When I hear or read the word “scar face”, I immediately think of Al Pacino and the 1983 film where he brought “Tony Montana” to life. It was only version I’d seen (I haven’t read the original novel), but one thing that’s certain in this day and age is there’s usually an earlier version of everything.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised to run into the original 1932 movie on Turner Classic Movies the other day.
I was very much surprised by the intro, though.
It’s not something seen in movies anymore, the conscience and concern of the Powers That Be as they get the masses all “turnt up” and urge them to fight for what’s right.
After reading up on that intro, however, I found that it (and the additional subtitle The Shame of a Nation) were only added in an attempt to get the
violence police censors to release the film for viewing. LOL And that the battles between the production company and those censors were just as long, hard, and bloody as the fictional ones between Tony, rival gangsters, and the police.
What was that, life imitating art? After a fashion, I guess. And just as Tony ended up cut to pieces by bullets in the end (I’m not really spoiling anything, am I?), the film met a similar fate from required cuts and re-dos, but was still nominated as one of the best American films of 1932 by the National Board of Review.
Tony Montana: “Come on! Bring it! You wanna go to war? We take you to war! Okay?”