Manly Movie Review: Scarface (1983)

Last time, I covered the original 1932 version of Scarface, this time around, I am going to review the more well known 1983 Al Pacino remake.

Scarface is a 1983 film starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana, Steven Bauer as Manny Ribera, Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock, Mary Elizabeth Mastratonio as Gina Montana, and Robert Loggia as Frank Lopez. It was directed by Brian De Palma, produced by Martin Bergman, and written by Oliver Stone.

Scarface Movie PosterThe film takes place during the Mariel boatlift in 1980 in Miami, Florida. The Mariel boatlift, for those who don’t know, was an exodus of Cubans leaving their country to come to America because of the plunge that Cuba’s economy took. The migration of the Cubans, to America, took place between April 15th, and October 31st 1980. Well, that is the Mariel boatlift, in a nutshell anyway.

When we meet Tony (played by Al Pacino) and his friend Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer), are sent to one of the many refugee camps. However, Frank Lopez, a big-time drug dealer, sets things up so that they can get their green cards, all they have to do is knock off a former Cuban official. They pull off the job and are given another one, this time to buy cocaine from Columbian dealers, by Omar Suarez (F. Murray Abraham), who is one of Frank’s henchmen. Tony and Manny are joined by associates Angel (Pepe Serna) and Chi Chi (Angel Salazar). They job goes wrong, real quick as a certain piece of machinery is introduced into the story.

Tony MontanaTony and Omar head over to Bolivia to talk to the king of cocaine dealers Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar). Tony tries to lay out some turns of his own, which gets the water between Omar and Tony bubbling, and Omar leaves. Sosa requests Tony to stay and tells him that Omar is a police informant.

Well, Tony looks on as we bid farewell to Omar and states that he never liked the guy, but he’d back up Frank. As Tony and Sosa leave each others company, Sosa tells Tony not to betray him. So back in Miami, Tony tells Frank about Omar who is pretty pissed off and ends he and Tony’s business relationship because of the unauthorized terms Tony laid down with Sosa while in Bolivia. Tony and Elvira get married, and Tony starts up his own operation.

Tony Montana The World is YoursWhile running his own operation Tony experiences the good life, obviously, but also gets to experience the bad as well, just like any other wholesome family oriented business.

I’m going to end this here, as I don’t to sum up the entire movie for everyone, in case someone reading this, for some reason, hasn’t seen this flick.

Now, the question comes down to this: which is a better version of Scarface, the original 1932 version, or the 1983 version?

Personally, I prefer the 1932 version of Scarface over the 1983 movie, even though both films take place in actual points in history (Prohibition and the Mariel boatlift). Scarface was one of Al Capone’s nicknames, which gives it more credence, especially since, for the 1983 version, they just gave Pacino’s character a scar so the title would fit. I also find the 1930s a fascinating time anyway, so even for just that simple reason, the decade it took place in, just led me to like it better.

Now, this isn’t to say that the 1983 version of the film isn’t good, it is, it is damn good, but I just feel like they should have given it a different name, making the film its own instead of a remake.

Well, I have rambled on enough, so I will see you all next time when I conclude my block of Gangster Movies That All Men Must Watch.”

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1 Comment

  1. honorabili says:

    Both versions are GREAT

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