During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.


Brian De Palma


David Mamet, Oscar Fraley (suggested by book) | 1 more credit »
1,564 ( 169)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Eliot Ness
Sean Connery ... Jim Malone
Charles Martin Smith ... Oscar Wallace
Andy Garcia ... George Stone
Robert De Niro ... Al Capone
Richard Bradford ... Mike
Jack Kehoe ... Payne
Brad Sullivan ... George
Billy Drago ... Nitti
Patricia Clarkson ... Ness' Wife
Vito D'Ambrosio ... Bowtie Driver
Steven Goldstein ... Scoop
Peter Aylward Peter Aylward ... Lt. Anderson
Don Harvey ... Preseuski
Robert Swan ... Mountie Captain


After building an empire with bootleg alcohol, legendary crime boss Al Capone rules Chicago with an iron fist. Though Prohibition Agent Eliot Ness attempts to take Capone down, even his best efforts fail due to widespread corruption within the Windy City's police force. Recruiting an elite group of lawmen who won't be swayed by bribes or fear, including Irish-American cop Jimmy Malone, Ness renews his determination to bring Capone to justice. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Never stop fighting till the fight is done See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Though the patron saints of police are Michael the Archangel and Saint Sebastian, Irish police officers often carried Saint Jude medals, the patron saint of hopeless causes. See more »


When Ness goes to Malone's home to ask him to join with him, Malone opens his Victrola box and takes out a sawed-off shotgun when he hears a knock at his door. This sawed-off has external hammers, which must be manually cocked back in order for it to be able to fire. Malone never cocks the hammers before answering the door. Had he confronted a threat he would have had to take an extra second or two to cock one or both hammers before being able to fire. It is unlikely that an experienced police officer, using such a weapon, would not have cocked the hammers before answering the door. 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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Alternate Versions

In Belgium the first release in the theaters omitted the scene where Al Capone hits one of his henchmen with a base-ball bat. Two weeks after its release the scene was restored. Cinemas announced this to be the 'uncensored version'. See more »


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

Brilliantly and stylishly recreated story about Elliot Ness and Al'Scarface'Capone
2 March 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This splendid film is set during Prohibition era Chicago in the 30s . Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) gets the government's go-ahead to form his own particular group of relentless , honest Federal Agents (Sean Connery , Charles Martin Smith , Andy Garcia) to combat Al Capone (Robert De Niro) and his hoodlums, specially Frank Nitti (Billy Drago) . Ness reunites honorable, upright cops to fight corruption and the grandiose mobster . It leads in forays against heinous racketeers , corrupt bootleggers and other evil enemies . At the beginning they fail miserably and the crusader anti-alcohol cops bust out , though finally score . The Chicago Dream is that big . No one messed with Al Capone, but Eliot Ness messed with him AL CAPONE. He ruled Chicago with absolute power. No one could touch him. No one could stop him. - Until Eliot Ness and a small force of men swore they'd bring him down. What are you prepared to do? .Never stop fighting till the fight is done

This is a violence-ridden story full of action , drama , thriller and being pretty entertaining . Intelligent and suspenseful script by David Mamet (Pulitzer winning playwright) . Spectacular shootém up on the station steps remains with echoes of 'The battleship Potemkin' (Sergei Einstein,1925) . Kevin Costner is excellent as impulsive and obstinate enforcer fighting against the underworld crime . Sean Connery (Academy-award winning acting) plays in perfection a veteran , incorruptible police who takes under his experience and protection to Ness . And Robert De Niro overacting in a serious-comical role as the nasty Capone . Flamboyant and rich photography by cameraman Stephen H. Burum. Sensitive and emotive musical score by the great master Ennio Morricone . The motion picture was beautifully directed by Brian De Palma . This superb recounting will appeal immensely to Kevin Costner and Sean Connery fans.

Other adaptations about Capone are as follows : ¨Capone¨ with Rod Steiger and ¨Capone¨by Steve Carver with Ben Gazarra . And others mostly realized for television , such as : ¨The Scarface mob (1962)¨ by Phil Karlson with Robert Stack and Neville Brand and ¨Elliot Ness¨with Tom Amandes and William Forshyte.

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Release Date:

3 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Untouchables See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,023,094, 7 June 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| DTS-ES (Blu-ray)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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