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Film / Scarface (1983)

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The World is His.

"All I have in this world is my balls and my word, and I don't break 'em for no one."
Tony Montana

Scarface is a 1983 crime film directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone and starring the great Al Pacino. It is a loose remake of the 1932 film of the same name directed by Howard Hawks and written by Ben Hecht (both of whom the 1983 film is dedicated to).

The film centers on Antonio "Tony" Montana (Pacino), a Cuban refugee deported to Miami during the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, during which Fidel Castro sent off not only the relatives of Cuban-Americans abroad but also the dregs of his jails. The film covers Tony's violent rise to the top of Miami's drug trade and his eventual Descent into Addiction and paranoia that alienates him from his friends and family.

Scarface's graphic violence and language originally drew controversy and was originally panned by most critics, but has since been not only reappraised but also developed a cult following and become an influential popular work. It was especially influential on Hip-Hop culture.


In 2006, two spinoff video games were released, based on What If? scenarios that avert the film's Downer Ending. The first, The World Is Yours, is a Third-Person Shooter that allows players to control Tony in sandbox-style gameplay as he seeks to rebuild his reputation and empire after losing everything. The second, Money. Power. Respect., is a Turn-Based Strategy game where players make strategic decisions and command groups of minions. An unconnected comic series, Scarred for Life, follows a similar premise. In December 2016, Tony Montana was made a playable character in, of all things, PAYDAY 2, as part of some potential early cross-promotion for a remake of this film that is currently in the production stages. His mansion from the film also makes an appearance as a playable heist.


Say hello to my little tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Tony is trying to charm Elvira after she rebuffs his advances, he asks if she'll kiss him if he wears her hat. Despite trying to keep her Ice Queen demeanor, the sight of him in her hat breaks her into laughter.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The film takes some basic plot elements and characters from the original and expands on them greatly.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Tony Montana has far more moral standards and likable characteristics than Tony Camonte in the Hawks film. It's hard to imagine Camonte having second thoughts about killing children and putting morality before self-interest the way Montana does. In the Hawks film, Camonte fights and goes down fighting the police, whereas Montana loses to a rival drug lord. Furthermore, his incestuous feelings toward his sister are far more ambiguous with Montana, while Camonte leaves little to the imagination.
  • Adaptational Name Change:
    • Tony and Francesca Camonte -> Tony and Gina Montana
    • Guido Rinaldo -> Manny Ribera
    • Poppy -> Elvira Hancock
    • Johnny Lovo -> Frank Lopez
    • Ben Guarino -> Mel Bernstein
    • Tom Gaffney -> Omar Suarez
    • Louis Costillo -> Hector the Toad
  • Adaptational Villainy: Mel Bernstein is an openly-corrupt cop who solicits bribes from Tony and is happily on Lopez' payroll, nothing like the incorruptible Inspector Ben Guarino of the original film.
  • Addiction-Powered: Tony's cocaine allowed him to take a lot of punishment before going down.
  • An Aesop: Crime doesn't pay.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Frank Lopez desperately pleads for forgiveness from Tony after failing to assassinate him, even offering him $10 million and Elvira to spare his life. It sort of works, as Tony decides not to kill him, but ultimately fails when Tony instead has Manny do it to make his demise ironic.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Tony gets shot in the back after losing everything and descending to madness trying to stay in power. Shortly before that, he picks up the phone on his office desk for a moment, then sets it back down. There's nobody left to call: Manny and Gina are dead, Frank is dead, Sosa wants him killed, his mother has disowned him, and Elvira has left him for good. Tony has absolutely nobody left.
    • Poor, poor Angel. It's horrifying the way Hector saws him off-screen.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The film climaxes with a massive assault on the Montana compound.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: People not familiar with the fact that Miami has a significant Cuban Jewish community (or that there are Cuban Jews) might miss that Frank Lopez references a Yiddish word ("chazzer") for "pig" and wears a Chai necklace.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Ambition is what drives Tony's criminal impulse during his rise.
  • And This Is for...: Frank Lopez to Rebenga via Tony and his knife.
    Tony: Rebenga! From a friend you fucked!
  • Arc Words: "The world is yours". Tony sees it on a Goodyear blimp note  and he adopts it as his own motto.
  • Artistic License – Law: If Tony's father really was an American, he should have no issue entering the country legally as he would have dual citizenship.
  • Artistic License – Pharmacology: This movie seems to take place in an alternate reality where no one overdoses on cocaine... On the other hand, it is pretty realistic in regards to the long-term effects of cocaine use, namely paranoia.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • All of Tony's victims except Manny fall into this, especially the backstabbing snake Frank Lopez. There's a reason Tony calls him a "piece of shit" when he orders Manny to kill him. And then there's Hector, whom no one feels sorry for.
    • Frank's right-hand man Omar Suarez, who gets exposed as a police informant and killed when he angrily decides not to go with Sosa and Tony's business dealings. He shows signs that he'd look down on others regardless of the profession. Suarez tried to get Tony killed when Hector was planning to turn on him, so nobody feels any sorrow at the moment Suarez meets his demise.
  • At Least I Admit It: As noted under Evil Versus Evil, Tony throws this in the face of Sosa and his men. Given what Sosa does, Tony's not totally wrong.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Tony is the embodiment of this trope in the second half of the movie. In general, he's more than ready to use lethal weapons, mostly guns.
    • Hector the Toad as well, who kills Tony's associate with a chainsaw.
  • Badass Boast: Some of the most famous lines from the movie.
    Tony: You wanna fuck with me? Okay. You little cockroaches... You wanna play rough? SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!
  • Being Evil Sucks: This trope is definitely made all the more obvious in this version than in the original. If you think that being a drug dealer like Tony is a cool thing, then you're out of your fucking mind.
  • Berserk Button: Tony does not like it when guys put the moves on his little sister. Played in a tragic way after he finds Manny with Gina. He also reacts violently when he learns that Sosa expects him to be okay with killing women and children.
  • BFG: Tony's "little friend", an M16 with an M203 grenade launcher.
  • Big Bad: Tony Montana
    • Later on, Alejandro Sosa, a Bolivian drug lord who is the most powerful gangster we see, and Tony's eventual main opposition.
  • Big Fancy House: Most notably, Tony buys a huge mansion with a famously gaudy interior and decor.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Massively so compared to the 1932 original. Even with the laxer censorship standards over the 50 years that had passed between the two, this was considered an exceptionally violent film that shocked audiences when it was first released.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: When talking about the other to Tony, Sosa and Frank do make good points about each other.
    • Sosa’s words aren’t without truth regarding Frank; that Frank could possibly have spies infiltrating his own crime syndicate shows that Frank is an idiot who, for all his talk of flying low, has no idea how to keep his men in order and effectively run a business. Subverted in that Sosa’s isn’t known for being honest, and the fact that Omar may have been a stoolie could have been intentional due to the fact that Frank has law enforcement working under his thumb so Omar could have easily been one of those cops under his thumb at some point who he ordered to help keep his rivals out of the way in the same way he had Mel try to keep Tony out of his way.
    • Frank Lopez’s warning to Tony about Sosa holds more water; when he mentions that Sosa would send a hit squad after him if the Bolivian crime lord didn't get his way, and that in general Sosa kills anyone who isn't 100% obedient to him. This was shown to be true after Sosa's fury with Tony over the death of Alberto as he killed all of Tony's members and the crumbling drug lord himself in retaliation.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Uzi submachine guns are shot as though they had a several-foot-long belt in their magazines. Gun barrels would go red hot after so many bullets in one go note ; the Uzis don't. Tony's own M16 seems to have the equivalents of Phalanx CIWS ammunition domes for magazines, too. However, it should be noted that in the final shootout, Tony is shown reloading his rifle multiple times.
  • Bowdlerise: The TV version, to wonderful extents.
    • Where'd you get that beauty scar, tough guy? Eating pineapple?
    • This town's like a great big chicken just waiting to get plucked.
    • Why don't you... stick your head in the toilet.
    • On some channels, the chainsaw scene was cut completely, skipping to him running outside.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Or duffel bags, in this case — several of them. This is how Tony and his crew deliver cash to the bank for laundering.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Gina was fully willing to look the other way to Tony's criminal activity(and as Tony found out, she wasn't exactly an angel herself). But as time went on, she realized what a terrible person he really was at least becoming.
    • Sosa to Tony. He considered Sosa as his equal partner and enjoyed their working relationship. But when Sosa offers to make Tony's legal problems go away if he carries out a hit on his cartel's behalf, Tony takes it as a personal insult and that Sosa always regarded him as a thug. Seeing no other options though(and refusing to even consider jail time), he complies under duress.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Borderline with Frank Lopez. While Frank has the typical Cuban English accent, he can sometimes berate Tony with a New York accent, as well, with phrases like "coño my ass."
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Tony's violent protectiveness toward Gina has serious elements of this. She throws it in his face towards the climax after he killed Manny and had her brought to his house: she pretends to force herself onto Tony so she can kill him. It's more ambiguous than in the original film though.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Tony says that his father was American.
  • The Cameo: Richard Belzer as The Babylon Club emcee.
  • The Cartel: Led by Sosa from Bolivia, and it is from there that Tony gets most of the drugs that he distributes, is given a last chance mission to avoid jail time, and after he fails it, it is Sosa's cartel who send their men to kill Tony at the climax of the film.
  • Canon Foreigner: Alejandro Sosa doesn't have an equivalent character in the original film, though he bares some resemblance to Inspector Guarino insofar as he becomes Tony's ultimate antagonist and the cause of death. In the original, Tony successfully killed off all potential rivals, and his death was at the hands of the police instead of other criminals.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One of Tony's men brags about once working with Marlon Brando on a movie. This is an obvious allusion to The Godfather, in which Pacino played Brando's son, Michael Corleone.
  • Chainsaw Good: Tony's friend Angel is killed with a chainsaw during his first drug deal in the states.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • According to an interview by De Palma, Gina appears for the first time as the woman in the pink bikini in the beach scene, who Manny spots as she's walking away and points out to Tony (who hasn't seen Gina since she was a child and didn't recognize her at first), long before she appears more conservatively-dressed at the family house. According to De Palma, the scene was supposed to be a subtle indicator of Gina's promiscuity.
    • Two of Sosa's top killers, Alberto and "The Skull," appear briefly during Omar and Tony's visit to Sosa in Bolivia. They're the ones who beat Omar bloody and hang him from a helicopter. Alberto is later sent to do the New York assassination with help from Tony, and the Skull is the one who finally kills Tony.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Tony's history as a soldier is mentioned twice at the beginning of the movie and becomes relevant in the finale when Tony is able to kill nearly twenty of Sosa's men.
  • The Chessmaster: Sosa, pretty much from his first scene. It's very heavily implied (e.g., by killing Omar on a questionable pretext) that his entire plan was to use Tony as his Miami distributor and to squeeze out existing rivals. He appeared to already have a massive hit squad practically ready and waiting in Miami to attack Tony's mansion at a moment's notice.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: This video sums it all nicely.
    • Lampshaded by Elvira when she complains about Tony's swearing; at that point, it's the 107th f-bomb in the movie.
    • Notable in being the first movie ever to have over 200 uses of the word.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: "Hector the Toad", as well as Thug army < Tony < The Skull
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Tony goes all in for this after he takes over Lopez's operation. A huge mansion, tigers and gaudy statuary on the grounds, a beauty salon for Gina, the works.
  • Death by Irony: Tony falling from a relatively high ground over people around him into the swimming pool, next to a statue carrying a globe with his "The World Is Yours" motto.
  • Death Seeker: Arguably Tony in the end. He probably knows that the film's climax will be his last stand. The biggest hint is that, just before grabbing the M16, he tells the body of his recently-dead sister "I'll see you soon, okay?"
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Played with. It's made clear that Elvira doesn't love Tony so much as she tolerates him. He ends up taking her along after Frank's death, and the "Push It To The Limit" montage shows that she's more interested in indulging her drug/alcohol habits instead. She later looks at their marriage and life as them being "losers" and leaves, despite Tony's efforts to make her stay. But there were times when they started to get along - a key scene in support of this trope is when Tony succeeds in making Elvira laugh in spite of herself when he puts on her hat.
  • Descent into Addiction: Tony and Elvira become addicted to cocaine as he rises up the ranks of the dealers/distributors.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Tony sees Manny and Gina together, he kills Manny in a fit of anger. The reason why it technically fits here instead of Moral Event Horizon is that, during his Villainous Breakdown, he subliminally regrets acting on impulse like that. He truly cements it when one of Sosa's men kills Gina, culminating in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • Deuteragonist: Manny Ribera, Tony's best friend and right-hand man.
  • Dirty Cop: Mel Bernstein, narcotics cop who's in league with Lopez.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Averted, Tony does not kill the Bolivian anti-drug activist. Later played straight however, with the circumstances leading to Tony's death.
  • Downer Ending: Where to begin? Tony was disowned by his mother, his sister and his best friend are dead (with the latter by Tony's hands), his empire is in ruins, and he finally dies after a massive shootout against Sosa's men.
  • The Dragon:
    • The Skull, for Sosa.
    • Manny Ribera becomes Tony's right-hand man in his emerging drug empire. He's relatively tame for a villain.
  • Drone of Dread: The score uses this particularly whenever Tony sees his sister Gina cavorting with another man.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: A coked-up Tony, armed with an M16 with a grenade launcher, singlehandedly battles a small army of hitmen while shouting obscenities before a shotgun blast to the back kills him. It's easily the most iconic scene in the movie.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Tony tries to take care of those he loves even as he becomes an increasingly bigger criminal and acts like a general jerk. His affection for Gina in particular is very strong, although laced with incestuous implications. Subverted later in the film, as he eventually becomes a malignant presence in their lives when he drives Elvira away, kills Manny because he proposed to Gina, and locks Gina up in his own mansion out of an obsession with "protecting" her.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Tony tries to provide for his mother, but the relationship is strained due to her being aware of Tony's criminal activities. She refuses any money and demands he leave.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tony does not kill women or kids, which gets him in serious trouble with Sosa. Carries over to The World Is Yours. Men too, so long as they're "not stupid enough to fuck with [Tony]."
  • Evil Versus Evil: Tony is no saint, but Sosa and the other gangsters are worse.
    Tony Montana: What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes. D'you know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So... what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way!
  • Exact Words: Frank begs Tony not to kill him right before the latter takes control of his entire operation, and Tony tells Frank to relax since he's not going to. Frank is so relieved that he's not going to die. Then we get the following gem.
    Tony: Manolo, shoot that piece of shit!
  • Fan Disservice: As a large group of heavily armed men sent by Sosa slowly surround Tony's villa, Gina shows up in front of Tony, drugged-up on pills and nearly naked (wearing only panties and a bathrobe), confronting Tony with extreme hate, no longer willing to live and wanting him dead, too.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Alejandro Sosa is a superficially affable drug lord who always keeps a polite tone even as he hangs Omar Suarez from a helicopter.
  • Food Slap: Elvira throws a glass of water in Tony's face during their argument in the restaurant.
  • Foreshadowing: When Frank tells Tony that Sosa will send a squad of hitmen after him if he doesn't make good on his new deal that Tony negotiated with Sosa on his behalf. Guess what happens to Tony at the end?
  • For Want of a Nail: Riding high as a kingpin, Tony gets fed up with his money launderer's high fees (on what by that point is only score-keeping the money) and goes shopping for cheaper. Unsurprisingly, the cheap one is also a federal sting. Everything else bad in the second half more or less flows from this.
  • Foreign Remake: Bollywood's Agneepath 1990, albeit somewhat loosely.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The soundtrack was revamped for the movie's 20th anniversary, with some music removed and all gunshot sounds being replaced. Up until the release of the Blu-ray, this mix was utilized in all future releases of the film (and to its credit, the Blu-ray release presents the original mix as a 2.0 stereo track).
  • Getting High on Their Own Supply: The Trope Namer, and quite possibly the Trope Codifier, as Tony Montana is arguably the most well known victim of this trope in fiction. The name, as mentioned in the description, is taken from a line in the movie where Tony Montana is given advice from Elvira Hancock and Frank Lopez. Advice Tony would ignore, which resulted in the series of Tragic Mistakes that would lead to his downfall.
    Frank: Lesson number one: Don't underestimate the OTHER guy's greed!
    Elvira: Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.
  • Gold Digger: Elvira only seems to be interested in men who are rich. Starting out as Frank's mistress, then later became Tony's wife after his newfound wealth.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted. Tony has a huge scar on one side of his face; at the very beginning of the film, he says he got it in an accident when he was a child.
  • Good-Times Montage: Push it to the limit! The LIMIT!
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The chainsaw scene is a shining example; not even DePalma would include such a violent act in his movie. It's easy to forget that we don't actually see what the chainsaw does to Angel.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Plenty of Spanish words are casually inserted among otherwise English dialogue and phrases.
  • Grenade Launcher: Tony's M203 in the final battle.
    Tony Montana: Say 'ello to my little friend!
  • Gut Feeling: During the drug deal, Hector initially acts overly friendly, but his body language shows he is quite nervous. Tony picks up on this, as well as Marta's stoic gaze, that something is not right here.
  • Handguns:
    • Tony's weapon for most of the film is a Beretta 81 in .32 ACP, which he uses to kill Hector. He also kills two assassins at the Babylon Club with it. He doesn't pick up the M16 until the final battle of the film.
    • Manny's weapon, which he uses to kill Frank, is a Beretta 951 with a silencer.
  • The Hero Dies: More like The Villain Dies. Tony does indeed die at the end.
  • Hookers and Blow: The film pretty much runs on this trope, given the nature of Tony Montana's work and...leisure activities.
  • Hope Spot: The end of the film. Tony looks like he might be able to hold out against the gangsters besieging his mansion, even standing up to a hail of gunfire. Then the Skull empties a barrel of a shotgun into his back.
  • I Have No Son!:
    Tony's Mother: "Son? I wish I had one! He's a bum! He was a bum then and he's a bum now!"
    Tony: Forget Papa. We never had one.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After witnessing the deaths of Frank and Bernstein, Ernie (one of Frank's men) is sure he'll be next. When Tony offers him a job instead, he picks up a bottle of whiskey and takes a long pull from it.
  • Ice Queen: Elvira.
  • Idiot Ball: Deliberately ignoring Tony's warnings about getting it on with his sister was never going to end well for Manny. And by this point, he was well aware that his friend had a hair-trigger temper that could go from zero to murder in the span of moments.
  • Implacable Man: Tony in the end, from the huge amounts of cocaine he took.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Thanks to Tony's firm, if twisted, moral code.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted by Tony until the very end.
  • In the Back: After taking numerous machine gun bullets during the climax, Tony is finally put down by a shotgun blast to the back from the enigmatic henchman the Skull.
  • Ironic Echo: In introducing him to the world of crime, Frank tells Tony that Nacho Contreras is a "Chazzer", a Yiddish word for "pig" which describes someone who doesn't fly straight. Tony repeats the description to Frank after surviving the latter's attempt to have him killed.
    Tony: You know what a Chazzer is, Frank? That's a pig that don't [sic] fly straight.
  • It's Cuban: Tony becomes such a powerful and wealthy drug lord that he can afford Cuban cigars.
  • It's Snowing Cocaine: Near the climax of the film, Tony is seen surrounded by piles and piles of cocaine (which makes sense since he's a dealer), and uses it to take and inflict a lot of punishment before he goes down.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Sosa... until the games and Scarred For Life. However, it can be inferred that Sosa would have been arrested since he failed to assassinate that journalist who would have implicated him.
    • Inverted with Mel, who thinks he's getting off easy after Tony and Manny kill Frank in retaliation for an assassination plot. Then Tony decides to pop a sudden bullet in his stomach, then gives him a second shot in the heart to finish him off for good.
  • Karmic Death: Frank Lopez dies in almost the exact same scenario he had tried to kill Tony in: he has someone else do the job for him.
  • Kick the Dog: Sosa and the wife and children that would have been in the exploding car.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Manny's murder of Frank under Tony's orders.
  • Kill 'Em All: The film's ending. The only major characters to make it out unscathed are Sosa and Elvira.
  • The Last Dance: Tony's last stand.
  • Lighter and Softer: Beneath the gallons of blood and swearing, the film is actually lighter in tone compared to the 1932 version, largely because of its protagonist: Tony Montana, for all the acts he commits, has lines he won't cross and makes a good point about how society needs people like him to blame for their own failings. Tony Camonte, the protagonist of the 1932 film, has no such moral lines or sentimentality. Montana's Large Ham tendencies and macho posturing is in stark contrast to Camonte's animalistic leering and barely-restrained rage. Camonte's relationship with his sister was more overtly incestuous as well, whereas this film leaves it more ambiguous.
  • Lonely at the Top: In spades. Even Tony lampshades this when he's sitting miserably in a restaurant with his wife and closest he had to a proper friend who can barely stand him at this point.
  • Made of Iron: Tony at the end, due to being seriously coked-up. Tony snorted so much coke that it dulled the pain receptors in his body to the point where he took hundreds of bullets and was still standing. That said, he sure as hell felt a shotgun blast to the back.
  • Malaproper: During his first meeting and initial negotiations with Sosa, Tony describes how smuggling coke over the waters of Panama is so much riskier because of Naval surveillance. He states that "it's no duckwalk anymore" (as opposed to "cakewalk").
  • Montage: The song appears in the film in the montage sequence that demonstrates Tony Montana's rise in wealth and position after he kills Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) and takes over as the head cocaine trafficker in Miami.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Manny's girlfriend/hookup doesn't do much for the story but gives the viewers a nice ass to look at.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Tony murders his partner Manny, believing that he slept with his sister, Gina, for whom he harbors secret desires himself. However, she reveals that she and Manny are married.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Tony fully realizes that he killed Manny in a rage, he immediately wishes he could take it back.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Gina, according to Tony.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: When Sosa meets with Tony in Bolivia to plan the assassination of the journalist, others present are several high-ranking political, military, and business figures in Bolivia and their "friend from Washington," and it's stated that other "friends" they have in Washington can make sure Tony doesn't have to do any jail time on the charges he's facing.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: What motivates Tony into a new deal with Sosa, as Tony can't stomach jail anymore, not even a short three-year stint.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: Tony follows this rule.
    Tony: I never fucked anybody over in my life that didn't have it coming to 'em.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Tony commits exactly two semi-decent acts over the course of the entire film, both of which kick back on him. He tries to give some money to his mother, only for her to disown him. Later, he refuses to help kill the journalist's wife and kids, leading Sosa to declare war on him.
  • Noodle Incident: We never do learn how Tony got that scar... though given his nature, there are many plausible scenarios.
  • Number Two: Manny to Tony.
  • Oh, Crap!: Not said, but Ernie and Chi Chi definitely looked at each other to convey this when Tony blew Alberto's head off to effectively call off the hit they were supposed to perform.
    • Tony's banker displays a more subdued type of this expression. At first, when Tony and the crew bring huge duffel bags full of cash into the bank, he's eager to meet with them and start up a business relationship. As they keep making visit after visit, though, he stares out the window at them with a completely stunned look on his face.
  • One-Man Army: Tony becomes this in the final scene.
  • One-Word Title: As in the original movie, which in and of itself is based on another famous nickname for a renowned gangster whose name is almost an anagram of Al Pacino.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Mama Montana is last seen crying at her doorstep, so it's very likely she lives to the end. Her children Tony and Gina, however, do not.
  • Parental Abandonment: Tony's father has left the family.
  • Pet the Dog: Tony giving Ernie a job after blowing away Frank and Mel Bernstein right in front of him. Also, Tony killing Alberto rather than letting him blow up a car with two children in it.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: According to Tony, he does not like working with Colombians. He also derisively refers to Italians as "Guineas" (which is funny considering Pacino himself is an Italian American). In everyday life, he is a foulmouthed drug-dealing guy with increasing amounts of prick characteristics and was this close to officially being a wife beater in an argument at a restaurant.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The famous quote under Memetic Mutation.
  • Profane Last Words: All shown from Bernstein, Gina, and Tony himself.
  • Psycho Serum: The partial-Implacability through cocaine.
  • "Psycho" Strings: The creepy tune that picks up every time Tony notices a guy hanging around Gina a little too closely.
  • Race Traitor: A reoccurring element throughout the film is Tony being treated like crap for being a poor migrant on account of being fresh off the boat - it's what motivates him to move into crime. Later, he meets drug kingpin Sosa, an upper-class, white Bolivian snob who speaks English and hob-nobs with other elites and treats Tony like a guard dog - a useful, loyal tool. Upper-class non-mestizo in Latin America are stereotyped to be backstabbing elitist asshats. Sure enough, when Tony is facing prison, Sosa forces Tony into an unwinnable situation that either forces him to commit a heinous deed against his morals for a crime he'll likely go to jail for anyway, or betray him.
    • Tony's mother accuses him of giving Cubans everywhere a bad name, and one of the cops who arrests him for money laundering tells him, "You call yourself a Cuban? You make a real Cuban throw up!"
  • Rasputinian Death: Tony takes an improbable number of bullets to the torso in the final shootout with Sosa's death squad and isn't even fazed, but this might be explained by the fact that he had his face buried in a mountain of coke just before. It takes a shotgun blast at close range from behind and a fall off a balcony to finally kill him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • During dinner with her husband and Manny at some fancy restaurant, Elvie gets tired with Tony's continuous taunting and fires right back at him. And then she walks out on him and is not seen again. After that, Tony himself gives quite an epic one towards the crowd while he's drunk (see Evil Versus Evil above).
    • Tony's mom screams at him when Gina goes missing about how he's worthless and a bum and got Gina into this situation in the first place.
  • "Rise and Fall" Gangster Arc: The film depicts Tony making a name for himself in the cocaine trade, eventually becoming a fabulously wealthy drug kingpin. However, his addiction to cocaine, fits of rage, and impulsive behaviour ultimately lead to his undoing and death.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Sosa's army is storming his mansion, Tony is too coked up and too depressed from how badly his life has gone to do anything to stop them...until one of the hitmen shoots his little sister Gina.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The Trope CodifierScarface was one of, if not the, most profanity-laced films of its time, and its popularity and acclaim helped to normalize the use of frequent profanity in film.
  • Same Language Dub: The two immigration officers that interview Tony at the start of the film were dubbed by Charles Durning and Dennis Franz.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Tony gets more crazy and insane every passing week or month due to his coke addiction.
    • Gina loses it after Tony kills Manny without realizing that the two are now married.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Tony's mother when he briefly reunites with her and offers her and his sister some money he had gotten... from less than honest ways.
  • Serendipitous Survival: Manny leaves the nightclub to take Gina home right before the assassination attempt on Tony.
  • Setting Update: Keeping in line with how the 1932 version was set contemporary to its release, the remake takes place in its own "today," the early 80's.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Tony is ravaged by all of them, save maybe Sloth. Among these, his most fatal flaws are Wrath and Pride.
  • Shout-Out: Tony Montana was named after football star Joe Montana.
  • The Siege: The final siege of the mansion at the end of the movie.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Invoked by Tony himself, where his restriction of jobs to kitchen duty leads him to continue down the path to a life of crime. And again during the finale when he yells at his attackers as he gets shot many times in the mansion, just before The Skull kills him.
  • The Sociopath: Alejandro Sosa, a cartel boss who thinks nothing of having a man hanged from a helicopter, ordering a lawyer's wife and child killed to make sure he's eliminated, or sending an army of goons to kill the man who stops it.
  • Stealth Pun: Tony says “Say hello to my little friend!” while high on cocaine. One possible side effect of cocaine is erectile dysfunction.
  • Spiteful Spit: Tony spits at Hector the Toad while he's captured and verbally attacked by him and his henchmen.
  • Stock Shout-Outs: "Say hello to my little friend!", when pulling out a BFG.
  • The Stool Pigeon: Sosa believed Omar to have been this and dealt with him thusly.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: Throughout the film Tony has been a drug lord, a murderer, generally getting worse and worse. But seeing Sosa's hitman about to kill the target while the man's wife and kid are in the same car makes him draw the line.
  • Sunglasses at Night: The Skull, the assassin who kills Tony.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Omar and Tony hate each other's guts pretty much from the moment they meet. But they work as associates to get the deal with Sosa on the table (despite bickering amongst themselves a lot more than actually negotiating with Sosa). Of course, Sosa kills Omar, thinking him an informer, and to send a message to Tony not to screw with him. Tony really couldn't care less that Omar is gone.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Tony starts out the film as a crook, but it's not until he gains power that he allows himself to become a cocaine-addicted wreck. He constantly curses and acts like a cantankerous prick towards even his possible friends, and gets called out on it by almost everyone close to him.
  • Tragedy: A classical crime tragedy. Tony is shown to be a ruthless criminal who nonetheless has redeeming qualities, is loyal to his friends and cares for his family. However his many flaws and an increasingly severe cocaine addiction brings a swift end to his criminal empire and in the end, Tony loses everything he built and everyone who ever cared about him is either dead or hates his guts. Even at the end, it's generally hard not to feel bad for Tony.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Tony Montana's aggressiveness certainly didn't win him any allies, but you know he's doomed when he calls off the hit on the journalist by killing Alejandro Sosa's henchman, Alberto the Shadow. It was for a good reason, but if he'd thought out his actions he could have avoided the situation without antagonizing the only person who could have fixed the mess he was in. Then later, instead of trying to fix the situation, he kills Manny Ribera (his best friend), in a fit of rage, driving Gina (his own sister), to try to kill him.
  • Tragic Mistake: Tony killing Sosa's hitman resulted in antagonizing the one person who could have helped him out of his mess. Granted, the hitman deserved it, but that one act triggered Tony's downfall.
    • Getting high on his own supply brought its own set of problems, among them an impaired sense of judgement. This combined with his increasingly violent protectiveness about his sister resulted in him gunning down his right hand man Manny, who had just married Gina.
    • Frank was absolutely correct: the guys that survive in this business are the ones who manage to stay underneath the radar. Those that want it all make powerful enemies and are noticed by the police - which is exactly what happens.
  • Tranquil Fury: Tony does this when when he kills Manny out of rage for sleeping with his sister, Gina, before she revealed that they're married. In fact, instead of yelling, he looks at him in (though furious) silence and shot him without saying a word.
  • Two-Act Structure: The movie is split into two distinct acts. The first act is about Tony rising to the top of the Miami underworld. The second act is how everything goes to hell for Tony and everyone around him.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Played straight then subverted at the mansion siege. It's also one of Tony's easily-seen traits.
  • Uriah Gambit: It is very heavily implied that Omar Suarez knew Hector and crew were likely to turn on Tony, and sent him on the "job" so he'd be killed.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Frank Lopez. He's a friendly-acting, gregarious philanthropist who sponsors a little league baseball team. Too bad that he's also a murderous drug kingpin.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Tony in the last several minutes of the movie. He is left alone in his office, coked out of his mind, being hit with the Heel Realization of killing his best friend Manny. Seeing Sosa's men on the security monitors, he tries to recover. He tries to gather his thoughts, muttering to himself "We gotta get organized", but there's no one to listen. He picks up a phone, but drops it without dialing as there's nobody to call. He needs someone he can trust to help him, but he's either driven away or killed everyone that fits that profile. He's all alone and about to die and almost only has himself to blame. The only thing that snaps him out of it is when Gina gets gunned down by said men, and even then it's only enough to make him decide to kill as many of them as he can in blind fury and coke high.
  • Villainous Friendship: Tony and his eventual Dragon Manny Ribera start out the film as apparent friends, which doesn't change as they start a criminal empire in Miami. Manny eventually gets fed up with Tony's more malicious behavior, like beating up his sister's touchy boyfriend. When Manny secretly elopes with Tony's sister his friend goes nuts and kills Manny in a cocaine-fueled rage.
  • Villainous Incest: Tony can't have his sister and consequently doesn't want anyone else to have her. This is thrown back at him right before she's gunned down.
  • Villainous Valour: There's a variation of this trope for Tony Montana. In by far the most famous scene in the movie, he gets high on cocaine, grabs an M16, and takes on a veritable army of goons alone. Even when badly injured by gunfire, he stands and taunts his assailants. It takes a shotgun shell to the back at point blank range to finally put him down for good.
  • Villain Protagonist: Tony, a crass criminal drug dealer and occasional hitman, murders his boss to get to the top, is a controlling misogynist who becomes a cocaine-addicted wreck and burns all his bridges on his power-trip.
  • Villains Never Lie: It's never proven outside of Sosa's claims that Omar Suarez was an informant for the police, but the only one who casts doubt on the claims is Sosa's rival, Frank Lopez.
  • White-Collar Crime: Tony enlists a bank manager to launder his drug money. When the manager later tries to charge a higher percentage, Tony drops him and turns to a different office, only to end up getting busted by the feds for tax evasion and violation of the RICO statute, specifically money laundering.
  • White Shirt of Death: Played straight when Tony stabs Rebenga and when Manny was shot by Tony. Inverted at the ending, Tony wears a black suit over his white shirt at the ending's shootout.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Tony smacks his sister after standing up to a man he sees groping her ass and taking her in the men's bathroom to do cocaine and make out.
  • Would Not Shoot a Civilian: Tony Montana refuses to carry out a hit that would also kill the target's wife and kids. Tony's moral code allows him to kill only in defense or retaliation (in his words "I ain't never fucked nobody that didn't try to fuck me first"). His willingness to take part in that hit in the first place (the target being an activist who'd done nothing to him) showed that his principles were on the decline. His fellow mobsters don't share the same moral views which results in his downfall.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: How Tony proves he's not so bad. It's an interesting example, because protecting children by killing Sosa's assassin leads directly to Tony's death. On the other hand, he's only in that situation because he was becoming worse and agreed to help kill an innocent man who'd done nothing to him. The moral of that particular story is left ambiguous.
  • You Bastard!: The movie itself spends the first half of its duration challenging our sympathies for the protagonist, then it hits the audience in the face that at least some people in the general public need people like him to point out about who's the "bad guy".


Video Example(s):


No Wife, No Kids

Tony Montana may be a murderous, drug dealing crime boss who will not hesitate to eliminate anyone who gets in his way, but even he draws the line at killing kids in a hit.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvenEvilHasStandards

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