Scarface Overview:

Scarface (1932) was a Crime - Drama Film directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson and produced by Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes.


The explosion of gangster films in the first years of the Depression reaches a violent, incendiary crescendo with this classic from Hawks. Also known as "The Shame of a Nation," this follows the rise of a power-mad, ruthless killer (Muni) as he murders his way to the top of the Chicago gangs. Writer Hecht drew on his Chicago newspaper experience and Hawks received plenty of advice from real mobsters to create what was clearly a portrait of Al Capone, Johnny Torrio, and Bugs Moran and the killing sprees that enraged and fascinated the public. From the first scene, it's clear that Muni is a remorseless murderer, stupidly arrogant, rather than the rakish outlaws that Hollywood was in the process of mythologizing. He first kills on order from his boss, Perkins, but soon goads Perkins into rubbing out his boss, Vajar. Muni soon turns the gun on Perkins and takes over his operation and his moll, Morley. Throughout, Muni and his friend Raft have a running battle with North Side gang boss Karloff, a duel that culminates in a slaughter modeled after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. When Muni discovers that Raft has been living with Dvorak, Muni's sister, with whom he has a near-incestous attachment, he kills his only friend and then faces, sniveling, the guns of the cops. Hawks pushes the action as fast as the bullets fly, using innovative camera moves and insisting on realism, with live machine-gun fire used to decimate sets and multiple car crashes. The result was a box office smash (it was also popular with its subjects; Capone himself owned a print) and both Muni and Raft became instant stars, but it also created a tangle with the censors. Hughes released both Hawks's cut, which depicts Muni's ignominious death in a gutter, and a version that has Muni tried and sentenced to death. The laserdisc contains both the original ending and the Motion Picture Producers' Association ending. Remade with Al Pacino in 1983.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Scarface was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1932.

BlogHub Articles:

On DVD: Judith Anderson is Lady Scarface (1941)

By KC on Jul 23, 2019 From Classic Movies

Lady Scarface (1941) is entertaining, but it doesn’t live up to the promise of its title and star. Now available on DVD from Warner Archive, I went into this crime thriller expecting Judith Anderson to dominate the action as the titular criminal. This was not the case, and it was hard not to p... Read full article

Lady Scarface (1941)

By John Grant on Mar 6, 2019 From Noirish

US / 66 minutes / bw / RKO Dir: Frank Woodruff Pr: Cliff Reid Scr: Arnaud D?Usseau, Richard Collins Cine: Nicholas Musuraca Cast: Dennis O?Keefe, Judith Anderson, Frances Neal, Mildred Coles, Eric Blore, Marc Lawrence, Damian O?Flynn, Andrew Tombes, Marion Martin, Rand Brooks, Arthur Shields, Lee Bo... Read full article

Pre-Code Corner: Scarface ? An Anti-Gangster Picture?

By Kim Luperi on Nov 3, 2018 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Pre-Code Corner: Scarface ? An Anti-Gangster Picture? When I set out to research Scarface (1932) in the Academy?s Production Code Administration (PCA) files, I was met with an overwhelming amount of material; so much so that it took me five Tuesday evenings to conquer all 356 pages of this file, by ... Read full article

The Style Essentials--Michelle Pfeiffer Takes the Plunge in 1983's SCARFACE

on Nov 14, 2017 From GlamAmor

The style of the 1970s has been working its way back into fashion for some time now, and 2017 was the year it took over the trends. Everything from the decade seems to be the epitome of style right now. One example is all the menswear that has been popular throughout the year - appropriate consideri... Read full article

Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Oct 17, 2015 From 4 Star Films

Gangsters, prohibition, Al Capone, the St. Valentine Day’s Massacre. It all sounds like some distant piece of folklore that by now is far removed from our modern day sensibilities. But when films like The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, and of course Scarface came out, these things were at the fo... Read full article

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Quotes from

Tony Camonte: I'm not hungry. Except for you. You got something I like.
Poppy: Yeah. I'm nice with a lot of dressing. You work fast, don't you Tony.

Poppy: [while sitting at a table, Tony rubs his foot on Poppy's leg] Please, Tony! My stockings!
Tony Camonte: What's a matter?
Poppy: Well don't do that, Tony. They're brand new.
Tony Camonte: Hands off, eh?
Poppy: No... feet.

Chief of detectives: Colorful? What color is a crawling louse? Say, listen, that's the attitude of too many morons in this country. They think these hoodlums are some sort of demigods. What do they do about a guy like Camonte? They sentimentalize, romance, make jokes about him. They had some excuse to glorify our old Western bad men. They met in the middle of the street at high noon and waited for each other to draw. But these things sneak up and shoot a guy in the back and then run away. Colorful. Did you read what happened the other day? A car full of them chasing another down the street, broad daylight. Three kiddies playing hopscotch on the sidewalk get lead poured in their little bellies. When I think what goes on in the minds of these lice, I wanna vomit.

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Facts about

The film's release was delayed almost a year due to producer Howard Hughes' protracted battles with regional censor boards. When Turner Classic Movies screened the film on August 9, 2011, host Ben Mankiewicz stated that to satisfy the stricter boards, director Howard Hawks assembled a second, less violent cut.
Al Capone was rumored to have liked the film so much that he had his own copy of it.
Film debut of George Raft, who didn't have to go far for inspiration on how to play a gangster in this film. He grew up in a New York City slum alongside gangsters Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Joe Adonis and Lucky Luciano. In an ironic twist, after the release of "Scarface", many of Raft's gangster pals would come to him for advice on how to dress, walk, talk, etc.
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National Film Registry


Released 1932
Inducted 1932

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Also directed by Howard Hawks

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Also released in 1932

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