Blu-ray Review: Brian De Palma’s SCARFACE

4 out of 5 stars

Say hello to my little friend!”

The general belief is that remakes are a very bad thing. Yes, sometimes that is true, but other times that is Scarface. Written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma, this remake of the the Howard Hawks/Howard Hughes 1932 gangster movie proves that sometimes you can get great results if you spruce-up something old.

Switching booze for cocaine and transposing the action to Miami, Scarface updates the story to 1983 and delivers an iconic piece of cinema which has now surpassed the original film in terms of legacy. Al Pacino is Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who rises to the top of the illegal drugs industry. It’s a story  – and a film filled with excess. 

You were always going to get something operatic when you combine Brain De Palma, Oliver Stone and Al Pacino and Scarface doesn’t disappoint. It’s an epic piece of filmmaking, filled with energy and fulled with an excess which could only have been made at a certain juncture in time. Al Pacino is on energetic form, giving the role of Tony Montana a swagger and paranoia that few could muster, while Michelle Pfeiffer also delivers in her break-out performance.

De Palma directs with his usual flair and bombast, using sweeping camera takes to deliver an operatic and glorious looking film which helped inspire the visual style Michael Mann’s Miami Vice. Giorgio Moroder sumptuous synth score perfectly complements the brilliant cinematography by John A. Alonzo – Scarface is filled with true cinematic artistry. 

Scarface isn’t a film for the faint-hearted, but if you’re brave enough, its viewing will pay dividends. 

Special Features

This Gold Edition of Scarface comes stacked (stacked!) with extras. What do you get? Scarface: 35th Anniversary Reunion, deleted scenes, a doc on Scarface’s impact on pop culture, a look at how the film was inspired by the original Howard Hawks film and more! Worth every penny.  

Scarface Gold Edition is out now on 4K Ultra HD, remastered Blu-ray and DVD.