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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 »
1,496 ( 80)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Kehoe ...
Catherine Ness
Officer Preseuski


1920's prohibition Chicago is corrupt from the judges downward. So in going up against Al Capone, Treasury agent Eliot Ness picks just two cops to help him and his accountant colleague. One is a sharp-shooting rookie, the other a seen-it-all beat man. The four of them are ready to battle Capone and his empire, but it could just be that guns are not the best way to get him. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one messed with Al Capone, but Eliot Ness messed with him 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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,023,094, 7 June 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (Blu-ray)| (DVD)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brian De Palma said that at first he was a little reluctant to cast Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, because he was not a well-known actor at the time. See more »


In the final shootout scene between Ness and Nitti out of a courtroom, Ness gets upstairs and cautiously leans on round walls twice, as he gets further up. We are to believe that he got higher, but, in fact, it's the same wall both times. You can clearly tell that by lighting, camera position and, most curiously, absolutely same pattern on these walls. 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 »


Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 11 February 2015 (2015) See more »


Written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Barney Bigard
Arranged by Bob Wilber
Courtesy of Wilkes College Jazz Archives
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great stuff
29 March 1999 | by See all my reviews

An absolute classic. These three words describe this masterpiece. De Palma and his supreme cast give us what we want. An intense drama about good and bad. A towering performance by Connery as an Irish-American cop with a Scottish accent stand out but Costner, De Niro and the rest of the cast, down to the baby in the Potemkin inspired scene at the train station, deliver great performances. Another reason for loving this movie is, that it is full of really bad editing mistakes. The best one being the roof top scene, where Ness helps Niiti to his car. If you haven't seen it I feel sorry for you. Whether you rent it, or buy doesn't matter. But it is a MUST SEE!

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