The Original ‘Scarface’ Isn’t From 1983—It’s From 1932, And You Can Watch It Online

There’s a Scarface remake coming directed by Call Me By Your Name‘s Luca Guadagnino, and fans are less than pleased. Some have even taken to the internet to express their displeasure at the idea of remaking what is arguably a perfect, classic film.

*Kevin Costner voice from The Art of Racing in the Rain trailer.* But there’s only one problem: That 1983 film from director Brian De Palma that you guys love so much? Yeah, that’s a remake, too.

The original Scarface is a 1932 pre-code gangster film directed by Howard Hawkes and produced by Howard Hughes. (Yes, that Howard Hughes.) And that Scarface is loosely based on the 1929 novel Scarface by Armitage Trail, which in turn is based on the real-life American gangster, Al Capone. In other words: Nothing is original, the rules are made up, and the points don’t matter.

The 1932 Scarface is not quite the same as the one that stars Al Pacino as the iconic film character Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who becomes a powerful drug lord in Miami in the ’80s. Instead, it starred Paul Muni as Antonio “Tony” Camonte, an Italian-immigrant-turned-mafia-member in Chicago in the 1920s. But there’s no doubt that De Palma’s film was a remake—right down to the exact same final shot of a corpse falling to the ground in front of the words, “The World is Yours.” If you’re interested in watch the 1932 film, you can rent a digital copy for just $3.99 on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, or wherever you purchase digital content.

Now, I certainly don’t blame anyone who didn’t know that Scarface (1983) was a remake. The original is literally 88 years old, so it’s not exactly fresh in our collective film memory. But maybe let’s calm down about the remake from Guadagnino, whose version of the story will reportedly be set in Los Angeles, and will be a reimagining of both films. The latest version of the script comes from Joel and Ethan Coen, who revised previous drafts written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (the 2019 Miss Bala), Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), and Paul Attanasio (Quiz Show). Sure, that’s a lot of hands on one script, but it’s the Coen Brothers! Those guys are pretty good at what they do!

Let’s not forget, also, that this is not Guadagnino’s first rodeo when it comes to remakes. His take on Suspiria—the 1977 Italian film—in 2018 was well-liked by critics (some of them, at least) and was hardly your standard, boring remake of a classic. All we’re saying is that Guadagnino might suspira-ise you with Scarface, too. (Sorry.)

Where to watch Scarface (1932)

Where to watch Scarface (1983)

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