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classic movies--scarface

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"Scarface" is the story of the rise and fall of Cuban refugee Tony Montana, who comes from the gutter and soon becomes a drug lord in Miami. The look of this movie perfectly captures the excesses of the 1980s. It's also a uniquely American film, a rags to richs immigrant story, albeit not of the typical American dream.
Al Pacino plays Montana in an over the top performance. Although not altogether souless, Tony has few, if any, redeeming qualities. He's both repelling and mesmerizing to watch, with his obnoxious personality and utter lack of class or refinement. Maybe this is why Pacino is so watchable in this movie. He portrays Tony almost like a cartoon character, "the bad guy", as he describes himself, with his white suits, profanity, and, of course, the infamous scar over his left cheek and eyebrow.
Michelle Pheiffer plays the world weary Elvira, mistress of drug lord Frank and later the wife of Tony. She's a gangster's moll, but a bored and discontent one. From her emptiness eventually rises a loathing for Tony following a marriage that has stifled and disgusted her. When she throws a glass of water into Tony's drunken, stoned face in the restaurant scene, she finally shows some self-respect by walking away. "How DARE you speak to me that way!" she explodes, previously dead eyes flashing with rage and hatred. And then she leaves him, severing her pipeline to cocaine and all the trappings of drug wealth. It's a gutsy and terrific performance.
Not for the faint of heart with its violence, and certainly not for young children, this film is a stark journey into the dangerous, depraved world of drugs and crime.

Entry #876

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