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Old January 10 2012, 10:20 AM   #61
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012


5. Scarface [1932] (B-)

This is the second time I've seen this film for a class, and my impression is about the same. It's certainly an okay entry into the gangster film canon (and one of the few from this period that wasn't made by Warner Bros.), but it displays too much of the awkwardness of earlier sound film to be as good as a film like The Roaring Twenties. Most of the actors seem to think it necessary to take a pregnant pause before delivering their lines, and it provides the film with an odd pace. There are plenty of great camera set-ups (the opening long take is still impressive), though, showing a much greater influence of German filmmakers than would manifest itself in later films directed by Howard Hawks.

On the plus side, Paul Muni is wonderfully repulsive as the lead -- there's nothing redeeming or honorable about his gangster character at all, at any point in the movie. On the downside, George Raft is as lifeless as ever, and this is somehow the performance that got his acting career started! Luckily, he doesn't speak much, which is a big help.

Theatres: 0
Home Video: 4 (+1)
Computer: 1
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