128: “Say Goodnight To The Bad Guy” – Scarface

Bright lights, joyful music, expensive baubles, and white powder everywhere! Could it be Christmastime again? Or is it perhaps a sweltering, sweaty drug war in Miami, circa 1983?

Actually, it’s both, as When We Were Young celebrates the holidays the only way we know how – with narcotics, chainsaws, and expletives galore, all courtesy of Brian De Palma’s ultraviolent crime classic SCARFACE.

Americans have a long history of looking up to men who aren’t the best role models. That explains why Tony Montano, the Cuban crime lord unforgettably embodied by Al Pacino, became an unlikely role model for millions of moviegoers who turned the controversial gangster flick into a stone cold classic over the four decades that followed its release. Some viewers find inspiration in Tony Montana’s upwardly mobile immigrant story, while others find the film’s execution of the American dream to be even more crass than the capitalist excess it’s critiquing. And then there are those who just really like the F-word and machine guns!

To celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary, Chris, Becky, and Seth sample from Scarface’s many extremes, exploring everything from the incestuous implications of its sibling relationship to the over-the-top carnage of its finale – all set to a throbbing disco soundtrack, of course. Do we still consider Scarface to be a lil’ fren’ to cinema? Or is Tony Montana a bad guy we prefer to say “goodnight” to indefinitely?

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