Ludicrous machismo and the American Dream were never the same once Brian De Palma‘s “Scarface” landed in 1983, carving shocking setpieces and Tony Montana catchphrases into the surface of pop culture like a reckless chainsaw. But as with any landmark film like De Palma’s, it’s a worth a look backward; as a series of extended interviews and making-of clips show, the project’s roots were hesitant, unknown, and slowly ushered forward into the eventual iconic result.
A 36-minute conversation on “Scarface” boasts in-depth interviews with De Palma, Al Pacino, and its screenwriter Oliver Stone, as well as other key collaborators including producer Martin Bregman and cinematographer John A. Alonzo. Together, they describe the project’s beginnings as a remake of the 1932 Paul Muni film — a start leading to Sidney Lumet‘s brief time at its helm before splitting over creative differences, and then finally De Palma’s collaboration with Stone.
Stone comes forth with his usual brand of frank candor in describing his cocaine-addled past as inspiration for the script, while De Palma addresses the concerns over violence that have trailed nearly every film he’s made. Alongside Pacino and Alonzo’s insightful comments, the clips are a ground-floor look at a controversial classic; check them out below in addition to an archival making-of special aired near its release.