Sunday, 11 March 2012

Scarface: "The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it?"

Was watching the old version of classic Scarface (director Howard Hawks, 1932) and was amazed that the film begins with the message demanding government to take actions re gang culture and calling viewers to act as "the government is your government”:
“This picture is an indictment of gang rule in America and of the callous indifference of the government to this constantly increasing menace to our safety and our liberty. 
Every incident in this picture is the reproduction of an actual occurrence, and the purpose of this picture is to demand of the government: “What are you going to do about it?” 
The government is your government. What are YOU going to do about it?”


Ankakh_Hayastan said...

Thanks. I added this to my Netflix queue.

Ankakh_Hayastan said...

Watched it yesterday.

Highly recommended if people like old movies -- it's primarily the type of fiction I can watch nowadays.

The movie was good except for the part about "government is you" which seemed like a propaganda piece shoved into the plot. The scene where the city big-shots were discussing how the majority of the criminals are illegal immigrants and need to be kicked out had very little to do with the rest of the film. It reminded me of scenes shoved into Soviet movies to satisfy the communist censors.

With further research, it turns out that this scene, and an alternate ending portraying a more favorable view of the police, were not enough to avoid censorship and ban.

Yes, folks, in the US censorship and banning of movies was widely practiced, and the suppression of the free speech is still practiced for broadcast TV and radio (but not for cable TV or satellite TV or radio).

artmika said...

Thanks for adding more insight. Very true and illustrative re propaganda and attempts to avoid censorship. And so relevant. Still, pretty brave attempt, esp. for 30s. In fact, I take "government is you" a bit differently, relevant to contemporary realities, meaning you elected them (providing you were able to do so!), and you can exercise your right to demand changes and/or ditch them during elections.

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