Looking Back at ‘Scarface’ and How It Became a Cinematic Classic

  • Variety
Looking Back at ‘Scarface’ and How It Became a Cinematic Classic
Scarface,” which opened Dec. 9, 1983, made money at the box office but wasn’t immediately profitable. However, in the 36 years since, the film has been embraced as a classic. The project started as a 1930 pulp novel by Armitage Trail, inspired by gangster Al Capone, whose nickname was Scarface. On April 6, 1982, Variety announced star Al Pacino and director Sidney Lumet were working on a remake of the 1932 film, but before long, Brian De Palma stepped in as director. The original budget was $13 million-$14 million. When production wrapped in summer 1983, Variety reported the cost had ballooned to $37 million.

Just before the film’s holiday launch, Universal held a New York premiere screening and a party at Sardi’s, with an eclectic mix of guests including Cher, Raquel Welch, Lucille Ball, Eddie Murphy and Kurt Vonnegut, “who walked out during the grisly chainsaw shower scene,” Variety reported. The article added that an on-screen dedication
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