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The Untouchables (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 June 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 207,497 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 410 user | 114 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.



(suggested by book), (suggested by book), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Police Chief Mike Dorsett
Jack Kehoe ...
Walter Payne
Brad Sullivan ...
Bowtie Driver
Steven Goldstein ...
Peter Aylward ...
Lt. Anderson
Officer Preseuski
Robert Swan ...
Mountie Captain


Federal agent Elliot Ness assembles a personal team of mob fighters to bring Chicago crime boss Al Capone to justice using unconventional means during the mob wars of the 1920s. This fictionalized account of the arrest of Al Capone is heavy on style and gunfire. The end shootout combines a baby carriage and stairs with a nod to Eisenstein's _The Battleship Potemkin_. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Chicago Dream is that big See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los intocables  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$76,270,454 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Paramount Pictures made this film because they still held the filming rights to Eliot Ness' autobiography which they used to produce the TV series The Untouchables (1959). Originally, Paramount intended to make this, like so many other films since, as a big screen adaptation of a TV series. However, director Brian De Palma, producer Art Linson, and writer David Mamet all felt that they didn't want to remake the series so they took their own dramatic license with the story, and the true events that inspired it, in order to make what they felt would be a good big screen epic. (This according to De Palma and Linson in the DVD "making of" documentary) See more »


When Capone's man Overcoat Hood makes his report that Ness got the shipment of booze, not only is he not disheveled in any way, but he apparently made a journey of several hundred miles out of the wilderness of the Montana/Canadian border all the way back to Capone headquarters in an inordinate amount of time. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: 1930. Prohibition has transformed Chicago into a City at War. Rival gangs compete for control of the city's billion dollar empire of illegal alcohol, enforcing their will with the hand grenade and tommy gun. It is the time of the Ganglords. It is the time of Al Capone.
Reporter: [to Al Capone] An article, which I believe appeared in a newspaper, asked why, since you are, or it would seem that you are, in effect, the mayor of Chicago, you've not simply been appointed to that position.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the aria "Vesti la giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera "Pagliacci" is misspelled in the closing credits of the film: "Vesti la guibba". See more »


Referenced in Dads: Pilot (2013) See more »


Written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Barney Bigard
Arranged by Bob Wilber
Courtesy of Wilkes College Jazz Archives
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Were we watching the same movie?
6 August 2002 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

I don't understand how on earth this movie gets a 7.8 rating. It's terrible! I've always been interested in Capone and the gangsters of the 30's, but this movie has the worst direction I've ever seen. It's pretty... they did a good job with the cars, outfits, locations, etc., but the dialogue is laughable and the way the story was crafted left nothing to suspense. I understand that they had limits because it was an account of a true story, but they still could have told us certain things and saved some things for later. The way the little mousy guy kept referring to his tax problems... we all know that's how they brought him down, but they gave that away in the first 20 minutes! And the music... terrible! I actually perked up when I saw Ennio Morricone's name at the beginning because I loved his work in "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". But the director never used it to build suspense. They didn't build any dramatic scenes with it, and when they did, he used all the wrong music.

I am terribly disappointed with this movie. I want my two hours of life back. I've seen better documentaries on the Discovery Channel, and if I really want to learn anything, I'll take one of the tours here in Chicago.

50 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is this story based in Prohibition era? kevinchengxin
Muddy Sense Of Morality PhoenixVanguard
the music was absolutely dreadful nikilauda123
This movie is stupid! tlettl83
Who's responsible for ruining the movie by casting Kevin Costner? ForKingAndCountry
Worst movie I've ever seen nickjamesgood
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