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The Untouchables (1987)

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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 »
1,691 ( 547)
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
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


What are you prepared to do? 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
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Did You Know?


The set for Capone's personal barbershop at the Lexington Hotel included a number of small items (cologne bottles, shaving brushes) that belonged to the real Al Capone. See more »


When Malone and Ness meet in the church, the juxtapositioning of the two men is different, with each camera shot. 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.
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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 »


Spoofed in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) See more »


Vesti la giubba
aria from opera "Pagliacci"
Written by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performed by Mario Del Monaco
Conducted by Francesco Molinari Pradelli
Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma
Courtesy of London Records, A division of PolyGram Classics, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

My Favorite!
21 September 2005 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Quite a few words spring to my mind when I think of The Untouchables. Words like: Excellence, entertainment, larger than life and Sean Connery. These words basically summarize the entire film from my point of view of course because in my opinion (which I don't expect people to agree with) this is the best gangster film there is. Obviously people aren't going to agree because people prefer the likes of the operatic Godfather trilogy or the ultra realistic Goodfellas but in my head The Untouchables is the best.

Here are a few reasons why. First reason is that The Untouchables is just so darn entertaining. All the other films had completely different aims and even though I love a deep and brilliant story my main objective when I see a film is to be entertained and basically no film does that better than The Untouchables. That does not mean, however, that The Untouchables is just some half baked action comedy. No. There is genuine emotion and real story in this film. The story is, as most people know, loosely based on the actual events during the prohibition era in USA in the 1920s (the story is also based very, very loosely on the series that go by the same name) which to some extent means that what we see on the screen is real making the characters and general story seem that much more believable. This also adds greatly to the already very high entertainment value of the film because it draws the audience in. To add to the realism of the film the dialog is also very memorable and there are some great one-liners including some of my all time favorites in this film.

The acting is nothing short of brilliant. This is without a doubt Kevin Costner's best role. Some people have remarked that he seemed stiff and unable to portray the emotion of the character and to that I can only ask: Were we watching the same movie?! He is a hundred percent believable all the way through. In the beginning he seems a bit too much like a square I-wanna-do-some-good kind of character but as the story progresses he really evolves and becomes more and more emotionally involved in what he does. Both in his friends and in the cause. He even bends some of the rules he initially tried so hard to uphold. Brilliant. Charles Martin Smith does a good job as well and even though his character is very limited he still manages to pull the audience in. Andy Garcia appears in this film in a very limited role as well and he serves his purpose brilliantly. He is the sharpshooter of the group and he is perfectly believable in that part. He doesn't get to say much but what he does get to say is said with as much passion as I have ever heard from him (he seemed a little stale and lifeless in Godfather III). Robert DeNiro is great as Al Capone. He steals every scene he is in and he really brings the larger-than-life quality to the character which is extremely fitting. The film's best performance belongs to Sean Connery though. The film is for lack of a better expression a Sean Connery tour-de-force. Not only does he steal every scene he is in but he also brings the certain indescribable something to the character that he always does and in every situation you feel with him (as you do in all his films whether he is a villain or a hero). He also got a well deserved Oscar for his performance. People have claimed that the Oscar wasn't as much for this particular performance but an Oscar in recognition of his contributions to the film industry. This belittles his performance which I can safely say is the best of his career and one of the best displays of acting that I have ever seen.

The film also has a memorable score made by the legendary Ennio Morricone who is perhaps best known for the work he did with the equally legendary western director Sergio Leone (who doesn't know the score from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and in my opinion the score he did for The Untouchables is the best he has ever made. The score is very unlike most scores from the 80s which does that the film doesn't feel like an 80s film as much as Scarface which I find inferior to this masterpiece. The score is grand and epic just like the story and the effects. For an 80s movie the effects are pretty amazing. Once again everything works.

All in all The Untouchables is a riveting story which is highly recommendable to all fans of crime/gangster movies.

10/10 - on my top 10 of best films

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