Scarface premiered December 1, 1983 in New York and was released throughout the USA on December 9, 1983.
These pages are about the 1983 remake of the original 1932 Howard Hawks’ film, Scarface.
Despite this being a web site about Florida filming locations I will cover all the locations for this movie be they in New York, California, or Florida. Originally this film was to have been filmed entirely in Florida, but due to a hostile environment caused by some Cuban Americans who did not like what they heard or guessed about the way the movie was going to portray Cuban Americans, allot of the filming was transferred to California. They did spend a couple of weeks in Florida filming and had body guards and increased security around the filming. Sad that more of the movie was not filmed in Florida but in my book it still qualifies as a classic, legendary Miami movie.
The movie opens with file footage of Fidel Castro speaking in Cuba about the dregs of society that he is shipping off to the United States along with the people fleeing toward freedom.
Then we see what appears to be authentic footage from the Mariel boat lift.
Including what appears to me to be actual footage from Key West, Florida. If anyone can confirm that this is in fact the Key West Coast Guard station please let me know at email@example.com
Then we see Tony Montana at his initial questioning upon arrival in Key West. This appears to have been filmed on a set at Universal Studios in California but I have not confirmed this yet. If you recognize this or any of the unknown locations in this movie please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Having failed to fool the interrogators Tony finds himself on a bus headed north. This was filmed on interstate 95 in South Miami approaching the Miami River. A very brief glimpse can be seen of the O.C.B. Building (Gold Coast Shipping) from Miami Vice. The Dade County Courthouse and other downtown skyscrapers are clearly seen.
Then we cut to Freedomtown one month later. This was filmed in Los Angeles, California under the interstate 10 highway where it meets with interstate 110. Thanks to one of Brian De Palma’s famous aerial, downward shots, the location is not readily recognized as L.A. It starts with the camera shooting southwest down the 110 freeway with a truck on the exit from 110 to interstate 10 for Santa Monica and San Bernadino. The camera pans to the west and north while turning down. Now another Al Pacino movie, Heat, has filmed at this same intersection. They filmed the notable truck crashing into the armored car scene at this same location just a few feet away.
After earning their freedom in Freedomtown we see them get their papers at the immigration office. This appears to be a set at Universal studios.
Then we see Tony and Manny at their new American job at El Paraiso Restaurant. I finally believe I have sussed out it’s location. I am 99% sure that this was filmed at 375 E 2nd Street in Los Angeles, in the Little Tokyo District. Both the Restaurant building and the Nightclub have since been torn down.
Tony talks his way into a job buying and delivering 2 kilos of cocaine from some Columbians. The scene opens in Miami, the real Miami with a shot of the Carlyle Hotel on Ocean Drive at 13th Street where Miami Vice all started in Brother’s Keeper, the pilot.
We see the crew arrive at Ocean Drive having driven up (east) 13th Street. As they stop to admire two bathing beauties that are crossing the street we see the Cardozo Hotel which was used for both Miami Vice and Burn Notice but is most famous for it’s role in the Frank Sinatra movie, A Hole In The Head where it was Frank’s hotel, the Garden of Eden.
Then they turn right (southbound) on Ocean Drive and we see a nice aerial shot of Ocean Drive from the Beacon Hotel (720 Ocean Dr.) all the way north to 14th Place.
Camera direction at start of scene
Building seen in scene.
Manny does a U-
Then we see Tony report in via a pay phone. This was filmed on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami with Star Island in the background.
Then we see Manny, Tony and Omar arrive at Frank Lopez’s place. The exterior is the Atlantis at 2025 Brickell Avenue in Miami. This building is scene in the opening montage of Miami Vice as well as several episodes, most notably in episode 4, Hit List and episode 66, Viking Bikers From Hell.
As seen in Miami Vice, Hit List
Then we go inside Frank’s house. This was not filmed at the Atlantis but on Key Biscayne at 485 Matheson Drive. This property was the winter white house during the Nixon Administration and Richard Nixon spent allot of time here as President of the United States. However; the Nixon house is not the same house. That was a smaller house that was torn down and replaced by the one we see here. This location has since been used in numerous episodes of Miami Vice including The Great McCarthy, Calderone’s Demise, Golden Triangle, and Back In The World.
Tony sees Frank’s girl, Elvira for the first time as she enters via the elevator.
Lt. Castillo arrives in this same elevator to then General Lao Li’s living room in Golden Triangle.
Then they all decide to go to eat at the Babylon Club. Thanks to filminglocationsdetecties.com we know this was filmed in what is now South West Ranches, Florida. At what was The Kapok Tree Inn, 3501 SW 130st Avenue. This is now the Long Key Nature Reserve. The interior was not shot at the Kapok Tree Inn but was shot on a set at Universal Studios.
Then we see Tony and Manny driving home after a night out. They have an important conversation but not enough is seen to determine where this was filmed. Location unknown.
Then it cuts to three months later and Tony and manny are in paradise. To be exact they are at the Fontainebleau Hotel, 4441 Collins Avenue in Miami. Miami Vice, Burn Notice, as well as several movies including Gold Finger and Tony Rome have used this location for filming.
Next we see Manny and Tony outside Frank’s at the Atlantis on Brickell.
Then we go to a Porsche dealership. This was filmed on location at Beverly Hills
Then we see Tony go to visit his mother and sister. Several sources report that this was filmed in Torrance, California by what is now the Exxon Mobil refinery in the general area of West 190th Street and Crenshaw Blvd. The area has reportedly changed allot since this movie was filmed and I have yet to locate the exact location of house where Tony’s mother lived.
If you recognize any of the unknown locations or have something else to add, please let me know at: email@example.com