ONE TWO THREE, THE FORTUNE COOKIE). In retrospect, the premise seems especially personal for Wilder, who learned English while writing his first Hollywood assignment and took from the experience a lifelong fascination with American idioms.…
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…