By Michileen Martin | Published
September is fast approaching, and with it, a new crop of movies will be available on Netflix, including one that was almost much harder to watch; Not to mention one that would almost certainly never be done with a similar cast today. This Thursday, September 1, the controversial criminal epic of 1983 Scarface will be available for streaming on Netflix.
Loosely remade from the 1932 classic of the same name, Scarface stars Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who uses his landing in Miami as an opportunity to become a powerful drug lord. However, facing not only the authorities, but also the rival criminal organization led by Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar), Tony soon has piles of money, an army of gunmen, a mansion that would make European royalty green. of envy, and the lovely wife of his late associate Frank (Robert Loggia).
Of course, Tony Montana isn’t the first crime lord Pacino has played; a decade before ScarfacePacino’s release spawned future iconic mob boss Michael Corleone in The Godfather. But in the Scarface which will soon be streaming on Netflix, it is clear that Montana is not Corleone. Unlike Corleone’s calm yet fierce cunning; Tony Montana is brash, impulsive, quick to anger, and downright explosive. You could say Scarface is more like what The Godfather or one of its aftermaths would have been if Pacino’s Michael had remained a civilian, and his vengeful older brother Sonny (James Caan) had survived to continue waging war on the other five families.
Unlike The Godfather and its 1974 sequel, Scarface it didn’t get a single Academy Award nomination, though we should probably consider ourselves lucky that it got released. As noted by Story Screen, the original cut of the film submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was rated X; something that would have made it as commercially viable as ice cream in a blizzard. Director Brian De Palma (The Untouchables) had to reissue the film not once, not twice, but three times before the MPAA was kind enough to bless it with an R rating.
Ironically, while the MPAA almost did Scarface much harder to watch than Netflix, it had nothing to do with the objections many would raise after the film’s release. As Vulture recalled in 2018, Scarface it did not portray Cubans in a particularly good light. Critics, particularly Cuban-Americans, complained that most of the Cubans we meet in the film are hardened criminals and that it exaggerated the percentages of those who turned out to be criminals after the 1980 Mariel boatlift. they probably would have hit harder today, whitewashing hollywood. Outside of the main cast, the only actor with any kind of Cuban or even Latino origin was Steven Bauer (breaking bad), who played Tony’s right-hand man, Manny.
Despite criticism and attempts to censor the crime drama, Scarface it survives as a cultural touchstone in music, video games, and even your average movie nerd jokes. Tony Montana’s over-the-top boast during his last stand, “Say ‘hello’ to my little buddy!”, remains one of the most quotable lines in movie history. The epic had a profound impact on hip hop, with rappers like Nas and Jay-Z identifying with characters from the controversial film.
if nothing else, ScarfaceThe staying power of is evidenced by the continued efforts to follow up. In the early 2000s, a planned sequel, Tony’s son, died on the vine. However, a reboot of the film has been in development since 2011. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script for the upcoming film, and the director’s spot changed hands several times. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) was attached for a while, but in 2020 Variety reported that he had left and was replaced by Luca Guadagnino (call me by your name). While Diego Luna (Andor) was originally attached to play the lead, he has since left the project.
When Scarface drops on Netflix, the amazing cast is worth a watch if nothing else. Alongside Al Pacino, the film stars Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer (what’s underneath), Robber Loggia (Great), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeo), Mark Margolis (breaking bad), and Maria Isabel Mastrantonio (the abyss). Scarface was directed by Brian De Palma, from a screenplay by Oliver Stone (Platoon).