Scarface (1983)

Rewatching for my The Complete Pacino list.

I admire this film somewhat, but after this rewatch I’ve decided I don’t like what it’s doing too much.

Perhaps I’m looking at it with 21st century eyes. But to cast so many non-Latinos as Cuban or Bolivian seems ridiculous. This gives rise to a second issue – accents. Sadly, Pacino is one of the worst culprits here. Many times I couldn’t actually understand what he was saying.

The timeline was strained – we see huge leaps forward in Tony’s wealth and position, yet I couldn’t work out how long it had taken him to get there, or sometimes even how he’d managed it.

Female characters? Only really two of note, Michelle Pfeiffer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, glamourous junkies both, with little agency. One meets a horrible end, the other just disappears from the narrative.

And unfortunately the Giorgio Moroder soundtrack dates it horribly.

So while it is iconic, it’s also a Brian de Palma film which should not be forgotten.

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