Saturday, September 22, 2007

Great Moments in Cinema - SCARFACE (1983)



The Bengal tiger paces his spot, restless.

A monsoon-like wind blows through the trees on the estate.

The monkeys listen quietly.

The flamingoes flutter.

... Then there’s a burst of loud music from the stereo speakers on the balcony -- a Billy Joel song, something smooth and easy about the high times and how fast they go...

See Tony in a long shot, throw open the terrace doors and stagger out onto the balcony, overlooking his estate.

... On a closer angle, we track him to the edge of the balustrade. He’s done so much coke now he’s practically catatonic; staggering and muttering to himself.

                ... Jesus fuckin' Christ whatsa matter
                with me, get a hold of y'self now
                these cocksuckers gonna run over you
                let 'em try I bury the cocksuckers...

His point of view -- panning his estate. The dark emptiness. The wind rustling the treetops.

Tony echoes back at him. Shaking his head at himself, He starts to cry!



                        ...Ooooh fuck Manny, how the fuck
                        did I do that? How the fuck! ...oh
                        Manny, Manny... you were there
                        for me, you were the one, Manny, you
                        understood, always understood...
                        well what the hell happened, huh?
                        What the hell happened to us?...

In far b-g. Now behind Tony, on the video monitors in his office we see:

The main gate and guard shack -- a Marielito crosses into view, checks the gate, turns. Suddenly two figures spring out at him. One of them garroting the Marielito. He struggles.

Another monitor now reveals two more figures moving into the interior of the guard shack. They knife the other Marielito.

A third monitor carries another image of shadows moving through the trees on the state.

On the balcony, Tony is oblivious to it all, almost incoherent.

                        I said you, Manny, I said I
                        never go crazy and you said, I would
                        you sonofabitch and you were right...
                        those were the good days hunh, we
                        was crazy back in those days, we’d
                        do anything, you and me, we was on
                        the way up, nobody nothing coulda
                        stopped us cause we were the best hunh
                        -- the fucking best...

As Tony turns and starts back through the terrace doors into his study, the camera glides around to a view of a hook flying up and catching the balustrade.

A shadow starts climbing up as:

                        ...we still are Manny, we still are
                        -- see, I’m gonna wipe out all them
                        fuckers out there, I’m gonna run the
                        market, I’m gonna be King Cocaine
                        you hear me, you buy you buy from me
                        -- Tony Montana. Covers all the
                        magazines. Fan Mail. Television
                        stars, movie stars, shooting stars
                        --- he’s a star...



As he crosses his office, the camera moves to reveal Gina standing there half-dressed in the doorway, her eyes blazing with hatred.

Tony sees her.

She steps forward, offering her body almost naked to her brother.

                        Is this what you want Tony?...

Tony shocked.

                        You can’t stand another man touching
                        me. So you want me Tony, is that it?
                        Well here I am.

She fires the Baretta we now see in her hand.

The bullet grazes Tony in the leg, snapping him from his catatonia as he goes reeling across the floor behind his desk. She fires again. Again.

                        I’m all yours Tony, I’m all yours now.

Bullets ripping into the desk. She advances, offering her sex, methodically shooting out the clip at rhythmic intervals.

                        Come and get me Tony. Before it’s too late.

He spins across the run away from the desk, trying to put distance between them. She sees his scurrying, turns, and expression like a demented angel.

                        Come on Tony, fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck me!

Advancing on him, firing. The furniture tearing up, the chair spilling, television sets and computer toys shattering, Tony squirming away, hit again in the thigh, shocked and scrambling over to the terrace windows. Her next shot shatters the window and as Tony ducks again to the side, we see outside onto the terrace behind him!



A young Columbian punk no more than than twenty -- one of the hitters -- is crouched there, reacting to the broken window.

He doesn’t hesitate, turning his machine gun on Gina.

Gina is torn to pieces by the firepower -- blown across the room, spine severed and dead before she hits the floor.

Tony sees it, yells something, in the same instant swivels to knock the barrel of the machine gun aside. The punk is taken by surprise, not having seen Tony, and Tony now runs him backwards across the balcony and hurls him over the balustrade.

The punk lands in one of the shallow pools on the grounds at the base of the balcony.

Tony, from above, grabs the punk’s machine gun and empties the whole clip into the figure thrashing in the pool below.

Ernie runs into view on the far side of the pool, spots what is going on and yells up ---

                        Tony, they’re everywhere! Get outta here!

Ernie suddenly wheels, hit in the face, by a burst of silencer bullets.

We catch a brief glimpse of Sosa’s black side, the Skull, moving quickly along the wall of the house -- directly underneath the balcony on which Tony stands.

Tony, tossing the empty machine gun aside, wildly runs back into his office to get more guns, crosses to Gina’s corpse. It takes him by surprise. He comes to a dead stop, kneels, looking questioningly in her face.

                        Hey Gina come on, you still angry at
                        me? I didn’t mean to kill Manny, I
                        was... I was--

Running his hands along her face, trying to rouse her, gently lifting her eyelids. Blood’s running out of her mouth in rivers.



                        Come on Gina, get off the floor.
                        You’re all dirty now, you need a
                        bath... Mami’s gonna be angry baby
                        -- ooh is she gonna be mad at me!...
                        Come on open your eyes my baby,
                        open your eyes... - give me a smile.

There’s been a steady pounding and calling on the door of the office. Tony finally hears it, looks up, then over at the monitors.

One of them reveals Chi-Chi standing there outside the door pounding it.

                        Boss! Hey Boss! Open up!

On the monitor we see Chi-Chi suddenly spin and open fire down the foyer. Return fire decimates him. A grenade goes off, blows him up against the door.


He now seems to come out of his catatonia, runs to his sideboard, hauls out a rocket shoulder-fired rocket launcher and straps an Uzi across his shoulder. He looks up at the monitor.

On the monitors, the hitters are now darting across the foyer and coming up to the left and right hand stairs.Three of them are already huddled outside the door, around the corpse of Chi-Chi, motioning to each other, laying a grenade at the base of the door to blow it out.

Tony loading his rocket, intends to beat them to the punch, talking to himself.

                So you wanna play hunh, say hello
                to my little friend here.


The rocket tears down the door and blows the Columbian punks off the landing into the foyer.

It sounds like Armageddon, one of the hitters is screaming, smoke billowing out wildly.

Tony, at the height of his mad glory, steps out at the apex of the stairs, firing his machine gun and yelling.

                Whores! Cowards! You think you
                can kill me with lousy bullets hunh?



Another hitter tumbles down the right-hand stair.

                Who you think I am? I kill all you
                fuckin’ assholes. I take you all to
                fuckin’ hell!

Left. Right.

Another hitter drops, screaming, off the stairs into the pool below.

A grenade goes off. Tony is hit again, but keeps on firing away. Laughing like a madman.

                You need an army you hear! An army
                to kill me!

Behind him we see the remainder of the pound of cocaine go up in a burst of wind, whipping around the office in auras of white. It is a ghostly effect out of which now appears the face of the Skull moving from the terrace towards Tony’s back with a sawed-off shotgun.

                Ha ha ha ha ha! You whores, you
                scum, I piss in your faces !!! Ha
                ha ha ha ha!!

Skull, now inches from Tony’s back, pulls the trigger and blows Tony’s spine out his belly.

Tony crashes forward over the bannister into the interior swimming pool below.

He floats quietly face down in the lit blue waters.

As the titles begin their crawl up, the music theme is expressive salsa with a dash of gaiety.

The camera moving off Tony to catch the reflection of the lit sculpture on the surface of the still waters. It says:

                        “THE WORLD IS YOURS”

And so, for the brief moment, it was.



Our camera now distancing itself from the body in the pool, panning past the dream villa, past the shambles and the wealth, past the hitters pillaging and looting and drawing that obscene word “Chivato” in blood on the outside walls, past the stacks of cash blowing across the floor like leaves in autumn, with the looters running after it across the busted door with the tropic wind blowing down Coconut Grove -- to the Miami skyline across the Biscayne Bay.

                THE END


Christina said...

How did you get the formatting to appear right? It really helps its readability.

crossword said...

I must admit I cheated and used the tab button to indent text.

I really like what Mystery Man does with his SP fragments... but I can never seem to get the font just right. :)