Produced by Martin Bregman, directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone, and starring Al Pacino, the 1983 remake of Scarface is one of the best-known, most iconic gangster films ever made. It opened to mixed reviews but it’s gone on to be recognized as a classic. Everyone can quote the script: “Say hello to my little friend!” “In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” “Say goodnight to the bad guy!”
Scarface starts with one of my favorite opening scenes of all time. Powered by Giorgio Moroder’s score, the opening credits of Scarface play out over footage of the real-life Mariel boatlift. Combined with footage of Fidel Castro ranting that Cuba does not need the Marielitos, this opening gives real-world credibility to everything that follows. We then segue from the actual boatlift to Al Pacino as Tony Montana, answering questions with that shit-eating grin on his face.
Listen to the interrogation scene carefully and you’ll hear both Charles Durning and Dennis Franz, dubbing the lines of the actors who played the immigration agents.