A perfect rags-to-riches story, Scarface sees Cuban immigrant Tony Montana grow to be one of the most powerful drug lords in Miami. The hard-boiled gangster has gone on to be widely celebrated in pop culture, with references popping up everywhere, especially in how he smartly makes his way to the top.

There are many other great characters in the Brian DePalma movie, each interesting in their own way. Some are shown to be extremely smart in their decision making while others make moves that leave fans baffled. Nonetheless, whether it’s dumb or wise, whatever the characters do still end up being entertaining. Of course, as the old saying goes, the smartest characters are not necessarily working harder.

10 Frank Lopez

Lopez develops a liking for Tony when the young gangster successfully collects cocaine from a group of Colombian dealers. He makes him a major part of his operations but this turns out to be a mistake as Tony not only makes deals behind his back but also seduces his mistress.

Lopez lacks awareness. He only realizes that Tony is stealing his business and the love of his life when it’s too late. He doesn’t see the bigger picture either hence the reason he only proposes to buy a small amount of cocaine from Sosa instead of working with him long-term. Even worse is that he doesn’t come up with a more complex plan to assassinate the clearly lethal and slippery Tony, opting to send gunmen at him at a nightclub rather than target him when he least expects it.

9 Mel Bernstein

The dirty cop tries to extort Tony, promising to not interfere with his activities if he is given a certain amount each month. But when Tony learns he was involved in the attempt on his life, he shoots him.

Bernstein claims to know about the blood bath at the Sun Ray Hotel yet he still goes on to shake down Tony. Logically, the hotel incident should have made Bernstein fearful of Tony since he now knew what the gangster was capable of. Instead, he pushes him into a corner by demanding payments. Conspiring with Frank to kill Tony doesn’t make sense either since Tony had agreed to give him a cut each month.

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8 Elvira Hancock

Elvira is first introduced as the mistress of Miami drug lord Frank Lopez. After being romantically pursued by Tony for a while, she agrees to marry him.

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Elvira constantly puts her own life in danger by entertaining Tony yet her husband is a ruthless narcotrafficker. She also doesn’t appear to want anything more out of life rather than enjoy the wealth of the men she is with. Consequently, her marriage to Tony goes south very quickly because her habit of taking drugs and drinking all day irks the gangster.

7 Omar Suarez

Omar is introduced as the Underboss of Frank Lopez. He gives Tony his first major gig but falls out with him in Bolivia when the two go to negotiate with Sosa.

Omar is revealed to be an undercover cop, once again bringing up a trope that is common in most of the best gangster movies of all time. Nonetheless, this makes his rise to the position of Underboss even more impressive. That he’s served Lopez for many years without getting detected is applause-worthy. However, he shows a lack of good judgment by arguing with Tony in front of Sosa, something that shows weakness on his part. This causes him to get hanged from a helicopter.

6 Tony Montana

Tony makes his way to the US when Fidel Castro abolishes the stringent immigration laws at Mariel Harbor in Cuba. He then partners up with Frank Lopez and eventually Sosa, moves that make him one of the biggest gangsters in Miami.

Pushed by ambition, the gangster is shown to have great business acumen. In what is one of Tony Montana’s best scenes, he easily proposes a perfect drug smuggling plan to Sosa when his own boss appears to not know what to do. However, he makes a couple of rookie mistakes that are inspired by arrogance and carelessness. These include getting addicted to his own cocaine and disobeying Sosa, despite knowing how ruthless the Bolivian drug lord is. He then drives himself further down the pit by firing a banker that has been very instrumental in laundering his money. The sum of these decisions eventually causes his downfall.

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5 Gina Montana

Gina initially has such a good relationship with his brother that he lavishes her with money and gifts. Sadly things turn sour when she starts dating Tony’s best friend Manny and keeps it a secret.

That Gina goes on to marry Manny without telling Tony is a big mistake since such an action would have prevented him from killing the man. And before her relationship with Manny, Gina beams with so much naivety that she even flirts with a Miami gangster, unaware that he is one of Tony’s rivals. Most importantly, Gina’s decision to not heed her mother’s advice to stay away from Tony and his associates is what messes up her life.

4 Manolo “Manny” Ribera

Tony’s childhood friend immigrates with him to Miami where they go on to become major drug traffickers. Regrettably, they fall out because of Manny’s love for Gina.

Manny is good at getting himself out of messes. His decision to conduct a hit for Lopez the detention camp for immigrants is what helps him and Tony get green cards. He also comes to the rescue when Tony is captured by Colombian immigrants. But in as much as he is proactive and opportunistic, Manny risks too much. He proposes the new banker, Seidelbaum, to Tony but the man turns out to be an undercover cop. Secretly dating Tony’s sister also ends up being a costly mistake to him as it gets him killed.

3 Georgina Montana

Tony’s mother wants nothing to do with him as she disapproves of his criminal lifestyle. She even rejects any form of help he offers her.

As the responsible parent that she is, Georgina can easily tell when Tony is lying. Her limited resources haven’t prevented her from building a great life for herself and her daughter either. This paints her as a disciplined money manager. Moreover, she is right by warning Gina to stay away from Tony too since it’s by Gina getting too close to her brother that she ends up getting killed.

2 Seidelbaum

Seidelbaum builds a reputation for himself as an affordable banker and money launderer in Miami but he is, in reality, an undercover cop. By fooling Tony, he manages to bring him down for tax evasion.

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Seidelbaum is wise to establish himself as an affordable banker since greedy gangsters who want to keep most of their money are bound to look for him. And as an undercover agent, he knows how to lure in his targets by bonding with them. He makes Tony like him by discussing Humphrey Bogart, knowing the gangster is a big fan of the actor. He also makes sure to record his targets too and by doing that, he gets enough evidence on Tony.

1 Alejandro Sosa

Eager to get a market for his product, Bolivian drug lord Alejandro Sosa makes a deal with Tony Montana to smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States. However, he falls out with the Miami gangster after he kills one of his best henchmen.

Despite being at the helm of one of the biggest drug empires in South America, Sosa has never been brought down by the authorities because is good at spotting weak associates that might cause him trouble in the future. This is why he quickly partners up with Tony and kills Omar. Additionally, he is hasty when it comes to taking out threats too, hence denying his foes don’t have too much time to plot. This is best seen when he assassinates an investigative reporter and eventually Tony in what is one of the best fan-favorite scenes in gangster movies.

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