Films

15 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Scarface

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It's been over 30 years since Scarface first came out in cinemas. 30 years. Hard to believe, considering it's still oft-quoted by movie fanboys and wannabe gangbangers alike, and has been pastiched in everything from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels to Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. And that's before we mention the weekly reruns on ITV4.

Given that you probably know the movie inside out, front to back and with several advertising interludes in between, here are 15 things you don't know about the 1983 gangster classic. Probably.

(Images: All Star, Rex)

  • 15 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Scarface

    1

    It was Al Pacino who first came up with the idea to remake Howard Hawks original 1932 film.

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    2

    Robert De Niro allegedly turned down the role of Tony Montana, and John Travolta was considered for the role of Manny Ribera, even meeting Al Pacino in 1981 to discuss it.

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    3

    Despite its Miami setting, most of the film was shot in Los Angeles. The Miami Tourist Board declined the request to film there, as they feared the themes of drugs and gangsters would deter holiday-makers from visiting.

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    4

    Steven Bauer, who at the time was an unknown actor, was told he had the part of Manny before auditioning, as he looked the part. He was also the only actual Cuban amongst the cast.

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    5

    The picture of 'General Cocombre' that Sosa shows Tony during his interview is actually Luis Arce Gómez, a Bolivian Colonel of the infamous 'Cocaine Coup' of the early 1980s.

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    6

    Scarface was originally given an X rating, but the third cut of the movie eventually received an R rating. However, director Brian De Palma released the first, uncut version to cinemas anyway, without the film board's knowledge.

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    7

    Al Pacino originally didn't want to cast Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock. Glenn Close was the original choice for the role, and Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Kelly McGillis, Sharon Stone and Sigourney Weaver were all considered.

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    8

    Due to such lengthy rehersals, Al Pacino and Steven Bauer claim to have known their lines and characters so well that they could've easily toured the movie as a play.

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    9

    Despite its now iconic status, the film was slaughtered by critics upon release, due to its graphic violence, foul language and drug use. One person who sung the film's praises from the start, however, was actor Eddie Murphy.

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    10

    The company set up by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to launder money abroad was called Montana Management, after Scarface's Tony.

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    11

    The 'F word' (and its variations) is used 226 times during the movie, which averages out at 1.32 f*cks per minute.

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    12

    Scarface writer Oliver Stone wrote the film while battling his own addiction to cocaine.

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    13

    Al Pacino suffered a couple of serious injuries while shooting the film. He was cut with a piece of glass thrown by co-star Michelle Pfeiffer, and also burned his hand during the climactic gun battle by inadvertently grabbing the gun's barrell, which halted filming for two weeks.

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    14

    During the shootout at Tony's mansion, there is a single shot directed by Steven Spielberg, who was visiting the set at the time.

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    15

    Despite the movie's title, Tony Montana is referred to as 'Scarface' only once in the script, in Spanish ('Caracicatriz').