7.9/10
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432 user 127 critic

The Untouchables (1987)

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

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(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Police Chief Mike Dorsett
Jack Kehoe ...
Walter Payne
Brad Sullivan ...
George
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...
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Bowtie Driver
...
Scoop
...
Lt. Anderson
...
Officer Preseuski
...
Mountie Captain
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Chicago Dream is that big See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los intocables  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$76,270,454 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In real-life, Al Capone, knowing that killing a Prohibition Agent would only lead to more trouble than he or his outfit could handle, actually had a non-violence order to his men, concerning the Untouchables. While Capone did repeatedly attempt to buy them off, he never once attempted to kill Ness or any of his men. See more »

Goofs

Wallace and his prisoner enter an elevator with one set of doors. It would need two openings for Ness to enter it from outside the building. See more »

Quotes

[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 »


Soundtracks

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

 
Never stop fighting till the fight is done, here endeth the lesson.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As good a gangster movie that has ever been made as DePalma does justice to Mamet's electric script. The acting on show is right out of the top draw, the inevitable ease that DeNiro puts menace into Capone is quite impressive, whilst the fresh faced pugnacious tenacity of Andy Garcia's George Stone is something of a delightful experience. Yet that is not enough because we still need the central actors to carry the film if it is going to triumph. Connery is a given performance wise (accent aside of course, but then again who cares when the character portrayal is as sharp as it is here?) but it is Costner as Eliot Ness that shines like the star he was soon to become, it's a magic performance that manages to fuse genuine tenderness of family love with little trips to the dark side in pursuit of making good triumph over evil.

I love that the film is showing how violence and fear affects families, mother and child is a theme that is central to the film's heartbeat, notice how some of the more violent scenes are followed by tender scenes of Ness and his family. The set pieces here are attention grabbing entertainment, a roaring Canadian border rumpus and a smashing roof top pursuit and face off are top value, but it's DePalma gold watching a brilliant Battleship Potemkin homage at the Union train station that takes the cake as the film enters its last quarter. Surely historical facts does not matter when films are as sharp as this one is? It's frightening, touching, and even witty. So for me at least, the film is 10/10 in every department (and yes, even with Sean's accent).

Footnote: The academy saw fit to nominate Ennio Morricone for his wonderful score, yet strangely he used some of it for the main theme in John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, they must have missed it that time I presume! Must be the genre angle one thinks....


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