Film Review 7: Scarface


The film ‘Scarface’ is a 1983 American crime thriller film. It is directed by Brain De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. This film was a remake of the 1932 film of the same name.



The Trailer


The Plot

‘Scarface’ is about a Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in Miami in the 1980’s with nothing to lose. This mindset leads to his rise as one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the state.


The Narrative Structure

The film follows the traditional linear narrative structure as it follows the story of Tony from the start entering the USA and continues chronologically until his **spoiler alert** death at the end.


Director and Actors

Director– Brain De Palma (born September 11, 1940) is the director of this film. He is considered part of the ‘New Hollywood’ wave of film making.220px-briandepalma09tiff

Some of the other films Palma has directed are:

  • Dressed to Kill
  • Blow Out
  • The Untouchables
  • Carlito’s Way
  • Mission: Impossible

All these films are crime/thriller films, which is the genre me and my groups are going for in our main task. Brain De Palma will add to David Fincher as good inspiration to us when it comes to making our title sequence.

Actors- Now obviously, Al Pacino was amazing in his role as Tony Montana, and is the role he is most likely to be remembered for upon reflection of his career. However, I didn’t understand why the film says ‘Al Pacino Scarface’ on a lot of the art work and promotions for the film.

This was because of his big involvement with the film it self. It was his idea to remake the 1932 film of the same name. He also cast some of the characters such as Michelle Pfeiffer for Elvira, Tony’s bitter trophy wife.


My Opinion

This is definitely one of my favourite films. I already like the genre of crime enough as it is, and this movie is just the icing on top. It is gritty, dark and has fantastic use of cinematography to capture the the horrors of the film; such as pain, fear or paranoia the characters go through. The mise-en-scene is perfect for the film as well. It takes place in the American metropolitan city of Miami, notorious for the mass immigration and the illegal trafficking of cocaine, which is what the story is set around. The sound is very well done too, as faced paced music is used to heighten suspense before scenes where something kicks off quickly, such as a shoot out. Another factor that made this film excellent was that it was very much relevant to the time it was made (and to an extent still), as in the 80’s was when cocaine really took over the streets in the big US cities thanks to men like Pablo Escobar and the South American Cartels, which the character Tony is very representative of.


Would I Rate It?

I cannot actually think of anything bad to say about this film, for a film that is 34 years old to still be relevant (to an extent) and to be just as aesthetically pleasing in terms of make-up and ‘bullet-holes’ shows just how excellent this film is. For this reason I am giving this film a…

Strictly Come Dancing


Yep, that’s right, 10. Now I know films hardly if ever get given a 10/10, due to the fact that there’s always someone who doesn’t like it, but this is my own opinion, and i think it is very deserving.




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