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Essay on Biran De Palma's Scarface

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“Scarface”, an original gangster film created by Brian De Palma, has captured audience’s attention by remarkable editing shots and the superb use of mise-en-scene. “Scarface”, originally released December 9 of1983, is a drama revolved around the life of Tony Montana who is played by Al Pacino. Tony gets his name by the scar on his face going over his right eye. He was born in Cuba who immigrated to the United State who then starts his life in Florida from the bottom of the drug cartel to soon making his way up to becoming one of the most powerful cocaine cartel leaders in Miami. What made this film so realistic was because at the time, Miami was becoming a huge crime scene to cocaine smuggling and drug wars. According to Answers.com, this time was brutal and the people associated with this lifestyle were known as “Cocaine Cowboys” (par.3). It was a time where it wasn’t unusual to see and hear about drug related deaths. Brian De Palma captured all of this by his utilization of editing style and application of precise mise-en-scene.
There are many diverse types of editing styles that are used in the film industry. The one that Brian De Palma used was that of continuity editing, which in short, uses cuts and other transitions to tell stories efficiently with each shot having a continuous relationship to the next shot. The film is over two hours long so the scene up for discussion is about twenty minutes in when Tony is going into an apartment to collect some cocaine. The overall scene is about ten minutes long and shows Tony walking to the apartment, getting tied up with his accomplice who tagged along, and watching that accomplice get murdered in front of his face while Tony is anxiously waiting for his friends to show up and sho...


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...mily to view the film increases.
All in all, this film is the dark side of the American dream. Brian De Palma did an excellent job at creating memorable scenes, such as the scene earlier explained and the famous ending with Pacino reciting “Say hello to my little friend”. Throughout the film some confusion is made due to frequent slips but overall the theme is consistent and remains consistent with the help of a strong cast. Without a doubt Al Pacino was the main star of the film and it probably wouldn’t have been such a success if another star was assigned his character. It’s hard to see anyone else playing Tony Montana after Al Pacino’s performance. This film, though full of violence and crime, protrudes moments of humor and controversial situations. It’s a momentous film created in the 80’s that is still considered a classic gangster film in today’s generation.



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