Saturday, July 16, 2011

Scarface: F bombs over Miami

220px-ScarfacePacino.jpg (220×275)
Recently there've been a number of sing along events for the whole family,  where you can go see the film and join in with the music.

Several years ago, there was a funny variation of this where you can drop the F bomb along with Scarface, which certainly used the word plenty, proving indeed it's a great adjective and verb.
Apparently the number of times it was spewed in Scarface was 206 times, although the band Blink-182 named itself after the number of times they thought it was used. 

I tried counting it once myself and got lost, and a friend of mine had a party where everyone took bets and they counted the F bombs off with a clicker counter. (Yeah, would make a great drinking game too!)

It used to be the F word would be an instant X rating on a movie, now it's pretty much an instant R. Scarface barely got away with its R rating, going under fire with the ratings board and threatened with an X over its violence, and maybe the MPAA was so crazy over the violence, a ton of F bombs got through because it was relatively minor compared to someone being chopped up with a chainsaw in the shower.

All this made me wonder if anyone compiled a list of how many times the F word has been used in movies, and lo and behold, there's a terrific list on Wikipedia, along with the average of how many F bombs are dropped a minute.

It turns out Scarface isn't even in the top ten. Number one is a documentary called F**k, which is about the history of the word, and the word is uttered 824 times, averaging 8.86 F bombs a minute. 

Second place is Spike Lee's Summer of Sam, with an F count of 435, and not surprisingly a number of Scorsese and Tarantino films are on the list. 

Casino has nearly 400 F bombs (it's just under three hours), but then you get a movie like Menace to Society, which is only 97 minutes with 300 F bombs. GoodFellas hit the same F bomb count spread out over two hours and twenty five minutes.
When Scarface screenwriter Oliver Stone was asked why the F word was in the film so much, he says,
"Because I'd heard it a lot between Vietnam and Miami (laughs)! Also in New York. It's not like I grew up in rural town life, I grew up in the heart of the city. 

"Actually in the script, there's probably a hundred and something (F words), I think Al made it three hundred and something! If you read the script, the word f**K is used, it's used deliberately, it's not just thrown away. It's used for rhythm. But Al managed to use it his way by inserting it more and finding the right rhythm. He used it well."


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