Walk of Fame Say Hello To These Explosive Scarface Facts Published 10 months ago on Apr 30, 2018 By Michael Berdy It’s the ultimate film about the villain we all came to idolize. Few films have managed to make immorality look quite as suave and sophisticated as the infamous Scarface. Al Pacino’s performance as Cuban kingpin Tony Montana is nothing short of one of the most iconic film roles of all time. And, like him, we can’t get enough! Scarface devotees, the world is still yours! Here’s a special peek into the personalities, trials, tribulations, and perils involved in creating this cinematic masterpiece. Relive your favorite moments and learn how it all came to be. And most importantly of all: “Say hello to my little friend!” 1. Not Really Scarface? This next one is rather surprising. The name of the film Scarface, and the villain it stands for, represents to its world of viewers the ultimate example of cheering for a bad guy. But how many times is Tony Montana actually referred to by the notorious moniker? DVD Beaver Trick question! The answer is zero…in English, that is. But in a split second of the chainsaw scene, brutal Colombian dealer Hector the Toad taunts a tied-up Tony, calling him “cara cicatriz” — Scarface. Oliver Stone snuck this Easter egg into the script, to the delight of Spanish speakers. 2. Wife Of Brian Elvira Hancock was by no means a role model for women (or anyone, for that matter), and yet we were tantalized by her icy charm. There was thick competition between Hollywood’s leading beauties to play this Jezebel. But Scarface director Brian De Palma had a bold idea. Collection Christophel/ Universal Pictures He’d met his wife Nancy Allen when she’d played the school bully in his 1976 horror classic Carrie, and set his sights on her to play Elvira. When he cast Michelle Pfeiffer instead, Allen was not pleased. Just months after the film’s release, the couple parted ways. 3. Match Made In Miami Bad, bad choice of partners. It’s rare that you find an on-screen couple quite so mutually dependent and equally dysfunctional as the substance-abusing and possessive coupling of Tony Montana and Elvira Hancock in Scarface. Want to see them in a slightly more healthy dynamic? Say no more. Ballerstatus.com It took them eight years, but the dynamic duo reunited to show off their soft side in the romantic comedy Frankie and Johnny. The heartfelt portrayal garnered Michelle Pfeiffer a Golden Globe nomination. Suffice to say, Elvira would have eaten her character for breakfast. 4. Mama Knows Best Ironic that her son had a thicker accent than her! As Mama Montana, Puerto Rican actress Míriam Colón was one of the few Latin Americans in Scarface. She had decades of experience under her belt, guesting on Bonanza and Gunsmoke. And she was closer to Tony than you might think. Closerweekly.com You would never know by watching her matronly character unsuccessfully berate her wayward son, but Míriam Colón was just barely three and a half years older than fellow acting veteran Al Pacino. Wonder why she didn’t try out to be Gina instead? 5. Pacino’s Choice She’s won three Oscars, and was nominated for countless other accolades. She can play almost anything. But regardless of her versatility, when you think of Meryl Streep, gun-toting Cuban druglord doesn’t jump to mind. So how can it be that she influenced Al Pacino’s performance in Scarface? Pinterest Pacino cited Meryl Streep’s role in Sophie’s Choice as influencing his acting choices for Tony Montana. Her dedication to playing Sophie, a haunted immigrant World War II survivor, led her to learn German and Polish. Impressed, Pacino took notes to better understand how to play an immigrant. Scarface fans, stick around; there’s more juicy tidbits just around the corner! 6. Ratings War Even in comparison with today’s films, Scarface‘s violence and body count is admittedly intense. And lest we forget, its plot flaunts and centers around ridiculously exorbitant substance abuse. Receiving an X rating meant disaster; the film’s showings would be greatly restricted. Something had to be done. BFI Brian De Palma and Martin Bregmann petitioned the MPAA numerous times and presented several edited versions of Scarface. After a tense hearing, they were granted an R rating. Once acquired, De Palma decided to trick studio execs and release the original cut anyway! Sneaky — and we’re grateful for it. 7. No Pink Ladies We all loved Grease, but there’s no tiptoeing around it: Grease 2 was a flop. And because Michelle Pfeiffer was known in Hollywood almost exclusively because of her leading role in that film, she very nearly wasn’t cast as Elvira Hancock in Scarface. Twitter/@Silverscreens Al Pacino wanted Glenn Close to play Elvira. Geena Davis, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver, and Carrie Fisher all auditioned. But when Michelle Pfeiffer finally tried out, Grease 2‘s reputation made Pacino and director Brian De Palma hesitate. Producer Martin Bregman had to step in to convince them to take her! 8. Miami Vice Scarface gave South Florida a sensual, dangerous reputation of sleaze and crime in tropical paradise that fans idealized, but the local tourism board was not on board. Consequently, believe it or not, almost the entirety of Scarface was not filmed in Miami. But that’s not the only reason. Enfoque Infinito When word of the film project got out, Miami’s substantial Cuban community was extremely upset. They saw the film as being populated by a non-Cuban cast of actors, portraying Cubans in a decidedly negative light as criminals. Protests forced the crew to pack up shop and head to California. 9. American Gangster How do you ensure your cast’s success if you’re making a movie about criminals? By hiring a former gangster! As the crooked Omar Suárez, actor F. Murray Abraham drew on his experience as a teenage gang member in West Texas. But that wasn’t why he was treated with such respect on set. IFC.com While filming Scarface, Abraham won an extraordinarily coveted part in another film, playing embittered composer Salieri in the Mozart biopic Amadeus. For his fellow actors, this was a huge honor, deserving of praise. They were right: he would win the Oscar for Best Actor just a year later. 10. Pass The Cuban Sandwich Actress Michelle Pfeiffer is already a petite woman, but she made a grim choice for her performance as the alluring addict Elvira Hancock. Pfeiffer set herself on a severe regimen to ensure that she would get thinner as the movie progressed, truly physicalizing her character’s illness. Czeshop.info The problem was, filming lasted for six months instead of the anticipated three. Pfeiffer subsisted on cigarettes and tomato soup to achieve the gaunt features resulting from Elvira’s all-encompassing drug habit. Crew members became so concerned for her health that they persistently tried to bring her bagels! Stay tuned, because you’re going to love these next extraordinary bits of Scarface trivia. 11. The Lonely Island In retrospect, the casting choices for Scarface would probably not fly by today’s standards. Just one actor from the principals playing a Cuban is actually Cuban. Don’t let actor Steven Bauer’s stage name fool you: he was born in Havana by the name of Esteban Ernesto Echevarría Samson. Pinterest Not only was Bauer authentically Cuban, but he understood the immigrant experience far more tangibly than his co-stars. His Jewish grandfather had fled to Cuba from Germany before World War II, and his parents took toddler Esteban and fled to Miami because of the Cuban Revolution. 12. Object Of Desire Remember that scene when Tony and Manny are sitting on the beach in Miami enjoying tropical cocktails and discussing off-color methods to pick up girls? They can’t see the face of the first girl they examine. But if they had, they definitely would have thought twice before ogling her. YouTube/Movieclips Director Brian De Palma has revealed that the curly-haired beauty who whisks past them in a hot pink bikini is none other than actress Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio — Tony’s kid sister Gina. Sure, it’s foreshadowing, but it’s an uncomfortable realization. 13. Mamma Mia! Scarface is famous in part for having a particularly ‘colorful’ vocabulary. Though many films have since surpassed it, for its time, Scarface was pretty shocking for its f-bomb count, dropped over 200 times. And actor F. Murray Abraham’s polite Italian mother was having none of it. Pinterest Josephine Stello was one of fourteen children, born into a family of Italian immigrants. After finally seeing a screening of the film, she passed a message to her son, intended for a fellow Italian: tell your friend Al Pacino to watch his language, it makes Italians look bad! 14. He’s A Maniac He’d already directed comedies, political thrillers, Greek tragedies, and plenty of horror. And in 1983, virtuoso Brian De Palma was poised to venture into a very different realm: dancing! Because Scarface‘s writer had been fired, De Palma had quit, and signed onto Flashdance. But there was a big problem. Scarface.wikia.com Replacement director Sidney Lumet quarreled with production about the film’s tone, because he wanted it to be a critique of US immigration policy. Lumet dropped out. But his excellent script changes were enticing enough that De Palma decided to ditch Flashdance, and come back. He wouldn’t regret it. 15. Not Your Average Research Project It was famed director Sidney Lumet’s adjustments to Scarface’s original screenplay that gave the film its shape. He insisted on making the film contemporary, and its characters Cubans. To learn about their subjects would require research from writer Oliver Stone — and not all of it savory. Sharethefiles.com Together with producer Martin Bregman, Stone was granted permission to criminal records from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Florida. Stone then traveled to the Caribbean and South America to get an insider’s view of the drug trade, in the belly of the beast. We’re glad he came home safely! Keep reading for more fascinating glimpses behind the scenes of Scarface! 16. Joe Cool Tony Montana is a name that’s instantly memorable. Though scriptwriter Oliver Stone had done an extensive amount of background work and travel in order to perfect the screenplay, for Scarface‘s main character, he simply had to pay homage to a personal favorite of his. Collider.com Oliver Stone managed to incorporate his love for football into his work, and christened the film’s lead ‘Montana’ in honor of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. 17. Brian At The Babylon Those one’s going to have you clicking the pause button. Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock had long before implemented the tradition of directors making cameos in their own films. Not to be outdone, director Brian De Palma planted himself into Scarface. To find him, check out the mirrors in the Babylon Club. Indiewire.com Just before the hired gunmen open fire in their attempt to take out Tony Montana, freeze that frame and look closely at the reflection directly behind Tony’s head. Who’s that man lurking there? Why, the brains behind the whole operation, De Palma in the flesh. 18. Smooth Criminal We couldn’t help but be smitten with Manny Ribera’s suave bravado and goofy machismo. Tony’s unfortunate sidekick and his style inspired generations of Scarface fans. And if you think actor Steven Bauer has left his gangster ways behind him, you’re wrong. Flickr.com Along with fellow Scarface henchman Mark Margolis (Alberto), Bauer landed a recurring role on TV show Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul. He plays Don Eladio Vuente, a Mexican cartel boss who’s far less naïve than that smiling Cuban youth who fell for Gina Montana. 19. Lost In Translation To play Cuban warlord Tony Montana, Al Pacino wanted to be sure he had the proper feel for the Spanish language. His resources were shockingly scarce. Cast member Steven Bauer helped him shape his accent, but Al had a special request for director of photography, John A. Alonzo. IMDB Alonzo’s parents were Mexican and he had spent his childhood in Mexico, so Pacino insisted that he speak to him exclusively in Spanish so as to help him stay in character more thoroughly. There’s just one catch: Tony Montana speaks Spanish once in the entire film! 20. Revenge Served Cold Controversial filmmaker Oliver Stone was still up and coming in 1983, but he couldn’t have been a better fit to write the script for Scarface. There was a dark coincidence that gave Stone the background needed in order to really get into Tony Montana’s head. Ranker As Oliver Stone penned Scarface‘s screenplay, he was in Paris recovering from two and a half years in the grip of his own substance abuse habit. He had quit cold turkey, and poured the sickness and paranoia into his writing. He stated the film was his revenge on addiction. Thought that was crazy? Read on for some more intense Scarface facts! 21. Pacino Packs A Punch Where did Al Pacino find the cocky swagger to embody Tony Montana? We all know how much the kingpin loved his arsenal of weapons. But to find his body language, Al looked beyond the bazookas, finding inspiration in a man who made a career from hand-to-hand combat: boxer Roberto Durán. Fanpop The slumdog boxer from Panama had memorably sparred with Sylvester Stallone in Rocky II. He provided Al Pacino with the confident moves he was looking for, and Pacino likened Durán’s attitude to that of a lion. 22. Leave The Cannoli, Take The Part They’re both proud Italian-Americans. They both conquered the screen in The Godfather: Part II. They’re both Oscar-winning Hollywood royalty with a flair for playing dangerous characters. And before Al Pacino accepted the part of Tony Montana in Scarface, his stiffest competition came from his pal Robert De Niro. Getty Images As the actors tell it, Pacino was unsure about taking the role at first, but a conversation with De Niro sealed the deal. The latter playfully threatened Pacino that if Al didn’t accept the part, he would take it himself! Sometimes, a friendly push is all you need. 23. The Color Of Money Scarface was slammed by many critics upon its release, and for years, the actors and crew were unfortunately cast in a negative light due to their participation. However, Manny Ribera actor Steven Bauer was probably not surprised. He had prior insight from one wise sage: Martin Scorsese. Premiere.fr The mythical director pulled Bauer aside to offer both praise and warning. He’d loved the movie, but he saw it with a different perspective. He prophesied that Hollywood would resent Scarface, because it was about them: their own excesses, megalomania, and greed. His sobering prediction came true. 24. Recycle Of Violence As astronomically influential as it is, it’s easy to forget that Scarface was, at the end of it all, a remake. Inspired after a screening of the original at the Tiffany Theater on Sunset Boulevard, actor Al Pacino went to producer Martin Bregman with a new pitch. Xexe.club Released in 1932, the first Scarface starred Oscar-winner Paul Muni. It was produced during the infamous pre-Code era of Hollywood, which permitted promiscuity and heightened violence onscreen. As it was based on real-life gangster Al Capone, the timing was impeccable — he had just been sent to prison. Capone’s nickname? “Scarface”, of course! 25. Close Encounters You’d have no way of knowing this, but Steven Spielberg directed part of Scarface. Okay, so it’s just one fragment of a scene. But when one of the greatest directors of all time happens to swing by your set, what are you going to have him do, just watch? Pinterest Hot off the success of E.T., Spielberg visited the Scarface production team, and Brian De Palma graciously relinquished his director’s chair for a moment. Give a quick rewind: it’s that shot of a grappling hook being thrown over a wall as Tony’s enemies close in on his mansion. Continue reading for some more incredible Scarface facts! 26. Hot Shots You may not have any sympathy for his ruthless character Tony Montana, but save a prayer for actor Al Pacino! Poor Al was injured several times while filming Scarface. First, during her screen test, Michelle Pfeiffer threw a plate at him and accidentally cut him. But then came the finale. The Telegraph During the legendary showdown at the film’s end, Al Pacino accidentally grabbed the barrel of a hot gun that had just fired 30 rounds. The resulting burn was so bad that he had to be excused from filming for the next two weeks just to let it heal! 27. South American Empire Tony Montana wasn’t the only Scarface character to have been built on the legacy of a real gangster. His archnemesis, cold and calculated druglord Alejandro Sosa, was based on another Bolivian criminal mastermind. But he had far more power than Sosa — and in 1983 he was still at large. Watches In Movies Through business with the fabled Pablo Escobar, trafficker Roberto Suárez Gómez assembled his own air force. He financed a military coup, creating a dictatorship with key family members in the cabinet. Just months before Scarface hit theaters, Suárez was visiting Castro in Cuba to secure his financial protection. 28. Axis Of Evil It’s the poster in every college dorm, it’s been immortalized by generations of hip-hop artists and anti-authority figures, but Scarface managed to attract one fan the cast and crew would certainly like to forget. That’s right, Scarface was especially beloved by barbaric Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Pinterest Saddam, along with his sons Uday and Qusay, was so obsessed with Scarface that he gave a fairly obvious name to the trust fund he’d opened for money laundering: Montana Management. Obviously, the fund’s holdings have since been frozen. To quote Tony himself: “Every dog has his day”. 29. What’s My Line Anyway? We all want to know what prop they used in Scarface to stand in for all that copious cocaine. Steven Bauer says it’s powdered baby laxative, others claim it’s powdered milk. And Brian De Palma refuses to say what it is! But whatever the material, it didn’t agree with Al Pacino. YouTube The actor says that for years after filming, all those lines significantly altered the way his nose functions. In a strange twist of fate, he’s not alone: original gangster Al Capone, on whom the film is based, had a damaged septum from his own habit. 30. Hidden Tragedy There’s interesting Scarface facts, but this one is absolutely chilling. A girl distracts the gullible womanizer Manny in his car while Tony’s being held hostage. She may only appear briefly on screen, but behind 18-year-old actress and model Tammy Lynn Leppert’s performance is a devestating secret. New York Times Already appearing distraught while on set, the Florida native quit the film and went home after four days. Shortly thereafter, in July 1983, she vanished. To this day, her whereabouts and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are yet shrouded in mystery. Source: ifc.com UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... Next Page Related Topics:al caponeAl Pacinoalejandro sosaamadeusangel salazarbreaking badbrian de palmaCarrie Fisherchi chicinemacubacubancuban americanelvira hancockf murray abrahamFilmfloridagangstergeena davisgina montanagrease 2hector the toadHollywooditaliansmannymartin bregmanMartin ScorseseMary Elizabeth MastrantonioMeryl StreepMiamimiami beachMichelle Pfeiffermichelle pfeiffer filmsMíriam Colónmovieoliver stoneomar suarezOscarsPablo Escobarpaul muniRobert De Niroroberto suarez gomezsay hello to my little friendscarfacescarface factsscarface filmsharon stonesidney lumetsigourney weaversophie's choicespanishsteven bauersteven spielbergthe world is yourstony montana Up Next The Nicest Celebrities You’d Ever Want To Meet Don't Miss To Keep Up With The Kardashians, Their Husbands Have To Follow These Rules Continue Reading You may like Christopher Nolan Will Unveil His Next Film In July 2020 Son Of James Gandolfini To Play Young Tony Soprano In New Movie 5 Movies That Were Unexpectedly Canceled A Look Back At Hollywood’s Most Notable Celebrity Hippies This New ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Project Isn’t What You Think The Rock Gave Some Much Needed Acting Advice To John Cena Click to comment Walk of Fame 5 Celebrities Who Are Actually Friends With Their Fans You would imagine that most celebrities only keep the company of other A-listers. However, not all celebrities want to keep their fans at arm's length. These five down to earth stars have made genuine friends with their fans in one way or another. Either by chance or persistence from the fan, they were able to meet some of their supporters and... Published 13 hours ago on Feb 19, 2019 By Michael Evans Continue Reading Walk of Fame Matt Smith Added To Cast Of New “Morbius” Movie Actor Matt Smith has been cast in a new movie starring Jared Leto. The film is of the Marvel Comics genre and is titled Morbius after the infamous Spider-Man villain. Leto is set to play the main role of Dr. Morbius himself. Interesting Characters It is still unknown which character Smith will be playing but a rumored source connected to Variety has described his... Published 3 days ago on Feb 17, 2019 By Jade Wilson Continue Reading Walk of Fame The Glorious Transformation Of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ Daughter Carys Zeta Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has the best life alongside husband Michael Douglas. Something they're both proud of are their two kids Dylan Michael and Carys Zeta. For Zeta-Jones, her daughter was something she wanted since she was a young adult. Nowadays, the two can be mistaken as twin sisters! Born Into Royalty Carys Zeta came into the world on April 20, 2003 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Growing... Published 1 week ago on Feb 12, 2019 By Will Gardner Continue Reading Facebook Latest Popular Gallery The Drill Down13 hours ago TLC’s Most Memorable Reality Stars Ever, Ranked Walk of Fame13 hours ago 5 Celebrities Who Are Actually Friends With Their Fans The Low Down13 hours ago Christopher Nolan Will Unveil His Next Film In July 2020 The Low Down13 hours ago So What Exactly Goes Down At The End Of ‘The Shining’? The Low Down2 days ago Where Is The Cast Of ‘Sucker Punch’ Now? The Low Down2 days ago ‘Delhi Crime’: Netflix’s Latest Tragic and True Series From India The Low Down4 weeks ago Behind The Scenes Facts Producers Don’t Tell You About Jeopardy! Way Back7 days ago A Look Back At Hollywood’s Most Notable Celebrity Hippies Way Back6 days ago They Weren’t Always Famous – People Share Photos of Celebrities They Knew Long Before Fame The Low Down2 days ago Every Movie Sequel To Look Forward To In 2019 And Beyond The Outside World4 weeks ago Five Shocking Secrets About The Hollywood Sign Walk of Fame4 weeks ago 5 Actors Who Regretted Leaving Their Hit TV Shows The Drill Down13 hours ago TLC’s Most Memorable Reality Stars Ever, Ranked The Low Down2 days ago Every Movie Sequel To Look Forward To In 2019 And Beyond Way Back6 days ago They Weren’t Always Famous – People Share Photos of Celebrities They Knew Long Before Fame Way Back7 days ago A Look Back At Hollywood’s Most Notable Celebrity Hippies The Low Down1 week ago Five Explosive Changes Made During The Latest Season Of ‘Doctor Who’ The Low Down4 weeks ago Behind The Scenes Facts Producers Don’t Tell You About Jeopardy!