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Scarface 101: Is The Film Based On A True Story? Who Plays Tony Montana? And More

Scarface is one of the most iconic films of the past 50 years. Al Pacino’s performance as Tony Montana is to this day celebrated. It seems to have gotten more popular since it originally hit theaters more than 40 years ago. Read below to learn some of the most vital and interesting facts concerning the gangster epic.

When Did Scarface Open In Theaters?

The film opened in theaters on December 9, 1983.

Who Plays Tony Montana?

Al Pacino plays Tony Montana, also known as Scarface.

Who Directed Scarface?

Brian De Palma directed Scarface.

Who Wrote Scarface?

Oliver Stone wrote Scarface.

What Is Scarface Rated?

Scarface is rated R. Originally the film received an X rating for violence and content. De Palma had to edit and cut the film multiple times to get the ratings board to give the film an R. The media got a hold of the story, and it sparked a debate about violence in cinema, and whether the Pacino film was being censored. There was controversy surrounding Scarface before it was even in theaters.

Is Scarface A Remake?

The 1983 film is a remake, a fact many do not know. In 1932 the original Scarface was released from director Howard Hawks and starring Paul Muni. It was considered a classic by the time Stone and De Palma looked to remake it. The filmmakers saw an opportunity with the 1983 film to update the story through the lens of modern crime.

How Was The Film Originally Received?

Critics did not celebrate Scarface when it was released in 1983. The film did ok at the box office, but it is safe to say that the filmmakers were hoping for more critically and financially. The poor reviews, the love for the original, and the nonstop violence in the 1983 film deterred audiences from coming out in droves. Today, Scarface is considered a classic with legions of fans around the world. Home video releases, like VHS, DVD and Blu Ray, along with streaming services and digital copies, have kept the film relevant.

Is Scarface Based On A True Story?

Scarface is largely a fictional tale. But there are real life inspirations that are a part of the story. There are certain facts from the life of Al Capone that seemed to help influence the creation of the Tony Montana character.


- Adam C. Better