Mise-en-scene and Cinematography of the original(1932) "Scareface"

Essay by djclueice3University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

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For my paper I have decided to view the original "Scarface" which was directed by Howard Hawks. This film stars Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak and George Raft. This film was made in 1932 and was in black and white. The film was to take place in Chicago and show a realization of the prohibition era. This was about the organized crime in Chicago and loosely base on the life of Al Capone. This film is a certain character that moves up on the mob ladder until his own weaknesses catch up with him. The main character in this film is Tony Camonte. Tony is the man that has not fears and does not hesitate for a second to kill somebody. In this film you can see a reoccurring symbol that signifies many things. This symbol is the "X" in the very beginning of the film you when you see the title "Scarface" and in the background you see the "X".

This symbol is repeated throughout the film, whether it is on a woman's gown, in the bowling alley to signify a strike, on a wooden beam after the recreation of the St. Valentine's Day massacre or the scar on Tony's face; either way the "X" is a symbol for death and that some one is or already did die. One other place we see the "X" is on the door of Guino Rinaldo and then he is killed by Tony. Since the "X" symbolizes death we learn that Tony will eventually die in the movie because he has a scar on his face of an "X". The filmmaker wants the audience to realize the reoccurrence of the "X" this is way the symbol is shown is so many times. There is another symbol we see in this film...