Remembering “Scarface”, “Sudden Impact”, and Chestnut Station

posted by CinemarkFan on December 12, 2008 at 10:55 am

What do “Say hello to my little friend!” and “Go ahead, make my day” have in common?

They’re from the movies “Scarface” and “Sudden Impact”, which were released 25 years ago today. It may have been cold that day, but those movies made you forget about weather. And we movie theater buffs from Chicago will remember that day, because it was the day when Essaness Theatres opened the Chestnut Station, a five screen theater which was located in a former united states post office from the 1930’s. It was the near north side’s second ‘modern multiplex’. Water Tower 1-4 being the first. And for the Essaness corp, it was their next to last theater they would build. Golf Glen in Niles being the last.

According to people who went there around that time, it was a nice place to see movies. However, it had the misfortune of being located about one mile from the infamous Cabrini Green public housing complex (torn town in ‘02. Good riddence), a then haven for gangbangers and other criminal activity. From it’s opening in 1983, it was known to show first run blockbusters and art house fare. Most notable was the exclusive 70MM engagement of “Amadeus” in 1984. When Cineplex Odeon took over in 1986, management started showing a plethora of violent action, horror, and hood movies aimed at the CB crowd. This turned bad in 1992, when a young woman was gunned down after a late showing of “Juice”. From then on, the quality of films really went down. It became a dollar house in 1996, and was put out it’s misery in 1998. It was torn down not too long after. Me personally, I never went there. My family did once, in 1987 to see “Predator”.

Going back to “Scarface”. That movie, a remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks film, launched a wave of epics about criminals. Most have been good, lots have been bad. It also became popular with the hip-hop crowd. P Diddy claims to have seen it 57 times!

More than anything, that line spoken by Al Pacino make a mark on 80’s pop culture, and movies in general. “Say hello to my little friend” has be said in dozens of movies.

Sudden Impact was Clint Eastwood’s fourth outing as ‘Dirty Harry’. And that too, made it’s mark on 80s pop culture. Like “Scarface, how many times have you seen comedians say "Go ahead, make my day”? I wasn’t born when those movies came out that day. I ended up seeing them on channels like HBO and Encore in the 90’s.

“Scarface” trivia

  • Budget was reported at 25 million.
  • Oliver Stone wrote it while on fighting a cocaine habit.
  • Was photographed by cinematographer John A. Alonzo of “Chinatown” fame. Alonzo, a pionner of handheld photography in movies, passed away seven years ago of natural causes.
  • Brian DePalma turned town “Flashdance” to direct this movie
    DePlama made cuts and submitted the film three times to the MPAA. Each time it earned an X rating. DePalma and producer Martin Bergman met with the MPAA. They brought in a panel of experts, including real narcotics officers, who stated that the film was an accurate portrayal of real life in the drug underworld and should be widely seen. This convinced the 20 members of the ratings board to give the third submitted cut of the film an “R rating” by a vote of 18-2. However De Palma surmised that if the third cut of the film was judged an “R” than the very first cut should have been an “R” as well. He asked the studio if he could release the first cut but was told that he couldn’t. However since the Studio execs really didn’t know the differences between the different cuts that had been submitted, De Palma released the first cut of the film to theaters anyway. It wasn’t until the film had been released on videocassette months later that he confessed that he had released his first unedited and intended version of the film.

Sudden Impact trivia
– The movie’s line “Go ahead, make my day” was voted as the #6 movie quote by the A.F.I.
– Although Clint Eastwood made “Go ahead, make my day” famous, it was actually used a year earlier by actor Gary Swanson in the b-classic “Vice Squad”. During the scene in which Swanson leads a team of detectives to bust a killer pimp (Wings Hauser), he aims his pistol at Hauser and says “Go ahead scumbag, make my day”.
– While not offical, budget was reported at 15 million. A sum unheardof with today’s action movies.
– Spent 3 weeks at number one. “Terms of Endearment” knocked it out of first place during the weekend of December 30th 1983 – January 2nd 1984.
– In some scenes, Eastwood wore Gargoyles sunglasses, which were used again in “The Terminator” a year later.
– The only Dirty Harry film not primarily set in San Francisco.

Memorable quotes from “Scarface”

“Say hello to my little friend!” – Tony

“I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice” – Tony

“Don’t underestimate.. the OTHER GUY’S GREED!” – Frank Lopez

“Everyday above ground is a good day” – Mel Bernstein

“In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women” – Tony

“You want to give me the cash, or do I kill your brother first, before I kill you?” – Hector the Toad

“Why don’t you try sticking your head up your a—? See if it fits” – Tony

“Can you stop saying f—k all the time?” – Elvira

“The world chico, and everything in it” – Tony

“All I have in this world is my b—-s and my word, and I don’t break ‘em for no one!” – Tony

“I always tell the truth, even when I lie” – Tony

Memorable quotes from “Sudden Impact”

“Listen, punk. To me you’re nothin' but dogs—t, you understand? And a lot of things can happen to dogs—t. It can be scraped up with a shovel off the ground. It can dry up and blow away in the wind. Or it can be stepped on and squashed. So take my advice and be careful where the dog sh—s ya!” – Dirty Harry

“Whatcha doing, ya pigheaded sucka? – Overacting crook

“Every day for the past ten years, Loretta here’s been giving me a large black coffee- except today she gives me a large black coffee and it has sugar in it. Alotta sugar. I just came back to complain.” – Dirty Harry

“Say what, sucka?” – Overacting crook

“Well, we’re not just gonna let you walk out of here.” – Dirty Harry

“Whose we Sucka? – Overacting crook

[reaching for his .44 Magnum slowly] Smith and Wesson… and me.“ – Dirty Harry

“Go ahead, make my day.” – Dirty Harry

“I really should quit. Then I can handle the law my own way.‘ – Dirty Harry

“Yeah, but then you’ll be a JAMF.” – Horace

“Uh huh. And what is a JAMF?” – Dirty Harry

“Jive a— mother…” – Horace

“Forget I asked” – Dirty Harry

“Come on, sailor. There must be something you want to ask me. You might get lucky!” – Parkins

“Only with humans” – Dirty Harry

“Do you know the emergency phone number for San Francisco General? Well, why don’t you call them right now and have them send down an ambulance. Tell them there’s two sorry-looking a—holes here with multiple contusions and various abrasions and broken bones.” – Dirty Harry

“Read me my rights? And where was all this concern for my rights when I was being beaten and mauled? And where were my sister’s rights when she was being brutalized? There is a thing called justice Callahan, and is it justice that they should all just walk away?” – Jennifer Spencer

“All right, you prickless scum! You think you can make it work this time! You think you can try it again? You think you can get it up this time? You think you can make it better? You filthy maggot. Well you’ll have to rape my dead body!” – Jennifer Spencer

“I’ll come back, when you’re less bereaved” – Dirty Harry

The Chicago area engagements

Below are the Chicago area enagements of “Scarface” and “Sudden Impact”. Other cities haven’t been included.

“Scarface” Chicago engagements. **means two screens in complex

Aurora: (Plitt) Fox Valley
Calumet City: (Plitt) River Oaks #1&4

Chicago:(Plitt) Chicago Theater
Chicago:(Plitt) Esquire
Evergreen Park:(M&R) Evergreen
Lombard:(GCC) Yorktown
Matteson:(GCC) Lincoln Mall
Mount Prospect:(GCC) Randhurst
Norridge:(M&R) Norridge
Schaumburg:(Plitt) Woodfield 1&2

Skokie:(M&R) Old Orchard

Newspaper ads had a disclaimer saying, CAUTION, “Scarface” is an intense film both in its use of language and violence. We Suggest mature audiences.

“Sudden Impact” Chicago engagements. **means two screens in complex

Arlington Heights: (Essaness) Town & Country Mall
Bloomingdale:(Plitt) Stratford Square Mall
Bolingbrook:(Plitt) Bolingbrook
Calumet City:(Plitt) River Oaks #2
Chicago:(Essaness) Woods
Chicago:(Essaness) Chestnut Station

Chicago:(Plitt) Gateway
Chicago: (Essaness) Plaza
Chicago: (GCC) Ford City
Chicago Ridge: (Independent) Chicago Ridge Mall
Evanston: (Plitt) Varsity
Hillside: (M&R) Hillside Square
Hoffman Estates:(Essaness) Century
Matteson:(GCC) Lincoln Mall
Niles:(Essaness) Golf Mill
Northbrook:(Centre) Edens #1
North Riverside:(GCC) Harlem-Cermak
Orland Park:(Plitt) Orland Square Mall

Sources: Old Newspaper ads/articles/Chicago Sun Times/Tribune; Boxofficemojo; IMDB, and the good folks at Cinematreasures. “Scarface” ©1983 Universal Pictures. “Sudden Impact” © 1983 Warner Bros and the Malpaso company.

Share the memories below.

Comments (8)

CinemarkFan on December 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Of course, I wrote this on 12/9, which was the actual 25th anniversary.

CSWalczak on December 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I went to see a film at Chestnut Station once though I can’t remember the film. My recollection was that the building was very intriguing, but the screening rooms themselves unremarkable.

Personally, (and I will admit up front that I am no fan of the film) the claim that the original release prints of “Scarface” were identical to the version that DePalma submitted to the MPAA I think could well be an urban legend. The trivia item cited above is virtually identical to the wording on this matter as found in the “Scarface” entries for the film on Wikipedia and on the IMDb and no sources are cited there.

Further, I find it unlikely that if twenty people were involved in rating this film that none of them, given how controversial the film was at the time of its release, would not have gone to see it in a theater and noticed that the released version was not the one given the “R”, especially since records of the ratings process are kept by the MPAA. I remember seeing the film during its original release, and at the time, many papers were reporting that the chainsaw scene especially was cut.

CinemarkFan on December 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm

I cited IMDB as a source. It’s at the below the list of Chicago area theaters that played “Impact”.

CSWalczak on December 12, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Yes, I am sorry if you misunderstood. I meant that neither the IMDb nor Wikipedia cites the source for this claim, and neither source is error free.

Broan on December 12, 2008 at 11:32 pm

I believe the UA Marina City was actually the first Near North multi.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 21, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Some things you never forget in the theatre business,Dirty Harry is speaking to another Detective when Dirty Harry watching him eat a Hot Dog says “No body,but No body,puts Ketchup on a hot dog!” a moviegoer loud enough to be heard says “I DO!”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 21, 2010 at 6:44 pm

“SUDDEN IMPACT” played at Regency Mall Cinemas I,II,and III in cinema one. GCC.

raysson on June 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

In NORTH CAROLINA: The Raleigh-Durham area………….
“SUDDEN IMPACT” played at these theatres
Raleigh: Mission Valley (Litchfeld Theatres)
Durham: Center I-II-III (Plitt)
Chapel Hill: Village Plaza I-II-III (Eastern Federal)

“SCARFACE” played at these theatres when it was released in December,1983.
Raleigh: Cardinal Theatres I & II (Plitt)
Durham: Northgate Twin Theatres (Carmike)
Chapel Hill: Carolina Blue and White Theatres (Plitt)

**SCARFACE when it ended its run in mid-January of 1984 in Durham continously played until April of that year at the Riverview Cinema.

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