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In the 1983 film Scarface, Tony Montana is looking up at an advertisement on a blimp that reads "The World is yours...Pan American"

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Was the phrase "The world is yours" an actual Pan American advertisement or did filmmakers introduce this phrase independently?

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2 Answers 2

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It feels like the movie reference is itself self-referential, back to the original Scarface (1932). However, the version in the 1932 movie was an advertisement for Cook's Tours not Pan Am.

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I cannot accurately track when Pan Am started using the same phrase, but I've discovered they definitely did use it.

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1950's poster, found at the Miami Library

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Desk blotting pad, one of several found on auction sites. No date.

The phrase is also used by the PanAm Museum Foundation on Facebook, but I couldn't find any further citation within that.

One could extrapolate that in 1983, Pan Am still had some legal hold on the phrase, so were included in the plot, maybe as an agreed product placement.

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  • PAA probably had some sort of tourism agreement with Thomas Cook & Son.
    – RonJohn
    Jul 1, 2023 at 11:00
  • In 32, their tourism sector would still have been very small. They were initially a mail/cargo hauler [founded only in 1927] & were only just beginning to get a toehold into tourism by 32.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 1, 2023 at 16:47
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In the 1932 movie, the sign with "The World Is Yours" is the one that inspired Tony Camonte.

The Wold Is Yours ad Cook's Tours

It's under the same sign that he dies (screenshot below), when shot by the police. You can see Tony's death at 1:32:51 under the sign.

The 1983 zeppelin/statue is probably a tribute to the Howard Hughes 1932 movie. There's an ad from PanAm (circa 1950) (from @Tetsujin), so it can't be the inspiration for the 1932 movie. Why not the other way around though?[1]

Tony Camonte's death


[1] TWA was PanAm main competitor for years. Howard Hughes took control over TWA starting in 1937. TWA's first commercial flight to Europe was set in 1946 (New York to Paris route on February 5, 1946). Through the 50's et 60's TWA has opened many lines to Europe and Asia. Juan Trippe (portrayed by Alec Baldwin in the movie "Aviator") tried and have HH's company (and others) forbidden to fly to many places as he wanted a monopoly.

"Although Pan Am continued to use its political influence to lobby for protection of its position as America's primary international airline, it encountered increasing competition." PanAm post-war expansion

That would be the heck of a "joke" (? for lack of a better word) if someone at PanAm, having seen the 1932 movie, thought of using the motto as an ad (and personal warning to HH): like Tony Camonte, you'll try to reach the skies looking at our planes and inspired by our ads, but, like Camonte, at the end, you'll die under our sign.

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  • Didn't Howard Hughes own PanAm Airlines? Jun 29, 2023 at 14:38
  • @steelersquirrel I thought they were his biggest competitor. Or at least that's what the DiCaprio movie told me, where Alec Baldwin was the boss of PanAm.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 29, 2023 at 14:50
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    "He acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines and later acquired Air West, renaming it Hughes Airwest." (from wikipedia). He was in trouble because of PanAm and won the trial (more and more)
    – OldPadawan
    Jun 29, 2023 at 14:54
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    @NapoleonWilson Yep. You're right. I had the wrong airline. lol. That would be super cool if that were true and that's what tied the whole Scarface/PanAm thing together! ;) Jun 29, 2023 at 14:55

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