Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scarface (1932)

Tony Comonte (Paul Muni), alias Scarface, is a two bit hood on the rise. George Raft is his buddy, Guino, and Ann Dvorak is his creepy looking sister. He murders and back-stabs his way to taking over the south side crime syndicate. Now the north side boss (Boris Karloff) is in his sights.

The movie opens with a disclaimer. They make it clear that the violence depicted is not to glorify gang rule, but as an indictment of it. Porn movies should open with similar words as an indictment of the objectification of women. Yea, that should cover it. The movie is fairly violent, definitely by 1930's standards. They edited it down several times to pass pre-code muster. I'd love to see a director's cut.

Here are a few neat things: the movie had the first ever film depiction of the Tommy Gun. Al Capone, who is intentionally confused the the titular character, loved the movie. He owned a copy. Betamax, I think. Tony and the gang see a play, which I slowly recognize as the source for the mediocre Crawford flick Rain, which came out the same year and by the same studio. Hmmmm.

Well, not much else to say. It kept my interest. Some funny parts, and certainly some historical importance. I pushed it to the top of my list because Netflix said they were taking it away from streaming, but they never did. Whatever. They've been having a lot of PR issues lately. Far be it for me to pile on. Anyhow, I enjoyed it. The best part might have been the look on my wife's face when I told her that I let the kids watch Scarface. AMRU 3.5.

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