Scarface (1932) 06/05/21
Still the fiercest and most cinematic of the first wave of gangster classics, Howards Hughes and Hawks’s pre-Code rule-breaker was the one that brought down the ban on ‘glamorous’ gangster movies. In this case classic hardly means dated: the cars and clothes are vintage but the sex and violence are sizzling hot. Paul Muni is the primitive killer who falls in love with submachine guns and George Raft is his loyal trigger man. Karen Morley and especially Ann Dvorak are indeed the hottest pre-Code seducers in film. Plus, Boris Karloff contributes a mobster snarl as a lightly-disguised Bugs Moran. It’s a bullet-ridden city, that’s for sure, and the filmmakers frequently use expressionist effects: like X Marks The Spot! On Blu-ray from Viavision [Imprint].