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TomJH

Pacino's Scarface - The Ending Remind You Of Another Film At All?

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I finally saw this film, having avoided it for years because of all the cries of violence about the production. I was especially leery of watching any scene that involved a chainsaw.

 

But I have to say that, generally speaking, I quite enjoyed it, partially because I was relieved that the violence, while there is plenty of it, is not as graphic as I was afraid it might be. And the much-discussed chainsaw scene which, thank heavens, occured fairly early in the film (glad to get it over with) did, in fact, leave almost everything to the viewer's imagination. It's still a horrifying scene, of course, but more because of the idea of what it is happening than from anything that the viewer actually sees.

 

Pacino is great in the lead role, of course, with strong support from the rest of the cast.

 

And the film's deliberately over-the-top drama, particularly with that ending, was, in fact, more fun for me than I thought might be the case. In fact, (BIG SPOILER ALERT HERE FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM), I loved seeing Pacino going down screaming with guns blazing, taking as many of his enemy with him as he can. Now THAT'S the way a movie gangster (especially one who lives HUGE like this one did) should go out, spitting at his enemies in full macho defiance.

 

It's a lot better than that whimpering the 1932 Scarface forced Paul Muni to go through at the end. (And that film was made before the code was being heavily enforced).

 

Don't get me wrong - I love Muni's in-your-face performance and I love Hawks' Scarface - undoubtedly my favourite gangster epic of the early '30s. Just hated the ending that they inflicted upon Ben Hecht's screenplay. It would have been wonderful to see Muni go out the way that Pacino did.

 

Of course, with De Palma as director, the '83 Scarface is extreme but -gotta say it- LOVED that ending!

 

With Pacino's Scarface spitting in the face of his enemies the way that he did then, defying them to go out on his own terms, am I the only one to think of that ending's similarity, in tone, at least, to Cody Jarrett at the end of White Heat? Cagney defiant, just like Pacino, only in Cagney's case, even laughing at them at the end, mind snapped or not.

 

In White Heat Cagney might have been the first of the mainstream movie gangsters that had a BIG, over-the-top death scene. Well, here we are, over 30 year later, with Pacino doing much the same thing. With all the guns going off, though, when that oil refinery started to blow up at the end of White Heat, there was actually even more destruction going on than in the De Palma film, even if the viewer doesn't see it as graphically as in Scarface.

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What a great post Tom and Yes, great comparison to the ending of WHITE HEAT :) have nothing to add to it, except I saw DePalma's version with Pacino years ago about 3 times. Loved the film. You've put me in the mood to revisit it. I remember Pacino's great performance and who could forget "SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND". Just an interesting bit of trivia about that scene, Al had never shot a machine gun before. He suffered some serious burns on his hands since he didn't know how to handle that machine gun.

 

It's a great version of the story, just as the original was.

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I didn't know that about Pacino, lavender. Thanks for the information.

 

I love Muni in the original Scarface, of course, but always resented the ending that was plastered on his version.

 

Watching Pacino at the end of the '83 Scarface gave me the same adrenalin rush that I always get while watching Cagney at the end of White Heat.

 

I'd like to own a copy of the De Palma film if only to have that ending to look at every now and then. Nice to see you feel the same way.

 

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Scarface and White Heat have grandiose death scenes that stay with the viewer. Pacino and Cagney died on screen the way larger-than-life criminals like them should go, in defiance with guns a-blazing. Tony Montana and Cody Jarrett may have been cornered and trapped by their enemy, but they died with their testosterone popping off the screen. They went out their way, with more than a few members of the audience, I suspect, admiring their audacity and style at the end.

 

Not coincidentally, both roles also added considerably to the legends of their two stars.

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I didn't know that about Pacino, lavender. Thanks for the information.

 

I love Muni in the original Scarface, of course, but always resented the ending that was plastered on his version.

 

Watching Pacino at the end of the '83 Scarface gave me the same adrenalin rush that I always get while watching Cagney at the end of White Heat.

 

I'd like to own a copy of the De Palma film if only to have that ending to look at every now and then. Nice to see you feel the same way.

 

6b401883-fc8b-4f52-b894-7d397b0313a3_zps

 

db26358d-ad1d-417a-a02f-f241d065b5d5_zps

 

Scarface and White Heat have grandiose death scenes that stay with the viewer. Pacino and Cagney died on screen the way larger-than-life criminals like them should go, in defiance with guns a-blazing. Tony Montana and Cody Jarrett may have been cornered and trapped by their enemy, but they died with their testosterone popping off the screen. They went out their way, with more than a few members of the audience, I suspect, admiring their audacity and style at the end.

 

Not coincidentally, both roles also added considerably to the legends of their two stars.

My only reservation about WHITE HEAT is that the picture should have ended with that unforgettable scene. But somebody decided to tack on Edmond O'Brien's tongue-clucking comment.

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My only reservation about WHITE HEAT is that the picture should have ended with that unforgettable scene. But somebody decided to tack on Edmond O'Brien's tongue-clucking comment.

I couldn't agree more, faceinthecrowd. That final line was completely unnecessary. Raoul Walsh's last shot of that mushroom-like cloud said it all. With all those fires raging in the oil refinery in that final shot they can also be viewed as representative, if you believe in such things, as Cody Jarrett's entrance into hell.

 

I always suspected that final line was possibly inflicted upon Walsh's film by some "bright" Warners producer or executive who figured that the irony of the ending had to be spelled out for those audience members he figured wouldn't be bright enough to figure it out for themselves.

 

Even with that unnecessary dialogue, however, it's just a minor irritant on what is still one of the great movie endings. For my money, though physically past his prime years, Cagney pulled out the performance of his career in White Heat.

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Scarface took several scenes from the 1931 film The Public Enemy with James Cagney. The ending was a spin on the machine gun scene toward the end of The Public Enemy.  The scene where Scarface comes home for the first time and tries to give the money to his mother and sister is STRAIGHT from a scene in The Public Enemy.  There are more references in the film also.

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