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  1. #1
    Junior Member Scot in S.C.'s Avatar
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    Default "Miami Vice" and "Scarface"...

    I am a long time browser, but I decided to join today. I would love to hear stories of anyone on here who lived in Miami during the 80's when this iconic television series and movie were released. I realize that most of the movie was filmed in C.A. due to protests and such, but it still had to have some sort of reception citywide.

    I am looking for the influence that the two had on the city or vice versa. I guess I am hoping to read some firsthand accounts of anything that springs to mind that you saw or experienced during the 80's related to either one of these media events.

    FYI, I am a mid-thirties guy who grew up on "Miami Vice" (still love the show, own the dvds...go ahead and laugh) and enjoyed "Scarface" long before it was embraced by rappers and the general public. I live in South Carolina, but I love Florida and especially Miami. I think I have been subliminally programmed to an extent; I grow palms in my yard, often wear clothes associated with the show and the city (guayaberas, pastel shirts under blazers, etc.), and even have pictures of the city's skyline framed on my wall. Thanks in advance for posting responses to my slightly strange request.

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    It's more like that now. South Beach, in particular, was not a toney place. And Guayaberas were what old people wore.

  3. #3
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    two things, I was in high school with a girl that was in the movie.. she was the girl in the bikini that was distracting Manny (Steven Bauer) while Tony was about to get cut up in the shower drug deal. That was cool, but she was way outta my league even then! ;)

    When I first moved to South Beach in 1988, Ocean drive's sidewalk was too narrow for two people to walk side by side down the street...Mappy's diner was on 14th and Ocean, and Mango's was a retirement home, with old people sitting on the porch waiting to die....

    Things have changed quite a bit!

  4. #4
    Gus
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    Hi, Scot, thanks for joining.

    In 1982, I moved to Miami from San Diego and went to MacMilian Junior High School in west Miami. Because of the Mariel boatlift we had adult men in classes with us....that seemed pretty strange to me.

    I love the old Miami Vice TV show. I was 16 when the show was popular.

    I have Direct TV. Currently, Miami Vice is airing on the Sleuth Channel at 5pm (EST). I watch the show a lot and am surprised at how many episodes were shot right in South Beach. They use Espanola Way, the Cameo Theatre, the Jerry's Famous Deli building, and South Pointe Park in a lot of episodes.

    South Beach also looked completely different form how it looks today.

    As DCvision says, the sidewalks on Ocean Drive were much more narrow than they are now. Miami New Times has a behind-the-scenes sideshow that follows the "chain saw" scene from Scarface that was shot on Ocean Drive. The pictures were taken by a valet parker who worked on the beach. You can see how small the sidewalks used to be:
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    Gus
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCvision
    two things, I was in high school with a girl that was in the movie.. she was the girl in the bikini that was distracting Manny (Steven Bauer) while Tony was about to get cut up in the shower drug deal. That was cool, but she was way outta my league even then! ;)
    I remember that girl. She had long feathered hair and was wearing a French-cut bikini. That's so cool you went to high school with her.

  6. #6
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    What about the "Golden Girls"??????????????
    It doesn't get anymore "Miami " than that!

  7. #7
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    "Golden Girls" always screamed "Boca" to me.

  8. #8
    Gus
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    The "Golden Girls" definitely deserve their own topic.

    Let's keep this discussion focused on "Miami Vice" and "Scarface."

    Related links:

    Miami Vice: The Movie Actually Captures the City
    Scarface: Why the Iconic Miami Film Was Not Even Shot in Miami
    X-rated Scarface
    Tony Montana action figure
    “Cocaine Cowboys” - The History of Miami's Drug Trade

    Who remembers when Miami was on the cover of Time Magazine?

  9. #9
    Junior Member Scot in S.C.'s Avatar
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    Thank you for the welcome Gus! And to Gus and the others that have shared past experiences and photographs, many thanks! Wow DCvision, that is too cool about sort of knowing the girl in the movie! I have watched the movie so many times that I know her well (or at least part of her....lol). Please keep the insights, memories, photographs, connections to the works, links, etc. going folks. This is great!

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    Golden Girls (one of the best TV shows ever!!) was filmed in a studio in L.A. Only the opening shots were in Miami. It was obvious with the way they referred to the city, IMO.

    Also, if you tour Universal Studios in Orlando, the tram drives by the GG house!

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    Wow I learned something today, Tere. Thanks

  12. #12
    Gus
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    Alright, I give in. Let's add some "Golden Girls" TV trivia into the "Miami Vice" & "Scarface" mix. I think the famous opening shot on "The Golden Girls" was somewhere on Collins Avenue, near the 50s.



    Is that the old Hotel Alexander I see on the right?

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    Not sure of the answer on that one Gus, but i do know one thing I have "thank you for being a friend" song in my mind full force!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Scot in S.C.'s Avatar
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    Oh no! "The Golden Girls" have taken over the thread! LMAO. What would Crockett, Tubbs, or better yet Tony Montana have to say about this turn of events? :coolmad:

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    That Rose, Blanche and Dorothy were some FINE ladies! :coolsmile:

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    Her name was Mai-Lis Kuniholm (or something close to that) and I sat next to her in french class. She was very pretty and just about made my 14-15 yo brain explode when she talked to me... ;)

  17. #17
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    I've been meaning to write some stories about growing up in the 1980s on my new blog, www.magiccitymania.com.

    Back in 1985, I used to have this friend who would steal cars. Every day he showed up to school in a new stolen car and we would skip school and go joy-riding and hell-raising. He was a Marielito who spoke just like Tony Montana.

    That is why I was always confused when the critics said that Tony Montana's accent was fake. Perhaps this was a case of life imitating art rather than art imitating life.

    I personally thought Pacino did a very good job with his accent. Occasionally, his New York accent would slip out and he was horrible when he had to actually speak Spanish, although he said coño perfectly in the scene with his mother.

    A few years ago I dedicated a poem to Scarface which I recited at some spoken word venues in Miami to positive response.

    Here is the poem:






    Say hello to my little friend

    Those were the words that inspired a generation of Miamians during the crazy 1980s

    Those were the words that described a chaotic city during a decade of decadence

    Those were the words that defined the man we came to know as Tony Montana

    The world would know him by another name

    Scarface

    He was nothing but a political prisoner from Cuba

    A ruthless gangster who did not like Colombians

    An ex-con who only had his balls and his word: and I don't break them for nobody, meng

    And he had some very simple rules about life

    First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women


    For those of us who grew up in Miami during that turbulent time

    For those of us who came of age during the crime wave that came after the Mariel boatlift

    For those of us who dabbled in the cocaine trade in pursuit of the money, the power and the women

    He was our hero: an anti-hero who gave our city an attitude that had long replaced the image of God's waiting room

    No longer were we the city of the sun and the fun, but a city of guns and drug runs

    No longer were we the city south of anything that mattered but a city besieged by South American drug lords

    No longer were we the city that slept during the summer months, but a city that splurged on all-night drug romps

    And even though a New York actor of Italian descent played the role of the Cuban cocaine King

    And even though the New York critics criticized his accent as not being credible to the Cuban community

    And even though the New York Times wrote a scathing article about how Miami had become Paradise Lost because of all the guns and drugs that had swarmed the city

    We were all secretly proud. And we all knew a Marielito who spoke just like him.

  18. #18
    Gus
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    Carlos, your "Scarface" poem is great. You should make a video with your poem and put it on YouTube.

    Have you seen the video of the "chain saw" scene by those high school kids in the Midwest?

    I lived in San Diego when the movie came out. My friends and I used to impersonate Tony Montana.

    For me, your poem expands on the short biography that we learn about Tony from the movie poster:

    In the spring of 1980, the port at Mariel Harbor was opened, and thousands set sail for the United States. They came in search of the American Dream.

    One of them found it on the sun-washed avenues of Miami...wealth, power and passion beyond his wildest dreams.

    He was Tony Montana. The world will remember him by another name...SCARFACE.

    He loved the American Dream. With a vengeance."
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  19. #19
    Gus
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  20. #20
    Junior Member Scot in S.C.'s Avatar
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    Carlos, awesome poem and history behind it. Gus, keep those links and pics coming! I love it!

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