Scarface: Special Edition

May 1st, 2004 DVD Reviews, Film, Filmink

The Film

With a master stroke, screenwriter Oliver Stone and director Brian De Palma turned a century of gangster lore on its head … doing away with the keystone cops, 1930’s Chicago-style Capone-esque mobsters, and even galvanising the genre alongside The Godfather films.

This was the new, 80’s criminal empire … Hawaiian shirts and white suits, immigrant hordes just over the horizon, and the new contraband turning America into a blood splattered battleground … cocaine. Tony Montana embodied it all.

The Extras

It’s sad there weren’t more extras to this disc, but being over two decades old now, it’s doubtful much behind the scenes material still exists except in the heads of Stone, De Palma and producer Marty Bregman.

There’s no commentary, which is a big disappointment. There are three mini docos (dealing with the updating of the 1930’s original with a 1980’s aesthetic and characters, the casting and the production itself) but they won’t be enough to satisfy hardcore Scarface fans.

Everything talked about is interesting though — from the gem they believe they unearthed by casting Elvira with a young unknown named Michelle Pfeiffer to the filming being done entirely in LA rather than Miami where Scarface is set — thanks to threats of violence by Cubans angry at the way they were being depicted.

Enough to wet your appetite but not as good as it could have been.

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