Analysis Of The Film Scarface: Shame Of A Nation

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The American gangster has always been viewed as an integral icon in American entertainment, from its beginning in classic Hollywood films such as Scarface: Shame of a Nation and on into present day films such as Good fellas. However, there is one important point one must take into account when discussing the great American mobster film, and that is the historical accuracy of the film when it is in reference to a real life gangster. Many mob movies feature characters who strike a quite startling resemblance to the real article, and the 1932 original film Scarface: Shame of a Nation is no exception. This paper will research and compare the story of the film to its real world counterpart, the story of one of the most infamous mobsters of all time, …show more content…
The title itself is a reference to Capone’s nickname, one which he thoroughly despised. Scarface, a nickname given to Capone due to the three unmistakable scars on his face, has a story all it’s own. After dropping out of school in the sixth grade, Capone joined a street gang in Manhattan known as The Five points Gang and worked as a bouncer and bartender at a bar called The Harvard Inn. It was there that he was bestowed the scars which adorned his face and the nickname that would haunt him until his death. After insulting a female patron of the bar one evening, her brother retaliated out of anger by slashing Capone’s face with a knife, leaving three distinct scars on young mobster to be’s face. He often made the excuse that the scars were earned while serving in the military calling them “war wounds”, however, he never served in the armed forces. Along with this, he had two other nicknames that were more to his taste. After he had risen to success in the mob, associates in the organization referred to him as “The Big Fellow” and friends called him “Snorky”, a slang term which at the time meant spiffy. This was likely because Capone, like many other mobsters, almost always wore a three piece suit and an elegant fedora, paired with a long …show more content…
The film is based on the exploits of a special unit ordered by President Herbert Hoover to put a stop to Capone’s success. Headed by Eliot Ness, the unit was made up of ten men, who raided stills, speakeasies, and breweries under Capone’s control. Their bravery and effectiveness earned them the media given title “The Untouchables”. This film takes a more external look at the downfall of Al Capone, focusing more on the view of those attempting to depose The Big Fellow, rather than the perspective of Capone himself. Here we get a somewhat more accurate depiction of the downfall of Al Capone, if admittedly not an entirely accurate one. Several other films have key overlapping events and themes which accurately depict the rise and fall of the infamous Capone, and all share certain traits of the character himself. In Scarface: Shame of a Nation, Tony Camonte is our Al Capone, we see the depiction of a smooth wise guy who plays it cool in every circumstance. However, we also see him acting with ruthless ambition, taking down anyone who he suspects could be a threat to his reaching the top of the pile. This is not an accurate trait of Al Capone, for much of his life he was a bodyguard, he was “the muscle” as it was called then, and only rose to power after the willing retirement of Johnny

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