Magazine article The New Yorker


Magazine article The New Yorker


Article excerpt

Guests at last week's special screening of the re-released movie "Scarface"--about a Cuban immigrant named Tony Montana who becomes a powerful, wealthy, and very profane drug lord--seemed noticeably liberated after watching the film at City Cinemas, across from Bloomingdale's. When it was over, they moved on to the Metropolitan Club to toast its twentieth anniversary.

"Why the fuckin' snob Metropolitan Club?" a young employee of City Cinemas asked.

"This movie is so like fuckin' life," his companion said. "I've seen it thirty times. When you see it, you never let it go."

"Scarface" features Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, among others. It has inspired many imitations and has been accorded a cult of followers around the world, including rappers and young men in the business of high finance. The screenwriter was Oliver Stone, the director Brian De Palma, the producer Martin Bregman. At the Metropolitan Club, a number of these folks celebrated over a huge spread of food and drink, while the movie's oft-repeated message, "The World Is Yours," was projected in colored streams of lights across the marble halls and walls. Samplings of Hollywood agents, producers, managers, publicists, and distributors joined in. They lined up to congratulate Pacino, who was wearing a black suit and a thin gold chain over a black T-shirt. He had a scraggly gray beard, because, he explained, he just hadn't felt like shaving for a week. Hand-shaking kept him from getting hold of a first forkful of pasta and salad, and from talking to his table companion, Lee Strasberg's widow, Anna, who was trying to tell him about her new grandchild. Pacino stood up politely for the well-wishers.

"It's a truly fucking great film," a man from an entertainment publication told him.

"Well done," James Lipton, the host of "Inside the Actors Studio," said, with teacherly restraint, gently patting Pacino on the back.

"It's on another level--it's operatic," Jeff Berg, the chairman of I.C.M., said.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, who plays Tony's sister, Gina, in the movie, had flown in from London for the occasion. "It's puzzling," she said. "With all the work I've done in my life, this is the one I'm known for. …

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