The director's name dissolves in black, L-cut inserts, the Federal Agent asks, "Okay, so what do you call yourself?"
The camera starts panning and focuses on the protagonist who has a noticeable scar on his face. The protagonist replies, "Antonio Montana, and you, what do you call yourself?"
This is the opening scene of crime drama film "Scarface". The scene establishes one of the greatest actors of all time - Al Pacino as "Tony Montana," instantly.
Directed by Brian De Palma, the film is a remake of 1932 film of the same name. Classic Hollywood era director, Howard Hawks directed the 1932 "Scarface".
Recently, Universal Picture announced that a "Scarface" reboot is in the works. Coen brothers have penned the script while film-maker Luca Guadagnino is set to direct the film.
With another Scarface film on the way, we look back at the older ones which have similarities but are also downright different in many ways.
Al Pacino's Tony is a punk Cuban refugee who comes to the United States by a boat in 1981. Later, as a criminal and mobster based in Florida, Tony works for organised crime group, and makes a fortune for himself.
On the other hand, Tony played by Academy award winning actor Paul Muni, in the 1932 "Scarface" is a jolly Italian fellow. His character is loosely based on American gangster, Al Capone of Italian descents.
Prior to filming "Scarface", Pacino had already become a successful actor for his character in the "Godfather" trilogy; however, his portrayal as Tony Montana in "Scarface" made him a cultural icon.
Compared to the Tony of Scarface (1932), the 1983 version's ill-tempered Tony is terrifying, violent, and courageous. Muni as Tony is well-dressed man who sells beer to make money and he usually whistles when he wants to kill someone.
However, both Tonys face tragedies in life and die in the end. Tony kills his best friend in both films for being close with his sister.
Both the "Scarface" films represent organised crime of its respective time period and are considered the most violent gangster films.
However, the 1983 film garnered much more controversy over its violence. In both movies, the violence grows out of the lives of the characters and the films depict disturbing lesson about self-destruction.
Movie enthusiasts are familiar with Pacino's method acting, and we all know that his eyes can portray a range of emotions. In Brian De
Palma's film, whenever Tony is angry, the camera gets close-up shots of his eyes. Those close-ups let us dive into the suspenseful world created by De Palma. As a director, De Palma is highly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard which is reflected in his cinematic style.
Howard Hawks's "Scarface" is black and white. Howard played with many of the lighting techniques in order to add suspense in his gangster film. In the opening scene of the 1932 film, we see a silhouette of a murderer which recasts the film as film noir.
The music in De Palma's "Scarface" was produced by Academy Award-winning Italian record producer Giorgio Moroder.
Moroder did not follow conventional ways while designing the music for the film in corporation with its urban setting.
His composition rather included the soundtracks, consisting mostly of synthesised new wave and electronic music.
Contrarily, non-diegetic music was not used in Hawk's version of the film; mostly ambience sound was used throughout the film.
Over the years, Tony Montana's popularity grew in pop-culture. The 1983 film has inspired the popular video game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City", which took place in a representation of 1980s' Miami and featured music from the film's soundtrack, as well as a recreation of Montana's mansion.
The 1983 "Scarface" is considered as a cult film while the 1932 version is enlisted as the sixth best gangster film by the American Film Institute since the ideology of the American gangster films as a genre emerged with this movie along with -"Public Enemy," (1931) and "Little Caesar" (1931).
I personally cannot wait for the next "Scarface" movie; nevertheless, Al Pacino's portrayal of Tony Montana will always be my favourite one.