Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. Tony Montana and his close friend Manny, build a strong drug empire in Miami. However as his power begins to grow, so does his ego and his enemies, and his own paranoia begins to plague his empire.
Sidney Lumet was the original choice for the director but he was booted because he wanted to get political
In addition to directing “Dog Day Afternoon,” he directed movies like “12 Angry Man” and “Network.” He was not against putting messages and politics into film, clearly. Lumet wanted that in “Scarface,” hoping to make a political film that would blame the Reagan administration for the rise in cocaine. It was Bregman who didn’t like that idea and decided to replace Lumet.
Screenwriter Oliver Stone was inspired by his own coke addiction
Robert De Niro turned down the role of Tony Montana
Al Pacino put a lot of work into getting ready for the role
In order to play Montana, Pacino trained to learn how to use a knife. He also got himself into shape by working with legendary boxer Roberto Duran. Also, in spite of the fact a lot of people make jokes about Pacino’s accent in “Scarface,” he worked with a dialect coach and got help from Bauer as well to try and hone his Cuban accent.
Michelle Pfeiffer wasn’t Pacino’s top choice for Elvira
She wasn’t very well known at the time. In a talk about the film the actor once admitted he “probably would’ve said no” to her casting.
Michelle Pfeiffer lived on “tomato soup and Marlboros” for Scarface
Pfeiffer, who played coke kingpin moll Elvira, was asked how much she weighed during filming by the moderator at the cast reunion. She said crew members were so worried about her dwindling weight, that they were bringing her bagels to the set, and she was basically living on “tomato soup and Marlboros.”
The cocaine was actually baby laxatives
Very little of the film was actually shot in Miami
The film was originally going to be shot entirely on location in Miami, but protests by the local Cuban-American community forced the movie to leave Miami two weeks into production. Besides footage from those two weeks, the rest of the movie was shot in Los Angeles, New York, and Santa Barbara.
“Scarface” was actually not a huge success at first
These days, “Scarface” is a cult classic and its poster is iconic. At the time, though, it was not a big success. With a budget somewhere between $23 and $37 million, the film made $66 million worldwide. It was only the 16th-highest-grossing movie of 1983, and actually only the seventh-highest-grossing R-rated film in North America that year.