Scarface (1931) | Mechanics' Institute

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Scarface (1931)
January 2020 - Speakeasy! Prohibition at 100

Directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson | Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak

Long before Al Pacino and “say hello to my little friend,” Paul Muni delivered an iconic performance as the ruthless “Scarface.” Billed as a response to the widespread romanticizing of gangsters, this film does not portray Tony Camonte as a man shaped by poverty and bad breaks, but as a twisted criminal who recognizes no moral boundaries. “He hurt you. He hurt everybody” his mother warns his sister. The film’s violent content got it in trouble with regional censor boards, which delayed its release for almost a year. The Chicago Film Review Board banned it outright, and it didn’t open the windy city until 1941.


Images with permission of Universal Pictures

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