170 minutes, U.S.A., 1983, Colour, D-Cinema

Arguably the highlight of director Brian De Palma’s career, his remake of Howard Hawks’ 1932 film has become a pop culture touchstone for its portrayal of criminal kingpins, due in no small part to Oliver Stone’s endlessly quotable script. Al Pacino, in one of his most iconic roles, is Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee in Miami who builds a multi-million dollar drug empire largely through the ruthless use of extreme violence.

Although heavily criticised on release, it has since gained a large following, and the central character has become an aspirational ideal for many other fictitious drug lords. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.) 

This film is screening as part of Drugs, the second of our three-month season dedicated to excess, presenting examples of how cinema has taken on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. 

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