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Scarface (alternate ending)

Recently Restored
Directed by Howard Hawks.
With Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley.
United States, 1932, DCP, 1932 min.
DCP source: Universal

One of Hawks’ most visually elaborate works, Scarface is a film enamored with shadows, fog and the damp, shiny allure of Chicago by night. Utilizing dynamic camera movement and expressionistic compositional play, Hawks reflects the intensity of the city’s mafia community without glamorizing it. Riding high in this crime world is Tony Camonte (Paul Muni), a bloodthirsty gangster who consistently ignores his boss' orders in launching a killing spree that takes him deep into the North Side to mess with a much-feared Irish mob. From here, Tony’s swelling ego and drive to rule Chicago go largely unchecked, while his intimate, vaguely incestuous relationship with his sister (played by a wonderfully committed Ann Dvorak) provides his only fulfilling, if damaged, human relationship. Though completed prior to the enactment of the Production Code, this nastily effective film came under great scrutiny from the censors and caused even more concern when it became a box office success, but to film history it is invaluable, providing seeds for the noir genre as well as the entire careers of Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma.

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