New Hollywood Cinema (Scarface)

Essay by AlextopdoggUniversity, Bachelor'sB, May 2004

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Alex Liasides

New Hollywood Cinema


The gangster movie has always been a favourite for most audiences since the early days of Film Noir. The reasons for the success of such films are due to the fact that they create an illusion of an underworld of which is glorified and provides a positive view point to the audiences. In turn, we become in awe by the power and lifestyles of the Maffia and side with them. Elements such as violence, drugs, money, sex and flash cars are characteristic of this genre. The feature film Scarface written by Oliver Stone, directed by Brian De Palma is a 1983 Hollywood gangster film which tells the tail of the rise and fall of a Cuban refugee turned drug dealer. Scarface also touches on various political issues in America at that moment in time.

In search to make this feature film realistic, Stone had to get an insight of this underworld that he was to convey.

What better way to do this than interview real life people that are caught up in these lifestyles. Stone interviewed federal agents, members of the FBI, narcotics investigators, homicide detectives with the Miami Police Department and members of the Organized Crime Division in order to learn about the Cuban crime wave. He also decided to further his knowledge and mingle with parties from the other side of the law such as street hustlers who cut and flogged the drugs and shady investors who injected funds into these drug deals and reaped the profits.

In the 1980's Cocaine had hit America by storm and was labelled the drug of the decade. It was a very profitable drug which made many organised crime cartels rich. The drug problem in America was expressed and portrayed in many blockbusters in this era.