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Al Pacino thanks rappers for keeping Scarface relevant

Aug. 26, 2011by: Paul Tassi

Brian De Palma's Scarface might be a pretty divisive film (I'm personally a fan), but it's experienced something over the last few decades its creators didn't envision. The film has become a cult icon for the rap community, with clothes, jewelry, lyrics and hell, there's even a rapper straight up called "Scarface."

The fact that a Cuban character played by an Italian American actor would be so embraced by that community is a bit strange, and one would wonder what Al Pacino thinks of the subculture it's found. He shares his thoughts at a recent part for the Blu-ray release of the film.

"The hip-hop people and the rappers got together and they made a video and they talked about the movie. I don't think anybody's ever talked about it as articulately and clearly. I understood it better having heard them talk about it. I mean, they really get it and they understand it, and that's a great thing. They've been very supportive all these years. I think they've helped us tremendously."

So what IS the message of the film, according to these rappers and Pacino?

"When I saw it for the first time -- and I don't mean mine, I mean Paul Muni's from [the] 1930s -- I had that feeling about it too," he said. "Anything when the hero is just reaching for something."

"Man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for? That's a great expression, and I think that's Tony Montana," Pacino poetically explained. "Reaching for something he can't get but he keeps going. There is an element of hope in it, believe it or not."

I get the whole "American dream" aspect, and becoming something from nothing through "hard work" (read: extreme violence), but Tony Montana still strikes me as a strange role model, especially given the catastrophic end to his tale. Maybe man's reach shouldn't exceed his grasp after all.

Extra Tidbit: My favorite Scarface related thing is the fact that the video game just has the premise "What if he just f*cking killed everyone in his house instead?"
Source: MTV

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4:42PM on 08/29/2011
It's the whole thuggish angle and "The World Is Yours" concept that attracts the hip-hop community.
It's the whole thuggish angle and "The World Is Yours" concept that attracts the hip-hop community.
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9:18AM on 08/29/2011

Future ft Drake "Tony Montana"

Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
Check up out my ears
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
Im bout to cop the Porsche
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
You leave me no choice, take em to
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
Check up out my ears
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
Im bout to cop the Porsche
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
You leave me no choice, take em to
Tony Montana, Tony Montana, Tony Montana
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+3
2:25PM on 08/28/2011

I think "praising psychopaths...

is a little harsh, and if you think Scarface praises people like Tony Montana then sorry, but you missed the whole point of the movie. Films like Scarface, Goodfellas and other mob movies are not about praising these guys. They are merely reminders of what happens to a man that turns to a life a crime. A man so obsessed with achieving the American Dream that he will become a monster to do so. Like Scorsese said in a interview. His movies are the rise and fall of a King. Don't you guys get that?
is a little harsh, and if you think Scarface praises people like Tony Montana then sorry, but you missed the whole point of the movie. Films like Scarface, Goodfellas and other mob movies are not about praising these guys. They are merely reminders of what happens to a man that turns to a life a crime. A man so obsessed with achieving the American Dream that he will become a monster to do so. Like Scorsese said in a interview. His movies are the rise and fall of a King. Don't you guys get that? They rise and they fall, and that is the what it is all about. Crime does not pay.
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1:20AM on 08/28/2011

Overrated?

Scarface is not an overrated movie at all.It's one of the greatest gangster movies along with Goodfellas and The Godather 1&2. While it's not as good as those 3 movies it is only a step below them. It seems like a lot of people want to transfer their hatred of rap to this movie. It's a great time capsule for the 80's era of excess and greed. Too bad so many people get the wrong message from the movie. It's a great cautionary tale of a man who got what he wanted and found out too late that it
Scarface is not an overrated movie at all.It's one of the greatest gangster movies along with Goodfellas and The Godather 1&2. While it's not as good as those 3 movies it is only a step below them. It seems like a lot of people want to transfer their hatred of rap to this movie. It's a great time capsule for the 80's era of excess and greed. Too bad so many people get the wrong message from the movie. It's a great cautionary tale of a man who got what he wanted and found out too late that it wasn't at all what he dreamed it would be. Great movie and easily DePalma's best.
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12:37PM on 08/27/2011
well it makes since that the rap world would be drawn to this movie. It's about a guy who comes from nothing, which most gangster rappers claim is where they came from. You then add guns and drugs, which if you live in extreme poverty is usually what you are drawn to. Usually because it seems like an easy way to get rich. I don't come from poverty, but I still love the movie anyway! I definitely wouldn't call Tony Montana a role model though!
well it makes since that the rap world would be drawn to this movie. It's about a guy who comes from nothing, which most gangster rappers claim is where they came from. You then add guns and drugs, which if you live in extreme poverty is usually what you are drawn to. Usually because it seems like an easy way to get rich. I don't come from poverty, but I still love the movie anyway! I definitely wouldn't call Tony Montana a role model though!
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9:54AM on 08/27/2011
Scarface is one of those movies that people like just to look cool. The movie itself was ok, but the main character is what draws people to it.
Scarface is one of those movies that people like just to look cool. The movie itself was ok, but the main character is what draws people to it.
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7:58AM on 08/27/2011
Its only a classic because the thug culture embraces it.
Its only a classic because the thug culture embraces it.
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4:44PM on 08/29/2011
Agreed. I still liked it back in the '80's though. It was entertaining for it's time.
Agreed. I still liked it back in the '80's though. It was entertaining for it's time.
+10
5:09AM on 08/27/2011
An icon isn't the same thing as a role model, I think Paul is confusing the two in this case.
An icon isn't the same thing as a role model, I think Paul is confusing the two in this case.
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11:49PM on 08/26/2011
all rappers should meet the same fate as Tony Montana
all rappers should meet the same fate as Tony Montana
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11:44PM on 08/28/2011
if you don't like rap music that's fine, but wishing that a whole genre of people would die is just an ignorant thing to say.
if you don't like rap music that's fine, but wishing that a whole genre of people would die is just an ignorant thing to say.
10:29PM on 08/26/2011

I love Scarface

The Scarface Philosophy is a byproduct of the American Dream.
Tony plays by his own rules (no killing innocent women and children) and as far as criminals go, he's not the worst. It's actually his own scruples that end up pulling the trigger on his life.
In short, he's a victim of the American Dream.
The Scarface Philosophy is a byproduct of the American Dream.
Tony plays by his own rules (no killing innocent women and children) and as far as criminals go, he's not the worst. It's actually his own scruples that end up pulling the trigger on his life.
In short, he's a victim of the American Dream.
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-34
6:54PM on 08/26/2011
Most overrated movie and actor
Most overrated movie and actor
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-13
4:06PM on 08/26/2011
Two sort of dumb/ignorant statements and counting...
Two sort of dumb/ignorant statements and counting...
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-22
3:57PM on 08/26/2011

Let Us Praise Famous Psychopaths

Once again, a celebrity endorsement of violent psychopathic behavior is given public encouragement through misguided sentiment for the underdog in society. One can only say that Mr Pacino may never meet what he encourages as a role model for disadvantaged youth. ony Manero would cut Mr. Pacino's throat while eating a Cuban sandwich and his attention would only focus on where the blood is spurting so as to not soil his clothing.
Once again, a celebrity endorsement of violent psychopathic behavior is given public encouragement through misguided sentiment for the underdog in society. One can only say that Mr Pacino may never meet what he encourages as a role model for disadvantaged youth. ony Manero would cut Mr. Pacino's throat while eating a Cuban sandwich and his attention would only focus on where the blood is spurting so as to not soil his clothing.
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7:56AM on 08/27/2011
Its the same culture and philosophy that has people wearing Mao and Che T-shirts. They support and idolize people who have butchered millions. Its paints a sad picture of the American culture today.
Its the same culture and philosophy that has people wearing Mao and Che T-shirts. They support and idolize people who have butchered millions. Its paints a sad picture of the American culture today.
3:16PM on 08/26/2011
90% of the people who wear Scarface apparel have probably only seen the last ten minutes of the movie...
90% of the people who wear Scarface apparel have probably only seen the last ten minutes of the movie...
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6:40PM on 08/26/2011
Exactly, its just a 'trendy' movie to say is on your favorites list. I love Pacino in pretty much everything, but Scarface is overrated.
Exactly, its just a 'trendy' movie to say is on your favorites list. I love Pacino in pretty much everything, but Scarface is overrated.
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