In the 1932 Gangster movie Scarface, produced by my champion, childhood role model Howard Hughes, Tony Camonte, played by Paul Muni uttered these words of wisdom to an underling: “Do it first, do it yourself And keep on doin’ it.”
I checked out a DVD of this original version of Scarface yesterday at the Scottsdale Public Library, primarily because it was a Hughes production and was surprised to discover that the script contained a statement that I memorized as a teenager, having heard it uttered in person by Howard Hughes himself.
The film was released in 1932. Twenty five years later Howard Hughes uttered those same words to my Uncle, Leon Ashner as I watched the two of them playing three-ball billiards in my Uncles upstairs billiard hall which occupied most of the space in his 100 year-old Dallas, Texas mansion as they argued over whether my Uncle should leave retirement to buy a vinegar factory from H.L. Hunt.
So now I’m wondering; Did Mr. Hughes borrow this line from the film or did the writers borrow the line from Mr. Hughes?
Now, that leads to another question. Is that line in the second version of Scarface? And why do I care?