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Scarface is a 1983 film directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino. It tells the story of a fictional Cuban refugee who comes to Florida in 1980 as a result of the Mariel Boatlift.


After getting a green card in exchange for assassinating a Cuban government official, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) stakes a claim on the drug trade in Miami. Viciously murdering anyone who stands in his way, Tony eventually becomes the biggest drug lord in the state, controlling nearly all the cocaine that comes through Miami. But increased pressure from the police, wars with Colombian drug cartels and his own drug-fueled paranoia serve to fuel the flames of his eventual downfall.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

In 1980, Tony Montana (Al Pacino), a Cuban refugee, arrives in Miami, Florida during the Mariel boatlift. He and his best friend, Manny Ribera (Steven Bauer), along with friends/associates Angel (Pepe Serna) and Chi-Chi (Ángel Salazar) are sent to a refugee camp, but Manny makes a deal with wealthy drug dealer Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) to obtain green cards in return for killing a former Cuban government official who murdered Lopez's brother long ago. Following the assassination and their release, they agree to carry out a job for Frank's henchman Omar Suarez (F. Murray Abraham), to buy cocaine from Colombian dealers. The deal quickly goes bad, with the Colombians dismembering Angel with a chainsaw. Before they can do the same to Tony, Manny and Chi-Chi storm the apartment and kill the Colombians. Suspecting a set-up and distrusting Omar, Tony and Manny take the money and cocaine to Frank personally. Frank likes their style and hires Tony and Manny to work for him. This is when Tony first meets and develops a romantic interest in Frank's girlfriend, Elvira Hancock (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Months later, Tony visits his mother, Georgina (Míriam Colón), and younger sister, Gina (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), of whom he is fiercely protective. Gina is excited to see him again, but his mother is disgusted by his life of crime and throws him out. Manny, who is waiting in the car, comments about Gina's beauty, but Tony angrily warns Manny to stay away from her.

Frank sends Tony and Omar to Bolivia to make a transaction with cocaine kingpin Alejandro Sosa (Paul Shenar). The tension between Tony and Omar peaks when Tony begins to make unauthorized deals on Frank's behalf. Omar agrees to head back home to talk with Frank personally, while Tony is asked to stay behind with Sosa. Shortly afterward, Sosa discloses to Tony that Omar is a police informant, and has Tony witness Omar being pushed and hanged from a helicopter. Tony states that he never liked or trusted Omar, but vouches for Frank. Sosa and Tony part ways with a business understanding, but Sosa warns Tony never to betray him. Upon returning to Miami, Frank is infuriated with Omar's demise and Tony's unauthorized deals, which cause the end of their business relationship. Tony establishes his own operations and openly pursues Elvira more aggressively, asking her to marry him.

At a local nightclub, Tony is shaken down by corrupt Miami detective Mel Bernstein (Harris Yulin), who proposes to "tax" Tony on his transactions in return for police protection and information. Tony sees Elvira, and sits with her to discuss his proposal, but Frank arrives and angrily demands that Tony leave. But Tony insults Frank instead, causing Frank to leave with Elvira. Tony then sees Gina dancing with a drug dealer, and follows them to a restroom stall, where Gina is snorting cocaine. Tony throws the man out of the bathroom and slaps Gina after she angrily confronts him. Manny, sympathizing with Gina, takes her home. Gina reveals her attraction to Manny, but he wards her off, fearful of Tony's wrath should he catch them together. Back at the club, Tony is attacked and wounded by two gunmen but manages to escape, killing both of them in the process. Suspecting Frank sent Bernstein and the hitmen, Tony and Manny confront Frank at his office, finding him with Bernstein. With the assistance of one of his loyal associates, via a pre-arranged phone call, Tony successfully exposes Frank as the culprit behind the failed assassination attempt. Frank begs for his life before Manny shoots him dead on Tony's order. Tony then shoots and kills Bernstein. Tony, having consolidated power, takes over Frank's empire, marries Elvira, and becomes incredibly wealthy with Sosa as his supplier.

Over time, cracks in Tony's operation begin to form. Tony and Elvira become addicted to cocaine and drift apart, while Tony's increasing paranoia begins to take a toll on his friendship with Manny, who is unhappy with his role as "junior partner", entrusted only with security. Tony is eventually charged with money laundering and tax evasion after police stage a sting operation. Tony is arrested and makes bail, but his lawyer explains there will be a huge fine and up to three years in jail. Sosa flies Tony to Colombia, and offers him a way out. In exchange for the use of Sosa's government connections to keep him out of jail, Tony must fly to New York City with Sosa's henchman Alberto (Mark Margolis) to help assassinate a Bolivian journalist intent on exposing Sosa during a speech to the United Nations. During dinner at a fancy restaurant with a depressed and drunken Tony and a stoned Elvira, an already unhappy Manny is asked to stay behind and "run things" while Tony goes to New York. Tony then accuses Elvira of being a "junkie" with whom he could never have children, resulting in a physical altercation and Elvira announcing that she is leaving Tony.

Tony arrives in New York with Chi Chi, Ernie, and Alberto. They stake out the journalist's apartment and Alberto wires the man's car with a remote bomb. The next morning, upon seeing the journalist accompanied in the car by his family, Tony tries to call off the operation, horrified by the idea of killing the journalist's wife and children. Alberto states that Sosa's explicit instructions are to tail the journalist and blow up his car in front of the United Nations building, and refuses to call off the hit. Before Alberto can detonate the bomb, Tony shoots him in the head. Furious, Sosa calls Tony later that evening and after a heated exchange, the kingpin reminds Tony of their first conversation, wherein he warned Tony never to betray him.

Tony then sets out to find Gina, who has been missing since he left for New York. Tony's mother tells him of an address in Coconut Grove she had followed Gina to one night. Tony arrives at a mansion at that address, and finds Manny and Gina together. He kills Manny in a fit of rage; however, Gina had intended to surprise Tony with the announcement of their recent marriage. Tony and his men bring an extremely distraught Gina back to Tony's mansion. As Tony sits snorting a large pile of cocaine in his office, Sosa's men surround the mansion, heavily armed and quietly killing Tony's guards along the way. At this point, a heavily-drugged Gina enters Tony's office and accuses Tony of wanting her for himself, before shooting him in the leg. One of Sosa's gunmen bursts into the room and kills Gina. Tony kills the gunman and upon seeing Gina's corpse, falls into heavy rumination. Chi Chi is then killed when Tony fails to open the door despite his frantic pleas. Finally, in a cocaine-fueled fury, Tony makes his last stand, using an M16 equipped with an under-barrel M203 grenade launcher, and extended magazines opening fire and killing dozens of Sosa's men while issuing the famous line: "Say hello to my little friend!". Tony takes 53 hits but manages to survive until he is fatally shot in the back by Sosa's henchman, Skull. His jaw drops, Tony's body falls from the staircase into the fountain at the bottom, in front of the statue reading "The World is Yours."

In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug empire while succumbing to greed.

All spoilers have been stated and have ended here.



  • Al Pacino as Tony Montana
  • Steven Bauer as Manny Ribera (Credits list as "Manny Ray")
  • Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Gina Montana
  • Robert Loggia as Frank Lopez
  • F. Murray Abraham as Omar Suárez
  • Harris Yulin as Mel Bernstein
  • Paul Shenar as Alejandro Sosa
  • Ángel Salazar as Chi Chi
  • Pepe Serna as Angel Fernandez
  • Míriam Colón as Georgina Montana
  • Al Israel as Hector "The Toad"
  • Michael Alldredge as George Sheffield
  • Mark Margolis as Alberto "The Shadow"


Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 82% approval rating based on 71 reviews, with an average rating of 7.54/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino take it to the limit in this stylized, ultra-violent and eminently quotable gangster epic that walks a thin white line between moral drama and celebratory excess." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 65 out of 100 based on reviews from 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews"