During Scarface Tony Montana says:

You know what capitalism is? Getting f***ed!

What did Tony mean by this? And in what context?

  • 3
    I'm not following the VtC as Too Broad... This is asking for the meaning behind one piece of dialog, as referenced by the character making it. How on Earth is this too broad?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 3:45
  • @CGCampbell Me neither but fortunately it is out of close vote review queue.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 5:22

3 Answers 3


Two scenes before the one where he makes that quote, Tony Montana had just met with his Banker to discuss the fees he was paying them to launder his money. Tony was making "ten million a month" and the Banker told him they would have to raise their rates, because of 'stockholders' and 'feds'. The Bank was charging

(Xl Rev. l/18/83 151-B CONTINUED BANKER (Cont'd)

Tony, we got stockholders, we gotta go ten percent on the first twelve million; that's in denominations of twenty. We'll go eight percent on your ten dollar bills and six points on your fives.

Remember that the "ten million a month" Tony refers to is illicit drug money. It could not be reported to the government. So it had to be laundered to 'clean' it and make it usable income. This was what the Banker was charging the (exorbitant) fees for.

Then, two scenes later, Tony is sitting in his tub, talking to Manny, and watches a Bank commercial


A television spot for Florida Security Trust (or Miami (Xl Security Trust or Dade Security Trust depending on legal options). A respectable business-type walks along the sidewalk with a nascent downtown Miami as a backdrop. Skyscrapers, glinting glass, cranes....
Here at Florida Security Trust we've been putting your money to work for a better America. We've been around for seventy-five years. We'll be here tomorrow.
A logo for the firm over with the reminder “Since 1907."

and then

You know what capitalism is -- Getting fucked

From Tony's perspective, Capitalism is where the Banker holds all of the cards and he has to pay, to him, a large sum, just to be able to use, or spend, his hard earned money.


Tony is saying that, in a Capitalist system, one cannot succeed by being nice and polite to the competition, compassionate or generous to one's customers, or expect favours from one's suppliers. Everyone along the supply and demand chain are looking out for themselves and, in the process, someone is always getting fwk'd.

Tony's main motivations, throughout the movie, are to:

  1. not be the one being fwk'd

  2. retaliate against anyone who he feels fwk'd with him

  3. and fwk everyone else while claiming he isn't being unreasonable in doing so...

[..as he just wants the money to get the power to chose his own girlfriend... but that's a different quote, "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" and ET video].


Quite simply, Capitalism is you (the Capitalist) doing all the hard (and in Montana's case, dangerous) work, while the government/banks take a huge chunk of the money you've made. Remember, the banks were laundering the money for a price, and then on top of that Montana still had to pay taxes. He was getting hit on all ends, all while literally risking his life on a daily basis to make that money.

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