10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Carlito's Way

After making the insanely successful Scarface, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino teamed up again a decade later to tell the story of Carlito Brigante, a Puerto Rican ex-con struggling to go straight in the Latino underworld. It has gone down as one of the greatest crime films of the 90s, but here’s a few things you might not know about it.
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After making the insanely successful Scarface, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino teamed up again a decade later to tell the story of Carlito Brigante, a Puerto Rican ex-con struggling to go straight in the Latino underworld. It has gone down as one of the greatest crime films of the 90s, but here’s a few things you might not know about it.

1. Notable US lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, whose celebrity clients have included Mike Tyson and OJ Simpson, thought David Kleinfeld was based on him, and even threatened to sue the filmmakers over it.

2. Benny Blanco’s girlfriend was played by John Leguizamo’s real life girlfriend Yelba Osorio.

3. The role of Gail was originally offered to Alison Doody, who had impressed Brian De Palma in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Doody turned down the role, saying she didn’t want to perform the topless dance scene.

4. Carlito’s nightclub has the same name as the food stall that Tony Montana works on in Scarface: “El Paraíso”

5. Charlie Sheen was originally considered to play Kleinfeld.

6. Edwin Torres, who wrote the book the film is based on, chose the Corsican “Brigante” as Carlito’s surname to reflect the large amount of immigration to Puerto Rico from Corsica in the 19th Century.

7. Jorge Porcel, who plays club owner Saso, was a well known actor and TV personality in Argentina. If his dialogue with Pacino seems slightly off key, it’s because he spoke no English and had to learn his lines phonetically.

8. According to Penelope Ann Miller, she and Al Pacino were having an affair while making the film, despite Pacino being in a relationship with Australian director Lyndall Hobbs at the time. This is possibly why Pacino avoided Miller at the film’s premier.

9. The hospital where Carlito visits Kleinfeld is the same one Vito Corleone is taken to in The Godfather.

10. John Leguizamo reportedly turned down the part of Benny Blanco four times, only agreeing after Brian De Palma allowed him to improvise many of his lines.