On December 9, 1983, Al Pacino starred in Scarface, a mobster movie that was so popular it made $4.5 million the first weekend of its release alone. Say hello to our little list of 5 things you didn't know about Brian De Palma’s gangsters-and-cocaine classic...
Scarface Was a Remake of an Earlier Movie The original Scarface was a 1932 movie directed by Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes and starred Osgood Perkins and Paul Muni. Martin Bregman, the producer of the newer version, saw the original movie on television late one night and thought it could be a good re-make. The 1983 version, directed by Robert De Palma, and starring Al Pacino, and Michelle Pfeiffer was dedicated to Howard Hawks and the screenwriter of the original film, Ben Hecht. Hecht was the writer for a number of famous films, including Gone With the Wind, Notorious, and Wuthering Heights.
Brian De Palma Almost Directed Flashdance Instead Producer Martin Bregman offered De Palma a chance to direct Scarface while the director was filming the 1981 cult classic Blow Out. Initially De Palma said “yes,” but then politely declined as he was too busy. He signed on to direct Flashdance instead in the hopes of getting the producer to greenlight his script on the Yablonski murders. De Palma made it about two weeks into pre-production on the dance flick before quitting. Bregman offered Scarface to De Palma again, and the rest is history.
Pacino Was Injured During the Filming of the Movie
Pacino was actually injured twice, but the first time was during an audition when a nervous Michelle Pfeiffer was throwing dishes and accidentally cut Pacino with a broken shard. During a filming rehearsal, Pacino mistakenly grabbed the barrel of the prop gun after it had been fired several rounds, and his hand got stuck to the hot barrel. Pacino was unable to work for several weeks because of the burns.
After the Film Was Completed, One of the Actresses Disappeared Tammy Lynn Leppert, the 18 year-old actress and model appeared as Manny’s (Steven Bauer) distraction while he was in the lookout car during the infamous chainsaw scene. Leppert was last seen in Cocoa Beach, Florida on July 6, 1983 just five months before Scarface hit theaters. Authorities speculated Leppert may have been three months pregnant at the time of her mysterious disappearance and that her missing persons status could be tied to several serial killers and drug trafficking networks around the area. Her current whereabouts are still unknown.
The Rumor That Pacino Used Cocaine on Set During the Filming Is Untrue Although it was a long-time rumor that Pacino was really snorting cocaine in the movie, artificial substitutes for the drug were used that are handled by the prop master. In the past, either powdered milk or baking soda had been used as replacements, but vitamin B powder is used now. Pacino said that snorting the stuff damaged his nasal passages for years afterward.