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'Scarface' is a gangster classic



Mixed in with pictures of scantily-clad women, a poster of the cult-classic movie "Scarface," based on a 1930s gangster film, has graced the bedroom walls of many adolescent males. Recently, a director was hired for yet another remake, perhaps the poster artists will be queued up next.

In "Scarface," Al Pacino plays larger-than-life Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant who recently arrived in Florida with his friend, Manny Ribera (played by Steven Bauer). While living in a refugee camp, Tony learns that if he kills someone, he can get a coveted green immigration card. Shortly after this, he starts working for Frank Lopez (played by Robert Loggia), a rich, unscrupulous drug dealer. Using every gangster tool available, the thuggish Tony eventually becomes very rich and powerful. But when he reaches the top, he finds he life is miserable. He learns money and power do not guarantee everyday harmony. Tony becomes increasingly paranoid. His drug-addicted wife, Elvira (played by Michelle Pfeiffer), undermines her own and his happiness. His empire starts to decline.

"Scarface" is directed by Brian De Palma, who creates many memorable scenes of violence and bloodshed. The camera lingers on wounds and injuries. One of the most memorable scenes in the film is the final shootout. This scene ranks among the best gunfights of any movie.

Al Pacino gives a stunning performance in the lead role. Although he is often scary, the audience gets a glimpse of his softer side as he is protective of his younger sister. Michelle Pfeiffer is also very good. We see that Elvira never really likes Tony, even though she marries him.

"Scarface" is one of the best gangster films of all-time.