Grade A

In 1983, screenwriter Oliver Stone and director Brian De Palma brought to the world a movie about Miami drug dealers that was so indelible, it is still viewed and enjoyed and quoted by millions of movie fans.

Al Pacino plays the title role in “Scarface,” a Cuban immigrant/gangster who takes advantage of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift in Cuba to immigrate to the United States.  With his trusty friend and fellow gangster (played by Steven Bauer) by his side, Pacino’s ferocity and knowledge of “the streets” allows him to move up fast in the cocaine drug trade.  But he fails to listen to the advice of his first boss: not to be greedy, because those who want it all no longer fly straight, and then they’re gone.

“Scarface” is basically one, big, memorable movie moment!  Unless I want to have a list 100 pages long, I will narrow it down to three.  Third place goes to **SPOILER ALERT** the shocking scene when Pacino is looking for his sister, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and he comes upon a house that is opened by his best friend, Bauer, and Mastrantonio is on the upper floor putting on her nightgown.  In his cocaine-fueled rage, Pacino shoots and kills Bauer!  Oh, that was tough to watch the first time.

Second place in my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when a Colombian drug dealer uses a chainsaw to dismember Pacino’s friend.  Many believe that this is the most violent part of the movie; but the dismemberment is never shown.  We see faces splattered in blood, the reactions of Pacino and the one being cut to pieces…the rest is filled in by the minds of the audience, making us believe that this scene was more violent than was actually depicted.

Perched at the top of my memorable, movie moments of “Scarface” is the scene when Pacino makes his stand against the hit squad sent to kill him.  Grabbing his M-16 rifle with the M203 grenade launcher attached to the foregrip, Pacino braces himself and aims his weapon at the locked door that the hit squad is trying to open.  Pacino screams the most famous line of the movie, “Say hello to my little friend!” and fires a grenade at the door.

Honorable mentions must be made to the fine performances of Mastrantonio, a very young Michell Pfeiffer who plays Pacino’s love interest, Robert Loggia and F. Murray Abraham.  For fans of gangster movies, “Scarface” is not to be missed.

— M