Forgive the stumbling start — a creatively shot, superbly performed, economically paced and action-packed gangster saga that was a blueprint for many others, and retains its volatility and power. Hughes’ bitter censorship battles eventually saw him release the film unaltered in states without a motion picture code; history practically repeated itself when De Palma’s also-excellent remake hit theatres in ‘83.
85 years after its original release, it's still one of the most violent films ever made - I can't imagine how it was received back then. This is a Howard Hawks film through and through, with characters carried away by their actions, both free of movement and hopelessly tied to the world around them, until it starts closing on them and they become animals. "Do it first, do it yourself, and keep doing it."
Idle in pacing and passive due to little dramatization and a too-briskly told nature. Faceless characters get offed until the 70-minute mark without suspense, thrills, or emotional complication. Doesn't feel dangerous like the 1983 version because of the moral censors. And Tony's rise to power isn't as grand or epic, nor does it feel, as well, powerful. Even the romance between his sister and good friend is hasty.
Incredibly impressive gangster film from a script by Ben Hecht with top notch casting and solid direction from Howard Hawks and an uncredited Richard Rosson. For those only familiar with the DePalma remake this is a must see if only to see just how much of the story and dialogue made it into a remake set almost 50 years later!!! 'The world is yours' indeed.
3-4. I definitely see why it might not come together for everyone, given its loose framework for its conflict (though exciting, together the assassinations that fill the movie become a tad indistinct), but a truly interesting character does emerge in the titular protagonist, and the dynamic between him and his sister becomes an intriguing mirror for his relationship with himself.
It's interesting how violent this film is given it was made in the 1930s. The action scenes still pack a hard punch. This is a lean, intense Greek tragedy with great performances, despite the occasional melodrama. I can understand why some people prefer this to the De Palma remake.
Une biographie romancée du célèbre malfrat américain Al Capone qui jeta, à l'époque, les bases typologiques de ce que l'on appela par la suite le film de gangsters. Ponctué de scènes d'anthologie, ce drame urbain reste une des réalisations les plus réussies de notre incontournable Howard Hawks... www.cinefiches.com
Not all good movies age well. “Scarface” must’ve been important movie in its age, but its naivety and hasty storytelling blunted its edges for me(not to mention the moralism required by the Code). The female characters are wonderful though, especially Tony’s sister Cesca, and the most interesting themes are developed around the brother-sister-relationship (despite the ending, about which I am not sure what to think).
I didn't know you could do so much in 93 minutes, there's everything going on: a perfect dramatization that keeps the false-psychologizing to a minimum, a near-demonic pacing and violence that veers from the breakneck machinegun shootouts to the stasis of a greek tragedy at the very end, great acting (watch the secretary) and an economy of storytelling that wraps everything up in bits of almost self-contained events.
I hadn't seen this movie in a while and was shocked at how brutal it is. It's the opposite of graphic (most of the cruellest things happen offscreen, in extreme longshot, or indirectly) but is so skilfully directed that this violence is sharper than gore could express. Paul Muni's performance is a jaw-dropping masterpiece. Tony skids through the movie an unhinged nightmare of pure id and white-hot charisma.