A Postcolonial Approach
Chapter One: The Making of Tony Montana 17
Chapter One The Making of Tony Montana hen Oliver Stone signed the contract to write the screenplay for Scarface (1983), he seemingly got excited; an old dream had finally materialized. As he stated in an interview, he had wanted to make a film about Latin gangsters and the cocaine trade for years, but had not been able to produce it. In recalling the time when he was about to write the screenplay, Stone talked about his film project and his personal problems, especially his own addiction to cocaine. He confessed that his old goal had been to create a “sexy” film about “a sun-drenched, tropical Third World gangster.”1 After securing his role as scriptwriter, Stone moved to Paris; there he rented a room, and began to write. Months later, as he was trying to kick the cocaine habit, he had a finished product. Scarface was born. Directed by Brian De Palma, Scarface tells the story of Antonio Montana (Al Pacino), a Cuban refugee turned cocaine dealer in Miami. The narrative centers on Montana’s violent rise to power and subsequent fall in the drug underworld; his story is a morality tale of greed and punishment and the product of what is perceived to be the Hispanic tendency to crime. In the story, Hispanics are framed as outsiders and their Otherness is seen in the primitivism, atavism and the violence which the narrative attributes to Hispanic culture. Alongside these tropes of difference, the film reworks issues of American history and politics...
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