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Domino is
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musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
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Monday, June 13, 2022

Look for La-La Land Records' expanded two-CD edition of Giorgio Moroder's music from Scarface to be available to order beginning at noon (Pacific Standard Time) tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14th. Here's the press release:
La-La Land Records and Universal Pictures proudly present the fifteenth title within the acclaimed Universal Pictures Film Music Classics Collection – SCARFACE: EXPANDED MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK, music by Academy Award-Winning composer Giorgio Moroder (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, AMERICAN GIGOLO, CAT PEOPLE, FLASHDANCE). This limited edition 2-CD set marks the world premiere official release of Moroder’s original film score to 1983’s landmark big-screen gangster drama, SCARFACE starring Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Loggia, and directed by Brian De Palma.

When legendary director Brian De Palma needed the perfect musicscape for his game-changing gangster opus, he called upon renowned composer and electronic and pop music pioneer Giorgio Moroder to deliver – and did Moroder ever deliver… with an absolutely iconic synth film score and a treasure trove of infectious accompanying pop/rock/dance songs.

Produced by Neil S. Bulk and Dan Goldwasser, and mastered in high-resolution by Chris Malone, this expanded re-issue of the SCARFACE soundtrack unleashes Moroder’s classic film score on Disc One, while Disc Two features the original mix of the 1983 Soundtrack Album, showcasing the film’s songs by Deborah Harry, Elizabeth Daily, Paul Engemann, Amy Holland and more, as well as Bonus Tracks that include source music, the extended versions of “Rush, Rush” and “Scarface (Push It To The Limit),” and the song “Success.”

Limited to 5000 units, this special edition features exclusive, in-depth liner notes by writer Tim Greiving and sharp art direction by Dan Goldwasser. Finally… the world – and the music of SCARFACE – is yours!!!

Additionally, a Digital Download version of SCARFACE is forthcoming from Back Lot Music on 9/9/22”


DISC 1 (77:30)
1. Main Title – Scarface 3:42
2. Rebenga 2:10
3. Chainsaw / Tony Rescued 3:54
4. I Got The Yeyo 0:45
5. Elvira 4:01
6. Night Drive 0:30
7. Gina 2:55
8. She’s Not For You 2:09
9. Bolivia 1:09
10. Sosa / Talk To Frank 2:33
11. Omar Out / Don’t Fuck Me 1:07
12. Proposal 2:45
13. Tony Spots Gina / Tony Slaps Gina / Tony Guilty / Shooters 2:48
14. What About You? / Open Fire / Tony Escapes 2:48
15. Just Paranoid 4:44
16. Lopez Begs 1:35
17. Bye Bernstein 1:56
18. The World Is Yours 2:06
19. Plant The Plastic 1:30
20. The Chase 4:05
21. 409 Citrus Drive 4:52
22. Paranoid Tony / Gina’s Grief 2:30
23. Back To The House 1:47
24. Tony’s Grief / Attack Begins / Crazy Gina / Attack Continues 4:09
25. Gina Dead / Chi-Chi Wasted 1:15
26. Finale (From The Motion Picture “Scarface”) 3:28
27. End Title – Scarface 6:36
28. Trailer Music (Unused) 3:01

DISC 2 (79:00)
1. Scarface (Push It To The Limit) 2:58 Performed by Paul Engemann
2. Rush, Rush (Album Version) 3:38 Performed by Deborah Harry
3. Turn Out The Light 3:31 Performed by Amy Holland
4. Vamos A Bailar 3:43 Performed by Maria Conchita
5. Tony’s Theme 3:10 Performed by Giorgio Moroder
6. She’s On Fire 3:44 Performed by Amy Holland
7. Shake It Up 3:45 Performed by Elizabeth Daily
8. Dance Dance Dance 2:34 Performed by Beth Andersen
9. I’m Hot Tonight 3:13 Performed by Elizabeth Daily
10. Gina And Elvira’s Theme 5:01 Performed by Giorgio Moroder

11. Scarface (Push It To The Limit) (Extended Version) 5:12 Performed by Paul Engemann
12. Rush, Rush 4:48 Performed by Deborah Harry
13. Right Combination 3:42 Performed by Beth Andersen
14. Car Getaway Source 1:09
15. Cuban I 2:28
16. Cuban II 3:23
17. Cuban III 2:27
18. Muzak I 4:45
19. Muzak II 3:18
20. Muzak III 3:03
21. Disco I 3:04
22. Disco II 1:58
23. Success 4:00 Performed by Joe Esposito

See also:
Video - Giorgio Moroder discusses his themes for Scarface

Posted by Geoff at 11:44 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2022 11:46 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Posted by Geoff at 10:06 PM CDT
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Monday, May 30, 2022

"In the scope of cinematic expression and visual storytelling," notes Collider's Ryan Heffernan, "montages can be used by filmmakers to find meaning and supply information on anything from character or story to theme quickly and effectively. They can fast-track a journey to be told in minutes, splice image and sound together to discover theme, intertwine adjacent storylines, heighten tension, reveal character, and even deliver gags."

Heffernan continues, "Of course, the 80s were a bit different in a lot of regards, and filmmaking was no exception. Joyously unafraid to be cheesy, ridiculous, and borderline nonsensical, the decade’s blockbuster, mainstream cinema was best defined by muscles, mayhem, and montages. From sports dramas to schoolyard comedies, there is an abundance of brilliantly bonkers montage scenes from the 80s which have, if anything, become even more staggeringly fantastic over time."

Heffernan then presents a list of film montages from the 1980s, in no particular order. He includes the "Push It To The Limit" montage from Scarface:

It’s ambitious to give a criminal anti-hero in a violent gangster movie his very own 80s montage, but Brian De Palma was never one to shy away from creative risks and this particular montage has everything. With multiple business ventures, a wedding, a pet tiger, and obscene drug use, the scene is a realization of Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) ambitions.

At the peak of his powers at the time, it showcased the building and legitimization of his multi-million dollar drug empire and what it meant for his family and friends. While things started to go downhill for Tony not long after, the montage is an encapsulation that, for a short while at least, crime sometimes does pay.

Also included is the "mastering dance" montage (or montages?) from Footloose, which was edited by Paul Hirsch:
Rock n roll and dancing has been banned, and Kevin Bacon is the teenage hero to hit the sanctimonious small town with a shot of youthful rebellion. The story is undeniably silly, but the execution was to a standard that encapsulated the adolescent angst of the decade’s kids, and the cheesiness of the montages has a lot to answer for.

Dancing all around town, Ren (Bacon), teaches Willard (Chris Penn) how to boogie ahead of the prom. While the dancing at the prom reveals Willard learned very little, if anything, the sequence has a lot of heart and oozes the charming ridiculousness of the 80s.

Posted by Geoff at 11:40 PM CDT
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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

In a profile article by Lacey Rose posted today at The Hollywood Reporter, Michelle Pfeiffer recalls working on Scarface early in her career:
Pfeiffer’s introduction to the darker side of Hollywood came a few years later, when she fell under the spell of a controlling L.A. couple. She was young and desperately seeking answers, and the pair seemed to have all of them. “There was a lot of mind-fucking and brainwashing,” she says, and a lot of money handed over to them, too. It was her future husband, Peter Horton, who finally extricated her. He was prepping for a movie about cults, and asked Pfeiffer to join him for a meeting with a real-life deprogrammer. There she was, listening to them talk about the psychological manipulation that goes on, when it clicked: “I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I’m in a cult.’ It was like a light bulb went off, and I never went back.”

She married Horton in 1981, and landed her first big break, as Stephanie Zinone in Grease 2, while they were on their honeymoon. The marriage lasted less than a decade, but Pfeiffer still credits the Thirtysomething star for believing in her long before she knew how. “And nobody ever writes about that, so feel free,” she tells me, and then provides examples, like the time she was considering some “sexy role” for TV, and he made her see that she was worthy of more. “I was doing my normal torture dance, whether or not I should do it, and he just read it and went, ‘I never really saw you this way, I always pictured you more like Katharine Hepburn.’ And it stuck,” says Pfeiffer. “I realized that I did, too, I just wasn’t confident enough to see that through.”

It was also Horton whom Pfeiffer continually turned to as she was struggling her way through her second major role, as coke-addled ice queen Elvira in Scarface. “I was with this group of incredibly seasoned actors and only one other woman, who I didn’t even work with, and I was just waiting to be fired the whole time,” she says. “I would go to bed every night crying.” Thirty-five years later, she appeared on a panel with director Brian De Palma and her co-star Al Pacino, where she was asked by a male moderator not about her performance but rather about her weight during the production — a question that was met with audible groans from the audience. “I mean, I was playing a cocaine addict!” she jokes now, though at the time she spoke candidly about “living off tomato soup and Marlboros.” When I tell her how impressed the internet seemed to be by her ability to gracefully shrug off the sexist query, she cocks her head and smiles: “I’ve had a lot of practice.”

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, April 25, 2022

"Brian De Palma’s iconic remake is most likely Al Pacino’s most memorable starring role, playing the cocaine-fuelled gangster Scarface whose greed to become a drugs kingpin leads him to his own demise," writes Far Out Magazine's Calum Russell. Russell places Scarface at number 7 on his list of Pacino's ten greatest performances. "Featuring alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer and F. Murray Abraham," Russell continues, "Pacino gives one of his most fervent and intense performances, starring as a gangster you can’t help but love. Inspiring countless other reimaginings, Scarface is due for a Hollywood remake by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, no doubt thanks to Pacino’s timeless performance."

Meanwhile, over at People magazine, Andrea Wurzburger brings up Scarface on the #3 slide in her article, "Al Pacino's Most Memorable Film Roles: From The Godfather to The Irishman." Wurzburger's list ends at #15 with Carlito's Way, a movie which does not get mentioned in Russell's article.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 14, 2022

Back in January, Michelle Pfeiffer posted the image above to Instagram, with the following caption:
Let’s do this, Monday.

(I bought these sunglasses at a drugstore. True story. 😎)

Posted by Geoff at 11:32 PM CDT
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Thursday, March 10, 2022

Al Pacino recently spoke by phone to Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times about The Godfather, which was released 50 years ago, on March 15, 1972. At one point, Itzkoff brings up Pacino's role as Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's Scarface:
There is an intense quietness to how you play Michael in “The Godfather” that I don’t think I ever saw again in your other film performances, even the later times you played him. Was that a part of yourself that went away or was it just the nature of the character that called for it?

I’d like to think it was the nature of that particular person and that interpretation. I can’t think of any other characters that I did that could have used that kind of framework. I was a young actor — on “Part III,” I was no longer young, but that’s not my fault. [Laughs]

But compared to other characters you’re also closely associated with, like Tony Montana in “Scarface” ——

Well, that character, Tony Montana, was written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma, who wanted the heightened reality. Brian wanted to do an opera. All I wanted to do was imitate Paul Muni. [Laughs] But if I put “Dog Day Afternoon” with “Godfather,” or “Serpico,” I don’t see a resemblance there. Would you call Michael more introspective? That’s what I would say. And I don’t know of any other introspective characters I played. But if I sit down with you and go to the almanac, we’ll find something.

Pacino mentions De Palma earlier in the article, while talking about meeting Francis Ford Coppola:
When you get a call asking you to talk about “The Godfather,” is there some part of you that thinks, oh God, not again? Does it ever become tedious?

Well, no. You expect it. You expect to talk about what things worked and what things didn’t. You get a sense that somebody’s going to come at you. You just go: OK, been here, done this. But it’s cool. It beats talking to myself about it.

How did the role of Michael Corleone first come up?

At that time in my life, I didn’t have a choice. Francis wanted me. I had made the one film. And I wasn’t as interested in film to the extent that I became interested. My head was in another space. I felt out of place in the early films that I made. I remember saying to my friend Charlie [his mentor, the acting teacher Charlie Laughton]: Wow, they talk about it being real, but meanwhile it’s not. Because there are wires all over you. And also, you’ve got to do it again! [Laughs] You do it and they say, well, go again, do it again. It’s real and not real at the same time. Which takes some getting used to.

When did you and Coppola meet?

To give a little history to it, Francis was this filmmaker who had Zoetrope [his production company, American Zoetrope], and people like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and [Martin] Scorsese and [Brian] De Palma were all part of a group. And I remember seeing a few of them when Francis asked me to come to San Francisco after he had seen me in a play on Broadway. Do you know that story? I’m telling old stories now. [Laughs]

That’s OK. It’s why we’re here.

He saw me onstage [in the 1969 Broadway run of “Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?”] but I never met him. He had written “Patton” by that time, and he sent me a script for a wonderful love story he had written [which was never produced]. He wanted to see me. That meant I had to get on a plane and go to San Francisco, which is something I was not used to. I thought, is there any other way to go? I can’t tell this guy to come all the way back here, can I? So I said I’ll bite the bullet and I went. I spent five days with him. It really was special, this film. But we were rejected, of course. I was an unknown actor and he had made a couple of films, “You’re a Big Boy Now” and “The Rain People.” So I went back home and never heard from him again.

But you did, eventually. When was that?

Panic in Needle Park” hadn’t come out yet. And I got a call from Francis Coppola — a name from the past. First, he says he’s going to be directing “The Godfather.” I thought, well, he might be going through a mini-breakdown or something. How did they give him “The Godfather”?

You didn’t think it was possible that he was making it?

I’ve got to tell you, it was a big deal already. It was a big book. When you’re an actor, you don’t even put your eyes on those things. They don’t exist for you. You’re in a certain place in your life where you’re not going to be accepted in those big films — not yet, at least. And he said, not only was he directing it, [breaking into laughter] but he wanted me to do it. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh here. It just seemed so outrageous. Here I am, talking to somebody who I think is flipped out. I said, what train am I on? OK. Humor the guy. And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, OK, I’ll go along with this. I said, yes, Francis, good. You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say, “Yes! Of course! Yes!” But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was given the part.

Posted by Geoff at 11:00 PM CST
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Sunday, February 20, 2022

"I’ve reviewed quite a few Brian De Palma movies for this website," begins Dr Lenera at Horror Cult Films, "and I know that fellow De Palma fans Bat and Mocata have done some too, but something is missing when one of his most iconic pictures is still unreviewed, a film that inspired scores of rap artists who seemed to misunderstood its message, a very clear message that crime actually doesn’t pay. Most gangster movies would claim to say this, but they can’t help but glamourise crime and the gangster life style – and I’m not saying that it’s a problem, it’s good to be shown how seductive it is. Take Henry Hill’s one-take stunning entry into the Copacabana Club in Goodfellas; it transmits to us perfectly that he’s ‘made it’, that he’s enjoying the life that he wanted to lead. But Tony Montana; he may gaze at the smartly dressed guys and the pretty ladies going into the lush nightclubs and want some of that, but once he gets it he’s miserable. “Go and have some fun” says somebody to him, but he never does that, he just wants more and more even though he doesn’t know what to do with all this ‘more’ except get more high. He wanted what he saw as the American Dream, “The money, the power and the women”, but can’t enjoy it. Many years ago I read several books collecting the reviews of Pauline Kael and I recall her describing Scarface as “The Brian De Palma film for those who don’t like De Palma films”. I guess that she said that because, while it’s still unashamedly melodramatic, it’s more sociological than usual, less stylised, lacks his wry humour, and has no Alfred Hitchcock. And it’s most definitely a film of its time, in fact one of the defining films of the ‘80s though not looking at the decade in a good way. It still definitely shows De Palma’s mastery of cinema, in a genre that he would revisit; not very well the first time, very well the second. Here he turned out one of the most entertaining of gangster pictures, despite its reputation for extreme violence which isn’t entirely warranted even by the standards of the time."

After going a bit into the production and plot details, Dr Lenera continues:

The overall message of the film can be summed up by the scene where he’s relaxing in the grand bath in his grand mansion ranting at people on his TV screen and also the people around him. The world may his his but he can’t enjoy it. Many claim Pacino’s performance to be over the top but I don’t think it really gets there; he’s playing a mouthy lout whose every other word is “f***”, but the performance is controlled. Pacino doesn’t make Tony sympathetic, yet we can still identify with him in a way even if we don’t like ourselves for doing so. This is because most of us have visions of being able to be rich and powerful and not have to actually do much in the way of work to achieve this. Turning to crime for this to happen is surely a temptation when the ‘right’ way seems impossible. The image of Tony sitting at his desk desperately plunging his face into a pile of cocaine for reasons of both boredom and wanting some energy perfectly sums up how it can all go wrong even if you get ‘there’. “In a way Tony is a near-compendium of common criminal personality traits; laziness, low self-esteem, the idea that the world owes him, pipe dreams, a chronic inability to be happy etc.

You could say that Tony sells his soul, but did he have one in the first place? He doesn’t show much of one when he’s with Elvira who becomes the trophy wife of two kingpins; ignored, bored and driven to addiction to the Bolivian marching powder. Okay, Tony acts like he’s really keen on her at first, but even then it seems like she’s just something that he wants to own which will in turn raise his status. Michelle Pfeiffer brings some real sadness to a role that would probably be criticised today because now all female characters have to be strong, though I will admit that her sudden switching from disdain and even revulsion [seemingly more of class than anything else] of Tony is a bit hard to swallow. In any case, Tony, just like his predecessor in the 1932 version which this does resemble in a few ways, has much stronger feelings for another female – his sister Gina There’s a poignant scene where he visits the house of Gina and their mother and gives them money. Mother doesn’t want any of it because she knows that her son has got it by doing bad things, but Gina secretly accepts it, Tony telling her to go out and have fun. But unfortunately Tony doesn’t let her have very much fun, In fact he goes berserk whenever he sees her with another man while we slowly zoom into Tony’s face and a loud sinister musical chord comes on the soundtrack, in an example of the kind of dramatic heightening of something that isn’t done much today and which critics and audiences may not take seriously. But this was 1983 and Brian De Palma, so you’re never going to get subtlety anyway. This subplot reaches a climax which borders on high camp but does so in the very best way and is acted with not just power but genuine sincerity by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Elsewhere characters may speak in dialogue which borders on being parodic, but they don’t seem to come out of the dictionary of gangster stereotypes – well, as much as it existed back then. Of course there are hardly any Cubans in the cast, but then some of us wax wroth for the days when people didn’t whinge about things like that. We could have done with more scenes involving Harris Yulin’s bent cop Bernstein who extorts money in return for police protection; the two exchanges between him and Tony really fizzle. But we get a very good idea of how this organisation works and flourishes. Nothing after the chainsaw scene is as grim despite a helicopter hanging and loads of bloody shootings. Like many films in this genre, the much ballyhooed violence takes up very little of the running time, though we do get a classic climax of carnage where we finally, yes, get that well known line about Tony’s little friend. There’s no doubt that the De Palma quirkiness that us fans love so much has been deliberately minimised, but would really be appropriate for this particular film anyway? We do get a nightclub shootout which is proceeded by a man wearing a bizarre head mask dancing on stage, and a superbly suspenseful section involving a slow car pursuit where Tony has to kill someone and reveals that, though it’s hard to believe, there are limits as to what he’s willing to do. Camerawork tends to be slower and more unobtrusive than usual for a De Palma film, but we still get some fine things like a cut to a city in sunset which, when we adjust our eyes, we is really part of the front of a lavish restaurant as the camera slowly zooms out to reveal a little sandwich van parked near it but virtually insignificant by comparison, with Tony and Manny working in it.

There’s a considerable smoothness to the edits and the lensing, but that still allows the cinematography by John A. Alonzo to gloriously show the pull and the sexiness of what Tony desires replete with vibrant colours, then close in on small, tight compositions as Tony’s world shrinks. Giorgio Moroder’s score is only slightly less conspicuous than what you’d get from De Palma’s usual composer Pino Donaggio and is truly essential to the experience of Scarface. His electronic compositions provide a mood perhaps of a lifestyle and a culture that has no real depth, which is all surface, and which doesn’t have the comfort of real luxury. Having Moroder also write and produce nearly all of the pop songs heard [usually in the nightclubs] means that there’s a synchronicity of sound throughout; so many films separate the songs and the score in a jarring way. Moroder’s main theme [sadly not properly available on the soundtrack album] has a mock grandeur that suits what we’re watching, while Gina’s theme is unabashedly sentimental, an illustration of Tony’s feelings for her. They once tried to re-do the soundtrack with rap music. Much as I love Moroder’s work, it would have been an interesting exercise that I’d have liked to see, though it may have glorified Tony and the criminal life too much, something the film as it stands doesn’t. Perhaps its most incisive scene has a very high but very unhappy Tony, in possibly his only real moment of clarity, going on to customers in a restaurant about how they need him and telling them to “Say goodbye to the bad guy”. This suggests that, incredible though it may seem, we need people like Tony Montana so we can blame him for things and feel better about ourselves. In short, the bad needs to exist so we can have the good.

Posted by Geoff at 5:45 PM CST
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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Posted by Geoff at 11:51 PM CST
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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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