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Scarface (1983)

Scarface (1983)

(p.156) Chapter 15 Scarface (1983)
Brian De Palma's Split-Screen
Douglas Keesey
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter chronicles De Palma's switch in genres following the poor box office performance of Blow Out (1981)—Scarface (1983). De Palma had considered that gangster films would be more commercially viable, and found some freedom in delving into the kind of films that were not quite like, in his own words, “these Brian De Palma movies.” Scarface is set in 1980, and Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is one of the Cuban evacuees who journey to Florida as part of the Mariel Boatlift when, along with many law-abiding citizens, Fidel Castro also unloaded some criminals from his jails. Among other things, the film itself can be said to echo De Palma's own inner conflict in succumbing to the money-grubbing nature of the film industry while at the same time criticizing the dangers of such greed.

Keywords:   gangster films, Scarface, violence, film industry, corporate greed, machismo, Al Pacino

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