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4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins, C. Henry Gordon
  • Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
  • Writers: Howard Hawks, Armitage Trail, Ben Hecht, Fred Pasley, John Lee Mahin
  • Format: Black & White, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 23 2009
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000N3T0H8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,215 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

One of the most influential movies of all time, the original Scarface is an exciting story of organized crime's brutal control over Chicago during the Prohibition era. Academy Award winner Paul Muni gives an electrifying performance as Tony Camonte, an ambitious criminal with a ruthless drive to be the city's top crime boss. Produced by the legendary Howard Hughes and directed by Howard Hawks, this compelling tale of ambition, betrayal and revenge is a groundbreaking masterpiece that influenced all gangster films to follow. Filmed during the "pre-code" era before censorship shaped the way movies were made, "this powerful gangster film is the most potent of the 1930s" (Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide).


Howard Hawks's Scarface was one of the first "talkies" to reclaim the fluidity of the late-silent masterpieces, while also tapping into a feral new energy that came with talking smart and moving smarter on the motion picture screen. Outgunning such contemporaries as Little Caesar and The Public Enemy--in terms of both its ferocious death-dealing and dynamic style--the movie was interfered with by censors and kept out of circulation for decades thanks to its eccentric producer, Howard Hughes. It remains the gold standard among classic gangster pictures. Paul Muni's portrayal of Al Capone surrogate Tony Camonte etched a screen original: a merciless assassin who's not only reflexively criminal but pre-civilized, almost pre-evolutionary, a simian shadow ready to rub out the world if he can't have it for his own. This is still one of the greatest, darkest, most deeply exciting films American cinema has produced. Those demonically ubiquitous X's--starting with that titular scar gouged into Tony's cheek--rival "Rosebud" for resonance. --Richard T. Jameson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: VHS Tape
A gritty, fast-paced gangster film that ranks among the best. Made with a purpose in 1932, take into consideration for example the complete title; 'Scarface: The Shame Of A Nation' and the beginning credits that ask you 'what are you going to do about it?', very straightforward but naïveté aside this is one of the best gangster films of all time. Paul Muni delivers a powerful performance, he is a driving force throughout the movie. Muni plays Tony Camonte, a character that is more than 'loosely' based on Al Capone. He easily dominates every scene he's in except one or two scenes that get stolen by Ann Dvorak as his sultry little sister. George Raft is equally impressive as Tony's best friend and partner in crime. Boris Karloff, fresh from the success of 'Frankenstein' just one year earlier, also appears as one of Tony's competitors. Ann Dvorak is excellent as Tony's sultry sister who is also in love (or is it lust?) with Tony's best friend (Raft). Scandalous at the time particularly because of the unhealthy relationship between Tony and his sister. Those hints of incest are still kind of shocking today. Some of the elements were taken from real life like the 'St. Valentine Day Massacre' for example and the name 'Scarface' is directed at Al Capone himself. The ending is a knockout. An intense and brutal gangster drama that's brilliantly directed by Hawks. A remake was attempted in the 80's with Brian DePalma and Al Pacino in the role of Tony Montana, but was much more graphic and violent not to mention overlong. This remains the best of the Scarface films. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film an 8!
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Format: DVD
this 1932 Gangster film is probably the Granddaddy of all Gangster film.but it really isn't a Gangster picture.it doesn't glorify organized crime/the mafia at all.in fact,it takes the opposite view.sometimes it's as if you're watching a public service announcement or a political campaign to rid the the city/state/country of the mob.it's as if the actors are actually speaking directly to the audience.and maybe they were.regardless,there's no question how powerful the movie is,and how much influence it has had on all films of the genre.the acting is first rate here.Paul Muni is mesmerizing as Antonio 'Tony' Camonte,the main character.but Anne Dvorak as Francesca 'Cesca' Camonte is also brilliant.of the three big films of this genre that came out around the same time(The Public Enemy starring James Cagney,(1931)and Little Caesar,Starring Edward G.Robinson(1931),in my mind this is by far the most powerful and influential.for me,Scarface(1932)is a 5/5
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Format: DVD

"This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and liberty.

Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurrence, and the purpose of this picture is to demand of the government:

`What are you going to do about it?'"

The above is printed on the screen at the beginning of this realistic movie based on Armitage Trail's 1929 novel "Scarface."

This movie is loosely based on the life of Al Capone (1899 to 1947) whose nickname was "Scarface." It was filmed during the "pre-code" era before censorship (even though there was attempted censorship that delayed this movie's release by almost a year.)

It stars Paul Muni (1895 to 1967) who gives an electrifying performance as well as George Raft (1901 to 1980). (This movie launched Raft's career as a leading man.) Even horror icon Boris Karloff (1887 to 1969) has a small role.

It was produced by billionaire Howard Hughes Jr. and the legendary Howard Hawks (who also directed).

The first Howard Hughes movie I ever saw was "Hell's Angels." I was surprisingly impressed by this movie and equally impressed by `Scarface."

Note that a version of the "St. Valentine's day massacre" (1929) is also shown in this movie.

Note also that an "X" motif is used throughout this film. It appears many times (but not all) when a death is portrayed.

In 1994, this movie was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

There are no blemishes or other distracted artifacts onscreen.
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Format: VHS Tape
Scarface. No, not the one with Al Pacino. This is the one from 1932. And it happens to be one of the most potent crime films ever made, as well as one of the most pioneering -- and most undervalued. As the gangster craze swept Hollywood, Howard Hawks, one of the most ground breaking yet unheralded directors in the history of film, forged Scarface in 1930, but because of its commitment to realism (that means lot's of killing), it was delayed for two years by the Production Code of Ethics. When it was finally released, the damage was done: it bombed, and this awesome, scary film would ultimately fall into obscurity. Amazing. The script was based on the 1930 novel by Armitage Trail, which was ultimately inspired by the exploits of Chicago's crimelord, the one and only Al Capone. Sadly, little of the original novel was kept except for the title. However, it must be said that the Big Man loved the film. Paul Muni plays the title role to perfection. His very presense is a threat.
Tony Camonte (Muni) is brutal, arrogant, stupid, and, dare I say, ape-like. He is a killer who revels in gaudy clothes and fast cars. But Tony is also insanely jealous of his slinky sister (Ann Dvorak), to the point where his feelings toward her are obliquely incestuous. Sick of working for middle level gangsters, Tony sets out to make a name for himself written in the (unseen!) blood of his enemies (including rival gangster, Boris Karloff!). Tony's boss Johnny Lovo (Osgood Perkins) not only has the power that Tony desires....but also the woman he wants, Poppy (Karen Morley). Among the film's inventiveness, a visual X motif appears throughout to signal that a murder is imminent. The X symbol takes such prolific forms as shadows, gown straps, wooden cross-beams, a facial scar, and a strike symbol on a bowling score sheet.
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