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10+ 'Scarface' Behind The Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

I, Scarface, shall verily end the pitiful lives of those I compare to insects, entombing them under several feet of dirt.

Shall these arthropod-like gentlemen enjoy a rousing "game," so to speak, of gunplay? Alright, then I shall put new ammunition in my machine gun post haste!

I nailed those Scarface quotes, didn't I?

1. John Travolta Was Supposed To Be Manny


Director Brian De Palma wanted John Travolta to play Manny but the unknown Steven Bauer beat him out.

Mostly because he was actually Cuban and could help Pacino out with his accent.

Pacino said about Bauer's influence:


"Bauer and I spent months preparing for this. He's Cuban, so I could spend a lot time with him...building the character. I'd never quite thought of a character that way, from the outside, too [i.e., in addition to the inside Method-style.] Starting with the scar and the accent and the body language."

2. Oliver Stone Wrote The Movie While Recovering From A Cocaine Addiction


Oliver Stone apparently had a bit of a problem with coke before he wrote Scarface and even based some of the crazier coke moments in the film off his own experiences.

3. It Was A Remake


It isn't just the 2010s that are plagued with remakes. Even the 80s had a couple here and there.

Al Pacino saw the original Scarface from 1932 and knew he had to remake it.

4. The Prop Coke Destroyed Al Pacino's Nose

Much like real cocaine, it seems that even prop blow can be hell on a person's nose.

In fact, Pacino still claims to this day that there's something wrong with his nose thanks to all that powdered milk.

"I don't know what's happened to my nose but it's changed."


Pacino goes on to say in the interview that his entire breathing apparatus has been permanently changed after inhaling all the prop cocaine.

Remember kids, when it comes to hardcore narcotics (prop or not): just say no.

5. The Amount of F-Words Given


This time folks, it's not zero. Far from it actually, the official amount of times the F-Word is used is 207.

This sounds like a lot until you realize the F-Word champion is Swearnet: The Movie, which uses it a whopping 935 times.

6. Martin Scorsese Knew The Movie Would Fail


When Scarface first came out, Martin Scorsese knew it was going to be a flop (which it was).

When asked how he knew it would fail in Hollywood, he replied: "Because it's about them."

7. Pacino's Inspiration


Where did he get the inspiration for his morally bankrupt gangster character? None other than Meryl Streep.

Specifically, her role in Sophie's Choice. He was inspired by how she "[involved] herself in playing someone who is from another country and another world."

8. A Machine Gun Injured Pacino's Hand


Here's how Pacino explained the injury:

"I got shot! [...] I shot off 30 rounds. I get hit with the squibs. I start leaping up in the air, flying up in the air and I land and I go to grab the gun and guess what?"

Then guess what happened:


"I grabbed the barrel[...]on the gun that just shot off 30 rounds. My hand stuck to that sucker. That was it. I couldn't get my hand off of it. I couldn't work for two weeks."

9. Pacino Didn't Want Michelle Pfeiffer


In fact, he wanted Glenn Close for the role of Elvira.

He was afraid Michelle Pfeiffer wasn't experienced enough but producer Martin Bregman and Brian De Palma loved her so much they eventually convinced Pacino.

10. It Was Almost X-Rated


Due to the film's intense violence, language and sexuality, the film initially received an X rating usually reserved for... adult films.

Because this would have crippled ticket sales, director Brian De Palma had to re-edit the film a bunch of times.

How many times?


Oh, just four. And the worst part was the film was still given an X-Rating after the fourth edit. Brian De Palma at that point threw his hands up and said to Universal:

"You'll have to fire me and hire someone else to hack away at his film."

Universal appealed the decision and the movie was given an R-Rating.

11. A Couple Of People Walked Out Of The Film


Two famous authors, John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut, had to walk out after the infamous chainsaw scene.

So did model Cheryl Tiegs, who said it made her never want to hear the word "cocaine" again.

12. Scriptwriter Oliver Stone took his research for the film very seriously.

"I was doing cocaine during the research phase but then went cold turkey during the writing in Paris," Stone admitted. "I knew I couldn't break the habit in Florida, LA or New York."

13. The film's original director, Sidney Lumet, hated Stone's first draft of the script.


"I don’t know if he’d say that in public himself, I sound like a petulant screenwriter saying that, I’d rather not say that word. Let me say that Sidney did not understand my script, whereas Bregman wanted to continue in that direction with Al."

14. Tony Montana was named after Oliver Stone's favorite football player.

The namesake Montana comes from Joe Montana. He was the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers for 16 incredible seasons.

Stone has been a fan his whole life.

15. Tony is only referred to as "Scarface" once in the entire film.


You probably didn't notice it either, unless you happen to speak Spanish! During the chainsaw scene in the bathroom, one of the Columbian drug dealers calls Tony "cara cicatriz."

Which is Spanish for "Scar face."

16. The film was protested by the Cuban community in Miami.

Many felt that the film portrayed Cubans in an incredibly negative light. Others believed that the film would make audiences around the world view Cubans as criminals, gangsters, and rapists.

17. Michelle Pfeiffer was starving the entire time


In order to keep up her thin appearance, Michelle had to stick to an incredibly strict diet. As she remembers it, this was the cause of her incredibly bad mood throughout filming.

It got so bad that even the crew began to worry about her well-being.

"I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros."