YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:23 am

I actually found a copy of Peter Pan in my niece's room earlier. Now I have no excuse not to read it.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:12 am

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I actually found a copy of Peter Pan in my niece's room earlier. Now I have no excuse not to read it.
It is strange how fate works.

Thanks for starting a new page.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:04 pm

I wish I could give more people a say in these Rematches.

dreiser agreed to write about one of the films in the Scarface Quickmatch, so his words will appear in the next post: Scarface Quickmatch Essay #4. You'll find out to what extent I agree with him, or don't agree, when I get around to posting the review of the De Palma film near the end of this exercise. I still have to rewatch the film in order to write the review.

Meanwhile, I think this is a good way to start this Rematch.

With things at work all stirred up it's not going to be the post-a-day Quickmatch that I originally envisioned, because Yours Truly hasn't had time to complete all the writing and graphics generation in advance.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:06 pm

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)

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He Likes What He Sees

Our Corrie Colleague, dreiser, has analyzed the remake for us. Below are his words:

Scarface (De Palma, 1983)

There is a good deal of backlash placed at the door of this iconic film. Mostly because of the championing by the lame hip hop/wannabe gangster crowd and fanboys who have atrocious taste in cinema. But what might come off as a movie riddled with cliches to a contemporary generation is actually a picture that captured the zeitgeist of Americana for the 1980s: the relentless pursuit of all forms of pleasure. Many people just wanted to forget about all the stagflation, government scandals, the Vietnam debacle, oil shortages, and hostage crises that defined the previous decade. Cocaine use, accumulating money, promiscuous sex, and acquiring power were seductive, if hollow, preoccupations. Tony Montana is the Daniel Plainview of his time. An entrepreneur who embraces the slimy underbelly of capitalism as the only way to keep score.

You'd be hard pressed to find another movie experience that contains as many unforgettable scenes. The chainsaw, the visit to Sosa's in Bolivia, the Babylon club, the showdown at Lopez Motors, the aborted bombing of an agitator, and, of course, the meltdown finale. People either love or hate Al Pacino's performance. I'd argue that its over-the-top nature is the only way to play the ambitious Cuban refugee with a ridiculous chip on his shoulder. Oliver Stone's screenplay is brimming with fantastic lines like "Say, hello, to my little friend," and "All I got in my life is my balls and my word, and I don't break them for nobody." Besides De Palma's deft direction, the movie features a techno-pop score which captures the soulless hedonism of South Florida. And the cinematography progresses throughout the narrative, opening wide to match the endless opportunities within Tony's grasp, and switching to claustraphobic, tight shots of the anti-hero as he alienates everyone within his circle.

I really like the Hawks/Hecht version of this tale. But the 1983 take on the Al Capone legend surpasses it in every way.



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:05 pm

Some good thoughts in there... I should probably re-watch the 1983 version. I was fairly young when I saw it and it was okay but too over the top for me... and then the whole gangster support that you spoke of (along with EVERY jerk at college with the posters on their walls) pushed me from on the fence about the movie to feeling negative about the film. Since then, it is far less hyped and I've come to understand De Palma's style a little bit more due to his supporters here. Anyway, I had written it off for good about 10 years ago, but your words have me second guessing that now. I'm interested in hearing what YTMN's take on the film is.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:22 pm

Hank wrote:Some good thoughts in there... I should probably re-watch the 1983 version. I was fairly young when I saw it and it was okay but too over the top for me... and then the whole gangster support that you spoke of (along with EVERY jerk at college with the posters on their walls) pushed me from on the fence about the movie to feeling negative about the film. Since then, it is far less hyped and I've come to understand De Palma's style a little bit more due to his supporters here. Anyway, I had written it off for good about 10 years ago, but your words have me second guessing that now. I'm interested in hearing what YTMN's take on the film is.
That's great, Hank. I'm one of the Corrie De Palma nuts.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:16 am

Yeah, I know you are a fan. I stalk you. :shift:

Nah, not really you specifically. But the conversations on here about his work are always interesting. Out of what I've seen... I think Blow Out is my favorite of his.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:52 am

Hank wrote:Yeah, I know you are a fan. I stalk you. :shift:

Nah, not really you specifically. But the conversations on here about his work are always interesting. Out of what I've seen... I think Blow Out is my favorite of his.
That's a great one for sure.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:51 am

Hank wrote:Some good thoughts in there... I should probably re-watch the 1983 version. I was fairly young when I saw it and it was okay but too over the top for me... and then the whole gangster support that you spoke of (along with EVERY jerk at college with the posters on their walls) pushed me from on the fence about the movie to feeling negative about the film. Since then, it is far less hyped and I've come to understand De Palma's style a little bit more due to his supporters here. Anyway, I had written it off for good about 10 years ago, but your words have me second guessing that now. I'm interested in hearing what YTMN's take on the film is.
In those sadly rare instances when dreiser and I like the same films, we like them in different ways, to different degrees, and for different reasons.

He likes the De Palma much more than I do, and that's why I wanted his opinion to be expressed in my Rematch. I'm not the only person in the world with an opinion about films, and mine doesn't represent "the facts" about any given film. So I admired what drei wrote about the film when I posted about my first watch, and thought he should join me in this. Not only because he recommended the film (a film I never wanted to see) but because he supports his claims pretty well, too.

Keep in mind that I don't hate the film itself. And if that doesn't hook you to wait for the 1983 Review (which has been optimistically scheduled for 15 Feb 2013), I don't know what would. :D
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:54 am

I can't remember for certain whether I've seen Blow Out. I think I have, but I don't recall much about it (which may mean I saw it on TV and wasn't paying strict attention), and I sort of get it confused with Blow Up at times. :(
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:54 am

Image

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
The Writers
Image
Original Story
Armitage Trail wrote the novel on which the two movies are loosely based. Born Maurice Coons, the author only lived to age 28. Mystery File has a blog article about him. And there is a biography at what-when-how.com. The bio page says that he sold his first short story at age 17, but 11 years later, weighing in at over 300 pounds, and a heavy drinker to boot, he dropped dead of a heart attack inside Grauman's Chinese Theater. He is known primarily for the novel and the 1932 film Scarface.

Howard Hawks Film
The 1932 film has ten men credited with the writing tasks, beginning with Trail, but also including director Howard Hawks. Ben Hecht receives credit for the screenplay. Hecht has 159 writing credits at IMDb, 11 of them posthumous. One of the posthumous credits is for De Palma's Scarface remake, of course. Many of his listings at IMDb bear the notation "(uncredited)", so I looked to see when his credited work begins. That would be for the story to a 1927 film called Underworld. It won't surprise us much that this was a crime thriller. His first screen credit for "screenplay" came only a year before Scarface was released, for a screen adaptation of his own novel The Unholy Garden. Yours Truly has seen neither film. I knew that Ben Hecht was something called a "script doctor" even when I was a kid. IMDb has this tantalizing bit about him on the biography page:
He was paid $10,000 by producer David O. Selznick for a fast doctoring of the Gone with the Wind (1939) script, for which he received no credit and for which Sidney Howard won an Oscar, beating out Hecht and MacArthur's "Wuthering Heights" script.
It must be terrible to beat yourself.

The 1983 Remake
Brian De Palma's remake was written by Oliver Stone, who later became known more for directing. Stone's work is controversial for good reason: he is a sensationalist, unconcerned with facts, but aiming for dramatic effect; yet his work seems so coherent to ordinary folk that many people apparently mistake it for the facts, and tend to believe his movies over historical sources. Thus, he was the perfect man to tap for the De Palma fiction released in 1983. He is currently in the news as the co-author of a revisionist history of the United States which is apparently just as sensationalistic and wide of the truth! I think he's in it for the bucks, and in that regard he has been terribly successful. Viewers seem to be drawn to his over-large, gross-out style. For the De Palma film he was involved only as the screenplay writer. But a look at his IMDb bio page will show you a list of films, many of whose titles you know. It's the same effect that you get from looking at the list of credits for Ben Hecht. Perhaps they were both from the same personality mold.



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:57 am

Image

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
The Men Who Called "Action!"
Image
In 1932
Howard Hawks directed the 1932 Scarface adaptation, but Richard Rosson contributed enough to be credited as co-director. Hawks jumped genres frequently, but it might have been because he was part of the Hollywood studio system. He directed Westerns, Comedies, War Films, and Science Fiction Masterpieces. Some of his films are great, others are merely there. But we might not agree on which belong in which category. He directed 47 titles according to IMDb, some of which are romantic comedies. He actually seemed to concentrate on comedies, and he was one of the purveyors of the fast-talking screwball comedy. My favorite of his films is Bringing Up Baby, but like all his films I have seen, it has moments when it seems that no one was paying attention but the film was rolling. I've seen 18 of his films and enjoyed all but one. Yet he always seems to include something that irritates me. The parts that I like always make up for that, though. Hawks had a lasting and broad impact on the movie business, perhaps because he didn't try to limit himself. To not be great at everything you do doesn't mean you're bad at any of it. Film history would be impoverished without this man's work.

If you compare Richard Rosson's directorial slate at IMDb, you'll see a few titles that he shares with Hawks. More than just his co-director credit on Scarface. He shares directorial credit with Hawks on Today We Live. Other credits are for sequences within films. For example, "logging sequences" for the 1936 Hawks film Come and Get It.


In 1983
Brian De Palma was the director of the 1983 film. It was his 15th feature film. He has directed 14 feature films since. His generic range is from comedy to science fiction to gangster thrillers. When someone has such a broad range of interests it is inevitable that some individual hates something about each movie he does. Others see the breadth as some kind of a sign of greatness. De Palma might be admired more generally as time goes by, but for now his films seem to me to elicit nitpicking. Still, because of his broad scope it is no wonder that most people don't like all of his films. I don't even like all of them. But I do like his inventiveness, his willingness to emulate Alfred Hitchcock's best practices without apology, his attention to detail. I just find myself not liking most of his work, because he has concentrated in a genre that leaves me cold. Oddly, although he handles that genre well, he still gets a lot of flack for his work in it. I've seen only nine of his titles. I found something to admire in each of them, but also something to dislike. Although I recognize him as a filmmaker worthy of study, the accumulated things I have disliked usually keep me from watching anything by De Palma that I haven't already seen. Yet the awards people keep nominating him and giving him statuettes and things. It's as if they know something that I don't. I ventured into unknown territory to do this Rematch. Scarface is in the nominated but didn't win anything batch.



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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:27 am

YouTookMyName wrote:I can't remember for certain whether I've seen Blow Out. I think I have, but I don't recall much about it (which may mean I saw it on TV and wasn't paying strict attention), and I sort of get it confused with Blow Up at times. :(
Heh. Blow Out is De Palma's homage to the Antonioni film.

Also of note, the first end credit you see in the 1983 version is a thanks to Hawks and Hecht.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by charulata » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:31 am

Hank wrote: I think Blow Out is my favorite of his.
Sames :)
Loving this rematch. dreidrei, your essay on the De Palma was a great read. I intend to rewatch the Hawks soon so I can keep up with the thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:39 am

charulata wrote:dreidrei, your essay on the De Palma was a great read.
Thanks, thread partner.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:18 am

dreiser wrote:
Heh. Blow Out is De Palma's homage to the Antonioni film.

Also of note, the first end credit you see in the 1983 version is a thanks to Hawks and Hecht.
Indeed.
This film is dedicated to HOWARD HAWKS and BEN HECHT
I just read it a few moments ago when I completed my rewatch so I can proceed!

There is also a nice closing disclaimer that I didn't see before, because I didn't watch all the way through the credits. It bothers to point out that the characters in the film don't depict the Cuban American community.
Scarface is a fictional account of the activties of a small group of ruthless criminals. The characters do not represent the Cuban/American community and it would be erroneous and unfair to suggest that they do. The vast majority of Cuban/Americans have demonstrated a dedication, vitality and enterprise that has enriched the American Scene.
Like Mamá Montana.

Also, Pacino's performance didn't seem quite so over the top the second time through. Maybe because I was prepared for it. The ending still seems to go oddly tongue-in-cheek though! Much of the casting seems more on-the-money than it did the first time. My review will certainly be a bit different from what I expected to write.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:20 am

charulata wrote: Sames :)
Loving this rematch. dreidrei, your essay on the De Palma was a great read. I intend to rewatch the Hawks soon so I can keep up with the thread.
Oh, please do, but be quick about it. It'll be all done by the 16th! And write lots of comments. Lots.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:22 am

Hank wrote:I think Blow Out is my favorite of his.
Okay, after drei's comments and yours I have to get my hands on this and watch it just so I can be sure. Besides, even though it has John Revolting in it, maybe De Palma's touch will render him palatable for a couple hours.

Homage to Blow Up, eh? Maybe that's why I confuse the two. But one's with photos and the other is with sound.
EDIT: Ha ha. After I wrote this I went to IMDb where I found this observation on the Trivia page:
The idea of a man discovering a crime by listening to a recording is a reinterpretation of Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow-Up, but using sound instead of photographs.
:D
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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Das » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:04 am

Oh, yeah. I never did reply to your PM, Did I?

(I was going to decline as a side-note, but whoops.)
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:22 am

Das wrote:Oh, yeah. I never did reply to your PM, Did I?

(I was going to decline as a side-note, but whoops.)
I figured you were busy with that thread that I was too busy with this thread to write anything for. Plus school and your artworks. I understood.

I just took it that you didn't even have time in your pressure-cooker world to reply. :D
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:17 pm

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)

Image
Novel vs. Films

In the book Scarface, Italian-American criminal kingpin Tony Camonte is never known to his family, the Guarinos. They don't have any idea that he used to be their son and brother, Tony Guarino. He dies in a shootout with the police, but not in his armored enclave as in the 1932 film. And in the book he becomes Scarface Tony Camonte because he returns from service in WWI with a massive scar down the left side of his face...earned in heroic defense of his fellow soldiers. No one recognizes him as the punk kid who was too quick with a trigger before the war, so he changes his name, which has the added benefit of protecting his family.

Because of many differences from the original novel, the 1932 movie and its remake bear only general resemblance to the story scribbled down by Armitage Trail. Yet there is one aspect of the novel, and the films, that is a direct representation of the culture in America. A direct representation that simply shifts the substance involved, while retaining authenticity.

Tony Camonte on the page commandeers his boss's girlfriend, who is a gun girl. A gun girl carries the gun for her consort to use for a killing, then she hands it to him at the right moment, but finally secrets the gun on her person after the shooting and walks away. Voila! The cops never find any weapon with which the assassin could have done the deed. The idea of the gun girl is dropped from both films. Tony's sex interest is simply a high-maintenance mol owned by his boss, with whom Tony becomes infatuated and whom he wants to conquer. The gun girl bit doesn't necessarily reflect the times as well as a controlled substance does.

Although the term "indictment of gang rule" might loosely fit the Armitage Trail novel, the first movie Scarface does nothing to indict gang rule so much as it glorifies the gun porn culture that it allegedly seeks to undermine. The 1983 remake looks like more of a spoof on the surface, even moreso because (as dreiser pointed out) Brian De Palma presents everything "seriously." Well, as seriously as the actors' false Cuban accents will allow him to.
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In the period surrounding the Hawks film the evil chemical in American society was alcohol. The film uses trade in beer to represent demon rum. The gangs that rose up to control this illegal substance were ruthless in their ambition. In the public mind not only was alcohol a demon, the people who were illegally purveying this controlled substance were of immigrant stock. When Maurice Coons wrote his novel Scarface (under the pseudonym Armitage Trail), Prohibition was the law of the land. By the time Hawks released his film Prohibition had been in force for twelve years, and it would soon be repealed, but at the time of release it remained the law of the land. When Brian De Palma decided to remake the film he needed something to replace booze as the substance that fueled his crime boss's passions. And he needed a different immigrant group.
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By 1983 the War on Drugs was in full swing. Americans were persuaded that nothing was "worse for America than the illegal substances that human trash like Tony Montana" sold on the streets of our cities. The remake uses cocaine as the representation of drug trade. Just as an earlier generation had done with alcohol, the Americans of the '80s failed to take into account human frailty as the source of drug use and drug addiction. Instead, like that earlier generation, they saw the source of the problem in the substance itself. Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but so does De Palma. He does this because he wants us to see Tony Montana, Cuban criminal, now in America, as a simpleton in the midst of a simplistic story. He's purposely looking at the problem through the same erroneous lens that many in his audience would be, and that touch made the movie a hit. It connected. It seems to me to be satirical, but I have no idea if audiences picked up on the possibility that De Palma was making fun of them rather than truly seeing things their way. At the end of the film Tony Montana sits with kilos of coke poured out on his desktop, dipping his nose into it so frequently that he would probably induce cardiac arrest, yet he keeps going. Perhaps the scene decoration is to point out that this man's greed is responsible for "mountains of cocaine" being brought into the US.

It is difficult, and perhaps impossible, for any of us born so long after Prohibition that it was a dim memory, to understand Coons's book, or Hawks's film. But the De Palma came to be during the birthing of a drug culture that continues to this day. All I'm trying to get across in the essay is that De Palma's choice of Tony Montana's trade directly mirrors Tony Camonte's income-producing activities in the book and earlier film. There is, in fact, little difference in terms of the dramatic function of booze and drugs in the two films. But, more importantly, these choices directly reflect the infatuations of the same culture at two different times in history. As dreiser points out in his essay, De Palma's film captures the zeitgeist of the 1980s. Booze and drugs are not symbolic in these films...they are as genuinely representational of the times as the cars and clothes you see in each one.




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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:44 pm

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A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
Behind the Lens
Image
for Howard Hawks
The 1932 film seems to have had two of everything! Both Lee Garmes and L. William O'Connell have credits as cinematographers on the film. Lee Garmes was born in 1898 and once he became a DP, he worked in films until he was 75 years old. As I have pointed out before, it is rarely the fault of the Director of Photography if a film isn't very good. Garmes has 136 credits as DP on the IMDb. Garmes worked in silents until he made The Barker in 1928. Afterward, his work was in films with sync sound. In the same year that Scarface was released, Garmes won an Oscar for photography on Shanghai Express.

L. William O'Connell lived to be 94 years old. His first outing as director of photography was for a film called Missing released in 1918. His last feature-length project was released in 1950. He has three credits for short films over the next two years, after which he apparently retired with a total of 179 DP credits.

for Brian De Palma
For his 1983 remake, De Palma worked with John A. Alonzo, whose name was already attached to Chinatown and Harold and Maude, among other well-known titles. Alonzo's work from 1964 until 1970 was mostly documentary projects, and a short film. In 1971 he was the cinematographer for the film Vanishing Point. His documentary style fit right in with that project, and informed probably everything he did afterward. Alonzo worked equally in television and cinema for the rest of his career. His last project was the motion picture Deuces Wild which was released in 2002, a few months after his death at age 66. Alonzo won an Emmy award for the cinematography in the television remake of Failsafe, broadcast in 2000.


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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:19 pm

Hey, Kurz! I just ordered the four movies on DVD and Blu-ray (the '78 is on both, the rest on DVD), and the book from Amazon, for your recommended Rematch. Body Snatchers is next, you know.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Colonel Kurz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:44 pm

:O
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:53 am

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A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
Design and Such

Art Direction/Production Management
1932: Charles Stallings Production Manager for Scarface, began his Hollywood career in 1917 as an assistant director. By 1929 he had worked in that capacity on only five films, but one of them was Ben Hur: a tale of the Christ in 1925. In 1931 he shifted to production managment for The Front Page. By 1950 he had managed production for another 21 titles, including Scarface, in 1932.

1983: Edward Richardson started off in the 1970s in art direction. He worked on Mel Brooks's High Anxiety as his second film. He stuck with the art department through 1994, completing 16 films in his career. After 1981 his credits read "Art Director" on 10 of those films. He was credited that way for American Gigolo, and Cat People before joining De Palma's crew for Scarface. Because of his job, Richardson would be largely responsible for how these films look to the viewer.

Set Design/Decoration
1932: Harry Oliver is credited with "Settings" for the Howard Hawks film. According to IMDb he worked alongside Stallings on Ben Hur in 1925, but did not receive a screen credit. Oliver moved back and forth between Set Decorator credits, Associate Art Director credits, and Art Director credits in his career. His first film was The Grim Game in 1919. His last credit is associate art director on Of Human Hearts in 1938. Oliver was nominated for an Academy Award in 1929 and again in 1930.

1983: Bruce Weintraub Set Decorator. Weintraub died at age 33. His career as set decorator began with the 1975 film The Wild Party. I have actually heard of this film, but didn't see it. The set decorations on De Palma's Blow Out were the responsibility of Weintraub and the crew he oversaw. His career in set decoration saw his touch applied to The Natural, Prizzi's Honor and Pretty in Pink before he left this earth. I suppose Bruce Weintraub was responsible for coming up with the various items that show up in Edward Richardson's realization of Tony Montana's strange taste in interiors. Was the Deco globe with neon letters "The World is Yours" Weintraub's idea? It could be.

Costumes
1932: Obviously, someone did the costumes, but there isn't a credit to her or him. Not enough room on the credits? No idea.

1983: Patricia Norris is Costume Designer for 64 films to date. Look at her filmography and you will see her idea of the answer to the question "What do you wear to...?" for many well-known titles. By the time she answered the "What do you wear to a 3 am vindictive assassination at an auto dealership?" and "What do you wear to a rival gang infiltration?" she had designed costumes for 29 films. She has also worked as Production Designer, and as a crew member in the costume department on 35 titles. Her work has been recognized by her peers, including an Emmy for the TV series Twin Peaks.

Special Effects/Sound
1932: Howard A. Anderson uncredited. William Snyder Sound engineer. I find it intriguing that this is the only credit the man has at IMDb. His work on the 1932 film is impressive for that early in the sound-film era.

1983: There are so many names for the Sound Department that I can't put them all in here. Look at the Full Cast and Crew for De Palma's Scarface in order to see the names and do your own research. There is no link to that section, so scroll down. And down. Until you reach it, if you're curious. Nowadays nearly everyone who does anything gets credited ("Mr Pitt's tissue Holder.......Mariel Jersey"], but even by 1983 a lot more people were getting permanent credits on the films they worked on. This is not a bad thing. Stan Parks and Ken Pepiot are credited for Special Effects in the 1983 film.

Oh, and lest we forget, in 1983 the helicopter pilot was Charles A. Tamburro. The man has 109 credits as Miscellaneous Crew! And they couldn't have made this film without the efforts of Branko Wohlfahrt, the uncredited armorer. His name means "healthy driver" not "wolf heart," although the second would be cool...for the guy providing all the guns.




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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:52 pm

I've received my paperback copy of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers by Jack Finney. It was a discard from the Tucson public library! Someone bought the discard, and it eventually came up for sale on Amazon.com as a used book. It doesn't look like anyone ever checked it out, but there is one leaf with an earmarked corner. :fresh:

All the DVDs have shipped and are on the way to me. :heart:

One week left on Scarface. If all goes as planned I'll put up Essay #1 and the review of the Hawks film tomorrow. :)
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:35 pm

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)

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Say "Hello!" to my Little Friend. I know you love him.

Although I doubt that the creators of novels, plays and movies spend a lot of time thinking about the social implications of their fictional works, I'm sure some do. But after some of them are published, especially if they become popular, you have to ask yourself "What kind of culture would allow someone to come up with something like this? And what kind of culture would embrace it?"

What kind of culture would give someone the ideas behind Battle Royale, or The Hunger Games? The Battle Royale movie poster asks "Could you kill your best friend?" At least it's rated R. How could The Hunger Games possibly become a best-selling series of kid's books? What kind of culture would permit it? (I would have loved to read something like that when I was in 7th grade! Although I would have been embarrassed to admit that I liked it.) And don't tell me that the people who read the books and who have seen the first movie based on those books don't watch intending to get some enjoyment from it. They know they will read about or see depictions of killing (I knew) and they know that it is all fakery up on the screen.
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And don't tell me that most of the people who watch either version of Scarface don't do so looking for enjoyment. I did so out of curiosity, having received a recommendation from dreiser to compare the two films. I became interested in both movies, but not because of the guns...because of the cinematic tricks that allow us to watch something this hideous and remain buffered from it. First of all, please understand that I had not read the book yet. And the book is very different from either film. Armitage Trail (truly a pseudonym) doesn't have the horrific shootout at the end of either film in his novel. Oh, there is plenty of gun-play, but the main character in the book doesn't want his family to know who he is, so at the end, his sister is not locked in a room with him while the feds or rivals mow them down (although his brother fires the fatal round in the novel, and Camonte purposely allows this to happen, because he won't kill his own brother).

The book does not mock the main character, Scarface Tony Camonte to the extent that the films do. Nor does it make him look heroic. He comes off looking like an uneducated fool, and not someone led into anything by another person.

One area where cinema usually fails is when someone tries to make it a vehicle for an "anti-violence" message. That is because cinema is nearly all surface, while novels get below the surface very well. As evil as Camonte/Montana is, he still comes off looking like a hero in the films because he is more interesting than the good guys. I think for some young people this might overwhelm the "don't be like this guy" messages. If they are even there. One scene in De Palma's film has Tony Montana challenging the audience, but in the form of his own audience at a fancy restaurant. You (meaning We) need bad guys, he argues, so we have someone to point fingers at and feel like we are the good guys. I warned my sons as they grew older that it isn't always possible to tell whether you are doing the right thing, because we nearly always feel as if we're doing the right thing, and almost always when we look in the mirror we see "the good guy."

Both versions of Scarface are pretty much gun porn. I expected this of the 1983 film, but I thought gun porn didn't exist in 1932! Silly me, knowing a tiny bit about pre-Code conditions I still didn't expect it.

The '32 original begins with a series of disingenuous title cards purporting to say it's against what you're about to see: "This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America...'" But nearly all the victims are criminals. Isn't that like shooting robots to bits or blowing up faceless Troll warriors? Doesn't it say, "These people are subhuman so it's okay if they get whacked by one another."? Look at these titles for yourself:
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Sure. Howard Hawks wasn't exactly known for being proactive politically and socially, but come on, couldn't he see that the audiences were going to get just the opposite of his "intended purpose" when they saw the endless flashes of automatic guns and heard the endless grinding booms of the enhanced muzzle blasts? Was he that naive? Who knows? Maybe some in the 1932 audience felt aghast and angry at seeing what Hawks told them was going on. Others were digging it. The trouble is that the presentation is so slick in this picture that it glorifies materially what it purportedly seeks to be agin'. I've read that Hawks added the title cards to appease State and local censors. Perhaps they could see what Hawks was up to, and what likely effect it would have.

The effect it had is a scientifically measurable reduction in the sadness or outrage we feel when we see violence being done to a person. The film Scarface and its ilk must have had something to do with it. Perhaps radio and newspaper reports of gang violence had something to do with it. Perhaps we tamp down our gut responses when we see or hear about a lot of things we can't agree with, but can't do anything about. Is the effect greater generation to generation? I haven't read anything about that, but I wonder.

By 1983, Brian De Palma needed no subterfuge to present his little friend to the audiences of America. He picked what was widely perceived as a threat in the same way that Hawks had done, and made that selection the fibrous matte onto which his film was layered like a cake, but he didn't make any glowing on-screen statements about what his film is supposed to be about. Who knows what the MPAA made him cut out? But the gunplay gets tiresome for me. It overshadows the characters. Maybe it's just me, but when something is about to get interesting in my terms, them guns begin a-chatterin' again, and I'm suddenly waiting for the story to take back up. The novel doesn't dwell on the gun violence to the extent that either film does, but in instances where it describes more than you care to read, you can skip it.

The gunplay is probably the big attraction to many viewers of the 1983 film. I suppose only those sophisticated enough in the world of cinema to appreciate the artistry of ancient black and white films would bother with Howard Hawks's original adaptation. If you Google "Scarface" it's all about the De Palma on page one of the results. Two entries for the Hawks film show up and one for a rapper. The rest focus on the De Palma.
Image
Although the 1932 film came out 51 years earlier, the 1983 film has become "the" overshadowing representation of Coons's original story and that's that. No doubt, the gangland violence promised by the title Scarface drew many readers of the novel into its pages in the late 1920s. No doubt, the gangland violence displayed in moving shadows drew audiences in 1932. You can forget those pretty titles tacked on at the beginning. That's hogwash. What they claim was never what these films are about.

The eventual result was films like the 1983 Scarface, the 2000 movie Battle Royale, and the 2012 film of The Hunger Games. Because the 1932 Scarface began pushing the envelope on what kinds of violence could be shown on screen, you can probably view Re-Animator and Night of the Living Dead as part of the Scarface legacy, if you wish.


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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:49 pm

I've gotten through three chapters of the Jack Finney novel from which all the Body Snatchers movies have been made. It's amazing how closely the 1956 film follows the plot in the book. Miles, the doctor, and his girlfriend Becky have just driven out to a writer's house and are about to see the bodysnatcher forming up on his pool table. The writing is very much like a film scenario with extra details, of course, but the presentation is so cinematic that there was little embellishment or cutting needed to bring it to the screen. So far, that is, in the first 3 chapters.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:53 pm

The new PhotoBucket is a bit strange to me. You have to do more, or it seems like more, in order to guide an upload into the album where you want it. One of my Scarface images, already embedded, is in the wrong place, but it won't hurt it to put it there. I uploaded the same image and then moved it, but that led to an error when I tried to display anything in the corrie that had the image in it. When I uploaded another copy, the one that's in a different place, it worked fine, and I didn't want to mess with that. I'm sure you understand if you've loaded many graphic images into forums! :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:03 pm

Since I have two accounts here I guess I can lower the graphic density on the page by pretending to talk to myself. Or at least by posting namby-pambyisms between the "meaty" posts. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:06 pm

We're still reading! Or at least I still am.
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:07 pm

I still hope to get the graphics done to go along with the "finished" text for the 1932 film review before the end of the day.

And I want to begin work on the Invasion Multimatch "Find-It" post. That will be a bear with four flicks and a novel.

*shudders with anticipatory excited reluctance* ;)
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:10 pm

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:We're still reading! Or at least I still am.
And I appreciate every sweep of the eyes. :D

What I'm worried about is that each page (I save them in Safari webarchives) is getting bigger than 25 MB in size (averages 2MB per post)! All due to graphics, I'm pretty sure. Pages where there was more discussion are often less than 10 MB in total bandwidth.

I've cut back on graphics for the Scarface Quickmatch, but only because it's supposed to be "quick" to do.

Since I have only 50 posts set for the limit per page, I'm trying to get in some short text posts to take up the count and have fewer graphics-intensive Rematch posts on each page. To make 'em smaller in bandwidth. For one thing, it will help the pages load faster for those with slower computers than mine (ours?) and that would be a good thing, methinks.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:28 pm

Hee hee! The 2007 film The Invasion had invaded my mailbox when I went out to check it. There are 3 others on the way from Amazon, expected early next week.

I can't watch them all and grab frames in only a week, though, most likely. :shifty:

I think I will start off behind my planned schedule on this one, but I'm not worried. It's only a hobby.

Kurz, could you contribute a little to the Invasion Multimatch? If so, PM me and let me know. Hartelijk bedankt.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:22 pm

Scarface (1932) dir. Howard Hawks
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IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1932 Director: Howard Hawks Cast: Paul Muni, Anne Dvorak, George Raft, Karen Morley, Boris Karloff Length: 93 min. B&W/Mono

Pre-code Hollywood didn't only revel in sexuality, they also reveled in violence. Howard Hawks created a hyper-violent film about gangsters, so violent that its release was delayed for a year, and because of the delay it was preceded into the marketplace by both Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, in 1931. Hawks struggled to get around the censorship, and in order to diffuse resistance from local censors around America, he tacked on a set of patriotic-sounding disclaimers in the opening titles of the film: "This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty." And so forth. I'll mention the disclaimers in one of the essays.

Spoilers ahead, as usual for a Rematch, although this film is more enjoyable if you already know these things. The suspense is much more intense.

The Novel Scarface (1929)
In Armitage Trail's original novel petty criminal Tony Guarino goes off to war, becomes a war hero, and then he is erroneously reported dead but receives a medal; he also gets a horrid scar on his face during the event that garners him a high award. When he goes back home no one recognizes him, and he doesn't have any contact with the Guarino family after that. He changes his last name to Camonte. Even though he sees his sister, murders her secret husband and speaks to her, he doesn't reveal to her who he is. In the novel the Inspector who is out to get Tony Camonte is his brother, Ben Guarino. Not so in the film, unless we assume that the cinematic version picks up after Tony changes his last name. At the end of the printed story it is a single bullet from Ben Guarino's gun that kills Tony Camonte. He doesn't die in a hail of gunfire at all. Yet, Ben Guarino doesn't know that he has shot his own brother.
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The First Scarface Film (1932)
In the film there are many changes. Tony is given a lively younger sister who looks up to him, and a mother who declares that Tony is bad and warns Cesca that her brother hurts everyone around him. But Cesca already knows who he is, and what he does. She takes money from him, hangs out with and marries one of his henchmen (secretly) and after Tony kills Guino Rinaldo, she shows up at his home to shoot him dead. But she can't bring herself to squeeze the trigger, and the police begin to mass in the street outside Camonte's apartment. That's the end, basically. Neither of them escapes alive.

Wikipedia asserts that Hawks later changed the ending, showing Camonte being hanged, but it still didn't appease the New York censors, so he restored the original ending that we see now, and exhibited the film in states with laxer censorship laws. He also added the subtitle "The Shame of a Nation," along with those opening disclaimers.

YTMN's Own Disclaimer
My generic dislike of films about thugs, crooks, and politicial types likely keeps me from seeing all the possibly good points of this film. Especially the characters themselves. I'm doing my best. I bought a DVD of The Godfather two years ago in case I ever got the unlikely urge to want to see it. I still haven't watched it and feel no urge to do so.

The Hawks film is significant enough that the Wikipedia article on it contains this note, "In 1994, Scarface was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant'." And like many classic films it has a 100% Tomatometer at RottenTomatoes.com.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like:
Like: Paul Muni's performance as Tony Camonte has a note of sympathy in it. He's shown as uneducated, but he isn't as much of a buffoon as Tony Montana is in the remake. There is a certain identification with his ignorant silliness that a sign proclaiming "The World is Yours" for a travel agency would be a kind of fortune teller's prediction for him. I think he buys an apartment specifically so that he can see the sign out the window of his home. If a viewer doesn't build any sympathy for Tony Camonte, then at the end the sign seems gleefully victorious, because he didn't get to rule the world, and thank goodness for that. But with a little bit of sympathy your sense of relief that he was stopped is still slightly tainted by your recognition that, twisted as it was, the young man had a dream and it is now as dead as he is. In other words, if a touch of sympathy can be built by writing, acting and editing, then the final shot of the sign becomes ironic. That's supposed to be literary and cool. I think the film manages that.
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Like: The photography is masterful for the most part. There is also an extended scene at the beginning of the film that introduces a few characters, one of whom is destined not to survive. The camera starts on a miniature of a dimming street light, then trucks right showing a set, where it follows a man into a building and passes "right through" the wall. The camera continues to follow people about with no cuts (difficult to do with the huge, blimped cameras of the early sound era). When Big Louie Costello is done in, we can't tell that we are watching Tony Camonte at work. The last employee in the night club finds Costello dead, hangs up his apron and quietly departs before the cops arrive. The camera follows him out the door and the shot dissolves away. It is impressive.

Like: The character of Cesca adds more suspense to the plot, especially since she knows who and what her older brother is. She fancies that they are just alike. Given the gender expectations of the day, they probably are just alike.

Like: "Tony's Mother" is a long-suffering, good-hearted woman who is not portrayed as a nag, although she probably comes off that way to modern audiences. She is the voice of reason and morality in a family that includes two people who don't want to hear reason or to practice morality, because to do so would require them to give up what they want most in the world. It is a bit part, but Inez Palange makes her more sympathetic, and gives her a stronger backbone than she might otherwise have had. After all, her son is the type who would kill her to get her out of his way, if he thought it was necessary. But she stands up to him.

Like: The character of Angelo is a thickly-accented Italian American guy who is even less intellectually prow than Tony Camonte. He serves as Tony's body-guard and personal secretary in the plot, who can never remember to get the name of the person calling for Tony. But the character functions as comic relief in the artwork, even being the source of a joke as he dies. Is this artistic or tasteless? I'm not sure, but I'm glad he's in the film. His last words: "Boss, I got a name." Clunk.
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I'm kind of ambivalent about one or two aspects of the film, including this one:
Like and Don't Like: The use of a newspaper editor's office to provide background information about what's going on in the city. It seems trite, and still works. Maybe it was innovative at the time. Hawks had a feel for photographing the newspaper business, and I can't think of any other way to do this kind of exposition in a movie at that time. Other than a radio broadcast. It's certainly more creative to have the nameless editor say to his nameless assistant, "I want the word War in the headline! 'Gang War!'" followed by a newspaper tossed down on a chair in the next shot, bearing such a headline. The camera doesn't linger on it...but maybe Hawks could have thought of a different way to do this. I sometimes have the same problem with the expositional use of TV screens in movies from today...but it's how most of us get our news, and it's a realistic depiction of how we receive expositional information in real life. So I guess it's okay. I also understand the use of, but don't care for the constant use of short-hand cliche lyrics in Country songs.

... and some things that I don't care for:
Don't Like: C'mon, the use of Thompson style sub-machine guns is way over the top. The producers use them to get across the point of how violent this gang is and then they keep going. The novel isn't like this. And I doubt with all my heart that the title that says "Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurence," is true! Hawks wanted his anti-hero to die in a blaze of gunfire, and that's what he went for, despite the much less spectacular ending of the novel. One bullet will do what one hundred bullets do, but the frags flying around on the set look more exciting with more shots. The audience obviously didn't find this depiction disgusting enough to boycott similar films. In fact they loved it, and that led to...well, you've seen what it led to.

Don't Like: This movie is about criminals, which I always find super-boring. It's much harder to be a "good guy" than to be a self-centered, arrogant dickhead who just takes what he wants. Unfortunately, those types play better in motion pictures, so they come off looking like they are the heroes, and there's no way around that. But the morality of films is "Make a buck, or a thousand bucks is better." I didn't expect anything different when I watched it. 81 years of films like this have solidified the gangster "hero"; even if we call him/her an anti-hero, movies still make them look more interesting. Movies always make the villains look cooler. Who would know better than Al Capone, rumored to be the inspiration for Tony Camonte? "Capone was rumored to have liked the film so much that he owned a print of it. Ben Hecht also said that Capone's men came to visit him to make sure that the film was not based on Capone's life. When he said the film was fictitious, the two men working for Capone left Hecht alone"

Don't Like: The disclaimer titles at the beginning. They seem so dishonest to me. I've written about that elsewhere. Yeah, there were gangland incidents that are mimicked in this movie, but there's something about the whole thing that has the feel of a plastic-film of phony dramatics that probably wouldn't have fit real life. But what do I know? That's just a feeling I get. I certainly believe that organized crime was infinitely more powerful and frightening after Prohibition became law than before.

Howard Hawks's Scarface is a movie you should see. If only for its historical contribution to the fluid cinematography of the brand new sound-cinema age.





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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:51 am

YouTookMyName wrote:Both versions of Scarface are pretty much gun porn.

The '32 original begins with a series of disingenuous title cards purporting to say it's against what you're about to see...
Ha, ha. Yeah, I find the moral high ground title cards at the beginning or end of those gangster films eyerollingly condescending. '30s audiences had a lot of other things to worry about.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Colonel Kurz » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:56 am

I think I prefer those to the Production Code, though.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:02 am

True enough.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:41 am

As a teenage budding film director I was annoyed by the Production Code in the 1960s. At the end of that decade studios began to ignore the censors. In the 1970s that accelerated. It led a lot of people in my parents' generation to say "They don't make movies like they used to," and a lot of kids my age responded, "Thank God!"

By the time I was in high school I developed an idea that we live in a society where ideas, politics, morals and everything else behave in the same way as a pendulum. And the pendulum cannot be stopped. It doesn't hang straight down in the middle, or it isn't moving at all. The pendulum is in motion and it swings from one extreme of its arc, to the other extreme of its arc. Equally important is that it never stays at the extremes, so we spend most of our time in the middle. It swings out one way, then swings back through the moderate middle to the other end of its arc, and never stops.

The period of the swing might be different in different areas of society, and that makes it complex: all those pendula swinging back and forth, colliding with one another, sometimes swinging the same direction but at different speeds. I think that's why we can't predict anything very accurately.

Maybe that means that the aspect of life that makes everything nearly intolerable is the same aspect that makes it delightful. 8-)
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:21 pm

Just after I made the last earlier post about the Jack Finney Invasion of the Body Snatchers book and the 1956 film, the stories began to diverge somewhat. I'm anxious to begin watching the four adaptations and to study just how alike and how different they are from one another and from the book.

Coming up is today's Quickmatch entry for Scarface. A brief look at the eidtorial honchos for the two films.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:45 pm

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A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
Camera to Reel
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1932: Editing was undertaken by Edward Curtis with an uncredited assist from Lewis Milestone. I used a photo of Milestone above, because I found no internet images of Curtis.

Curtis was 9 titles into a career that eventually came to hold 126 titles when he edited Howard Hawks's Scarface. His projects would later include the 1934 version of Great Expectations. Six years later he was the film editor for the Mae West-W.C. Fields comedy vehicle, My Little Chickadee. The bulk of his career seems to have been spent editing B pictures. In the late 1950s he transitioned to TV with a Rawhide episode. But he retired after cutting four 1963 episodes of The Twilight Zone. Curtis died in 1970 at age 72. [He is not the ethnologist Edward S. Curtis.]

Lewis Milestone was best-known as a director of films (wiki), and a double-Oscar-winner at that. I can't find any information suggesting why he would have taken an uncredited diversion from Academy Award level directing to work on the final cut of Scarface. his only other editing credit is for the 1923 film Where the North Begins. He directed neither picture. Milestone is perhaps best known on this forum as the director of All Quiet on the Western Front, for which he won his second Best Director Oscar.

1983: There were also two editors to assemble the De Palma number. Gerald B. Greenberg and David Ray editorial credits. Between 1966 and 2010, Gerald Greenberg amassed 43 editing credits according to IMDb. Among his best-known outings would be The Boys in the Band, The French Connection, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Apocalypse Now, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Dressed to Kill, Heaven's Gate, Scarface, Body Double, American History X, Get Carter, and Bringing Down the House. Greenberg won an Oscar in 1972 for The French Connection. He was nominated for two films in 1979: Kramer vs. Kramer and Apocalypse Now, but won neither statuette. He also garnered a BAFTA for his editorial work on The French Connection.

David Ray shared editorial duties on Scarface, his third credit as Editor. His career has been mostly in television films and miniseries. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Death of a Salesman in 1985. His career is still going strong as of 2011.



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:48 am

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)

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Acting

Here are some comparisons of the parallel roles in the two films and the actors/actresses who gave the parts motion and dimension.

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1932 Tony Camonte -- 1983 Tony Montana
Paul Muni -- Al Pacino

Paul Muni's parents named him Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund. Even in modern times young Weisenfreund might have taken a stage name, despite the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch didn't have to change his name. Scarface was Muni's third film role, even though the film came out the same year as I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Together the two films gave him stardom. Muni was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won for The Story of Louis Pasteur in 1937. He was nominated for his performance in The Valiant, his first film. Only five other actors have achieved that distinction. IMDb says that Muni and James Dean are the only actors to get Oscar nominations for both their first and final screen appearances. It was typical of Muni to transform himself into the role he played, as he does with Scarface Tony Camonte for the Hawks film. He had heart problems all his life, and died of them on 25 August 1967.

Al Pacino was an established star by the time he took on the role of Tony Montana. He was already known for his work in The Godfather, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon. Nominated for acting awards by the Academy eight times, he won Best Actor in a Leading Role for Scent of a Woman in 1993. The same year he was also nominated for his supporting role in Glengarry Glen Ross. His performance in Scarface received a single nomination for a Golden Globe Award in 1984. Al Pacino's career has been distinguished enough that he is often simply referred to by his last name. Francis Ford Coppola is said to have wanted Pacino for the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather, even though bigger names (Pacino was an unknown at the time) were vying for the part. Al Pacino has never abandoned the theatrical stage in his long and fabulous film career.

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1932 Cesca -- 1983 Gina Montana
Ann Dvorak -- Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Ann Dvorak was a child actress, playing the title character as a 4-year old in Ramona, a 1916 release. Her parents named her Anna McKim, but she took the stage name Dvorak which she insisted was pronounced with a silent "d". Although she acted in 87 titles, she apparently never achieved great stardom, although her last role was in 1952, and she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. There isn't a lot of nuance in her portrayal of Cesca in Scarface. She's basically a hell-bent-for-leather broad who wants to party and doesn't care where she does it or with whom she has a good time. But her performance fits the role well as written. Among her most famous performances are the role as Cesca, and the role as Vivian Revere in Three on a Match. It is said that she had a salary dispute with Warner over the fact that she got paid the same as the kid who was playing her 5-year old son in that film. She had roles in eight films in 1932, the year when Scarface was released.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio had appeared as an extra (literally a face in the crowd) in The King of Comedy before she became Tony's sister Gina in the De Palma Scarface. She has since appeared in 26 more titles through 2013, with featured roles in five television series since 2005. She was Lindsey Brigman in The Abyss, and Marian in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I first noticed her as fisherwoman Linda Greenlaw in The Perfect Storm. Her performance in Scarface is more nuanced than Ann Dvorak's Cesca. But, once again, the performance fits with the role as written. Mastrantonio has been nominated for an Oscar. Her bio page on IMDb asserts that "Of all the people ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting, Mastrantonio has the longest name." People will keep all sorts of records, won't they?

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1932 Poppy -- 1983 Elvira Hancock
Karen Morley -- Michelle Pfeiffer

Karen Morley's role as Poppy in the 1932 Scarface is apparently her best-known role. She appeared in 49 titles between 1929 and 1975, but many credits are for bit parts. The IMDb biography page reveals that Morley's career was ruined by the Blacklisting of the 1950s. After 1953 there is a 20-year gap before three TV bit-parts. She is certainly able to affect sultriness and aloofness in Howard Hawks's Scarface. She seems to eventually sincerely enjoy being out with Tony Camonte, and shows that Poppy is kind of interested in this kid from the beginning.

Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Elivra in the De Palma film is a little perplexing. She plays aloof well, but never makes me think she cares for Tony Montana at all. Perhaps that's the idea, and she is supposed to be nothing more than a drug-laced gold-digger. I've certainly seen her do what to me is a much better job at other portrayals. Pfeiffer has been nominated many times for awards, including three Oscar noms. She has appeared on several lists of the Sexiest or Top Movie Stars of all time. But Elvira doesn't strike me as one of her better roles.

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1932 Johnny Lovo -- 1983 Frank Lopez
Osgood Perkins -- Robert Loggia

I had never heard of Osgood Perkins until I read the cast title for Scarface. When I looked at his filmography on IMDb nothing rang a bell, other than Scarface. He was a US stage actor who appeared in a few films in the 1920s and 1930s. But I have heard of his son Anthony Perkins. Osgood died of a heart attack when only 45 years old, in 1937. His son Tony was only 5 years old at the time. Osgood Perkins could have been Jimmy Perkins, or Ripley Perkins, but he chose Osgood of his three given names. His performance as Johnny Lovo creates the desired tension, I think, but it seems fairly switchable with any other crook from films at the time.

Robert Loggia started acting on the screen in 1956 as a 26 year-old, and is not yet finished, with 224 titles under his belt. His roles have been mostly in television. The film roles has has played are largely supporting roles. He makes Frank Lopez seem slimy and weak in a way that seems as much like Tony Montana's impression of the character as it does Oliver Stone's. He graduated in 1951 with a University of Missouri degree in Journalism.

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1932 Guino Rinaldo -- 1983 Manolo Ribera
George Raft -- Steven Bauer

George Raft's screen career kicked off in 1929 with the part Gigola in Queen of the Night Clubs, and it ended in 1980 as Petey Cane in Sam Marlow, Private Eye. As a result he won both a Motion Picture star and a Television star on the Walk of Fame. Raft, born George Ranft, was alleged to have had Mafia connections. That got him banned from entering Britain in 1966. This might have had a lot to do with the apparent realism that he brought to gangster parts, such as coin-flipper Rinaldo, his first big role, in Scarface. Raft appeared in Some Like it Hot, and starred in the famous film noir They Drive by Night. He comes across as seductive enough that we can believe Cesca falls for Rinaldo, but he isn't as charming in the role as Steven Bauer would be half a century later.

Michelle Pfeiffer takes the looks award for the 1983 film, but my favorite character portrayal is Manolo Ribera, played by Steven Bauer. Altogether his role seems to fit him well, and his accent seems more realistic than many of the Cuban accents in the film. That might be because he was born Esteban Echevarria in Havana, Cuba in 1956! He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for this role in 1984. As incredibly ruthless as Manny can be, he somehow comes off as someone you could trust. That's an incredible performance to give, or maybe it's related to his baby-face at the time. His sons bear his mother's maiden name as their surname, the one he took for his professional motion picture billing. At the time he was tapped to play Manny Ribera in Scarface, he had already earned credits in 8 TV series and movies as Rocky Echevarria, and in the final two before a bit part in Valley Girl (as Steven Bauer), he was billed as Rocky Bauer. Over the years his roles have built up to number 150, and they range from support roles to leads.

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1932 Tony's Mother -- 1983 Mama Montana
Inez Palange -- Miriam Colon

Inez Palange's Italian accent was real. Character actors rack up huge numbers of screen appearances if they are any good. Palange worked in 92 titles between 1930 and 1958. That's 3 or 4 roles a year. Scarface was only her fourth screen credit, following an extra part as a villager in Frankenstein. But "Tony's Mother" was only Palange's second credited performance. She seems perfectly cast as the long-suffering woman whose son has disappointed her. It is unclear whether she has actually given up on him, but she understands his faults. She tries believably to persuade her daughter not to hang out with her derelict brother, and shows true disappointment when the girl follows him along the road to perdition. A small part, but one of the gems in Scarface. She lived from her birth in 1889 in Naples, Italy, until October 1962 when, at age 73, she closed her eyes for the last time.

Miriam Colon also does a great job with her small role as Mama Montana in De Palma's remake. It is one of 107 (and counting) that she has played since Lolita in Los peloteros in 1951. Colon was born in Puerto Rico, and has made a career of playing small roles in television and films. She is also involved in theater, and is listed as founder of the Puerto Rico Traveling Theater in New York. I think her mother figure is even more believable that Palage's in the 1932 film. Both women make the films they are in more realistic by their powerful, if tiny roles.


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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:11 am

That cast comparison is a good read.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:36 am

dreiser wrote:That cast comparison is a good read.
Indeed indeed. Despite YTMN's disdain for this type of film, this particular rematch has been especially insightful and entertaining.
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:35 am

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:Indeed indeed. Despite YTMN's disdain for this type of film, this particular rematch has been especially insightful and entertaining.
I try to be fair and to learn as much as I can.

Thanks for the comps, guys!
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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YouTookMyName
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:37 am

dreiser wrote:That cast comparison is a good read.
It took nearly 4 hours to complete! :D At one point I realized that I'd skipped over Robert Loggia, and had to go back and try to find some information about him.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:39 am

Does anyone have any favorite characters from either of the Scarface films?

And do you have any that you really dislike?
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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dreiser
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:42 am

George Raft might be my least favorite actor of all time. Ann Dvorak is good in the Hawks.

I like the Sosa character and Loggia in the De Palma.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:21 am

Sosa is interesting. Can't think of a counterpart to him in the '32.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:23 am

This post ought to end page 25.

I've received everything for the Invasion of the Body Snatchers Multimatch! I just finished reading Finney's original novel.
Image
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More Scarface tomorrow, Thursday, and the De Palma review on Friday or Saturday.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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