“Scarface (1983) and Carlito’s Way (1993): A Comparison of Two Iconic Crime Films

"Scarface (1983) and Carlito's Way (1993): A Comparison of Two Iconic Crime Films

SCARFACE (1983) and CARLITO’S WAY (1993) are two of the twentieth century’s most memorable films, released a decade apart. Both films have developed a sizable cult following since their initial release, and it’s easy to see why. These films are harsh, and realistic, and include some of cinema’s most unforgettable performances. But how did these two films become so successful, and what distinguishes them?

Let us begin with Scarface. Scarface (inspired by the 1932 classic of the same title), directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, is the story of one man’s climb to power and eventual collapse. Al Pacino plays Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant who arrives in America with nothing and ends up becoming a drug lord in Miami. With an intense screenplay, the film is known for its brutality, profanity, and intense action sequences, but it also tells the story of the American Dream and the corrupting impact of power.

Carlito’s Way, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated and character-driven piece of cinema. This film, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino once again, follows Carlito Brigante, a Puerto Rican mobster who is freed from jail and attempts to go straight. However, his history finds him and drags him back into a life of crime. It is a more thoughtful and emotional a story, examining themes of redemption, devotion, and remorse.

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Despite being separate films in their own right, both draw significant parallels. Both are directed by Brian De Palma and feature Al Pacino as the main character. They both deal with the world of organized crime and the struggle for power and control. And both films depict the brutal reality of living on the streets as well as the consequences of making poor decisions.

Where to watch Scarface (1983)


However, there are also significant differences between the two movies. Scarface is a more innovative, action-packed picture, featuring gory violence and a larger-than-life protagonist. Carlito’s Way, on the other hand, is a more introspective picture; it is a more personal story that delves deeper into the psychology of its protagonists. It is a story about redemption and second chances, whereas Scarface is about ambition and corruption.

Both films have qualities and are popular with audiences for various reasons. Scarface is a famous crime epic that has impacted innumerable films and television shows since its release, whereas Carlito’s Way is a more modest gem that deserves greater attention.

To conclude, Scarface and Carlito’s Way are two famous films that have earned their places in cinema history. They both depict the sordid underside of organized crime and the human toll it exacts on those who are involved. While they have certain parallels, they are also distinct films with their own themes and characters. Whether you like Scarface‘s more stylized, larger-than-life central characterization or Carlito’s Way‘s more nuanced, rooted character-driven approach, both films are must-watch for any fan of the crime genre. In the end, it all boils down to personal taste and the kind of film one would like to watch.

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Where to watch Carlito's Way (1993)
This post is written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid staff.

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