ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Scarface, The Original

Updated on February 21, 2014

Scarface, Violent or Not

Scarface, a 1932 film by Howard Hawks, has been such a famous and successful film because of its richness in almost every aspect. Even though this film has been seen as one of the greatest films of its time because of its incorporation of diegetic sound, its symbolism through both the sound and through the mise-en-scene, it has also had a lot of criticism because of its supposed glorification of violence and organized crime. We will discuss the idea that, while this movie does contain a significant amount of both violence and organized crime, I believe it is not promoting either of the two because of its introduction wording, the strife in Tony Camonte’s life, and the ending of the film.

In the opening scene of the film, there are a few shots of text before anything else. These texts talk about violence, organized crime, and what the government is doing about it. This text calls these things a “constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty.” They also promptly ask the government, “What are you going to do about it?” This is followed by letting the audience know that they are part of the government, and asks them, what are they going to do about it. This opening text provides a viewpoint for the audience before they even start watching the film. Addressing the Gangster lifestyle immediately as a menace to our safety and liberty shows that they do not encourage these types of behaviors. Because of this I find it hard to believe that this film is encouraging/glamorizing violence and organized crime.

Even during the film we don’t see the glamorization of violence. Through Tony Camonte’s life we find that the violence doesn’t lead to a better life, but rather, it makes his life more chaotic and out of control. His violence leads to killing innocent people, rebellion of his sister, people attempting to kill him, the police constantly after him, and strife in all his relationships. Eventually he becomes so numb to the killing that, after killing his sister’s lover, it all comes back to him about what he is really doing. Then, his sister turns on him and almost kills him as well. The film clearly shows that violence can’t solve your problems, at least not permanently.

As a conclusion to the film and Tony Camonte’s life we see him get gunned down by the very thing that he lived by: guns and violence. On top of this, we see him in the shape of an “X” as he’s shot. This is a constant symbol throughout the movie that comes right before or around the death of someone in the film. Following this is a pan back to the sign we see a couple times throughout the film that says, “The world is yours.” This metaphorical image shows us that you cannot obtain everything in this world through organized crime and violence. In the end, there will always be justice served to those who deserve it.

So, while there is a significant amount of violence and scenes of organized crime in this film, there is definitely a message from the opening to the closing of the film that shows that this lifestyle is not what it seems to be. Violence is not the answer unless you want you life to be constant chaos. Tony Camonte tried it, and although it brought him temporary happiness, his life became increasingly unresolved and out of control. I find it difficult to think of how this film could be glamorizing violence. It clearly shows that this lifestyle doesn’t lead to anything good, and prompts us to do something to stop people from believing it does. For these reasons, I don’t think this film is attempting to glamorize the gangster life.

Scarface 1932 Trailer

Which Scarface is better?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)