To celebrate the release of Lawless this week we have started looking at some classic gangster movies and why they made such a huge impact on the genre.

Yesterday we put Reservoir Dogs in the spotlight and today it's the turn of Al Pacino classic Scarface.

The movie was released back in 1983 and it wasn't in the high acclaim that it is today - in fact it wasn't met that well by the critics.

And yet over the years the Brian De Palma movie has become so iconic that it is hard to imagine that people ever thought bad things about this film.

To say that Al Pacino turns in a great performance is somewhat of an understatement as the actor is almost in a frenzy from start to finish.

His drug crazed performance gives the movie a real tension and edge and if you couple that with De Palma's lightening pace direction and you have a movie that you always feel is teetering on the edge.

But Scarface was more than just your run of the mill gangster movie it was also a character study of a man who is selfish, sadistic and is so desperate to get ahead in life.

Visually the movie is a treat as there is a real visceral feel to it - not to mention of course that it is ultra violent.

Of course there are elements of this film that are over the top but that can be forgiven because of the great performance and the intensity of the film from start to finish.

Nearly thirty years on and this movie is widely regarded as one of the greatest gangster movies of all time while Tony Montana is one of the most iconic characters.

Lawless is released 7th September

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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