5. Scarface (1983)
Brian De Palma’s Scarface is widely considered a cinematic masterpiece, particularly in the crime genre. With a script penned by Oliver Stone and Al Pacino in a leading role, it had the keys to success before the camera even began rolling. Telling the rags-to-riches story of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana living the American dream by starting his own criminal empire, Scarface is a modern classic.
One thing that Scarface isn’t, though, is original. It’s loosely based on the 1929 novel of the same name, and is a remake of the 1932 film (also of the same name).With Paul Muni in the lead role, the 1932 version also stars the inimitable Boris Karloff (who is known primarily for playing horror movie monsters).
The Hollywood sheen of the 1983 remake combined with Pacino’s magnetic performance made it an instant hit. De Palma’s crime epic has by far eclipsed its predecessor, to the point that many don’t even know about the original film. It’s hard to be upset about it, either: who can be mad at the film that gave us such iconic quotes as “okay, I’m reloading” and “say hello to my little friend”?