Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unnecessarily charming

Something I ran across in the British Library:

Crime and War

Gangster films get more like war films every day. Scarface (at the Empire) certainly is more like All Quiet on the Western Front than any other film I have seen. The moment the “South Side” introduced machine guns there was nothing for the police to do but to introduce gas-bombs. For the moment Scarface was caught napping and came to a truly terrible end. His successor by now is doubtless provided with heavy air bombers, and it will be interesting to see whether the police will be able to ripost [sic] successfully with supertanks. In fact every American town seems to be conducting, in little, a fine European armaments race. Scarface is certainly one of the most disgusting, and hence one of the most effective, gangsters I have seen. It was, however, criminally immoral to make Scarface himself so unnecessarily charming. I found the guns rather agitating, particularly perhaps as the afternoon was so hot. Scarface is emphatically evening entertainment, and very good entertainment too.

The New Statesman and Nation, 2 July 1932, p. 13

As Rick says to Heinrich: "Well, there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."

No comments: