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The Untouchables (1987)

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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.

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Oscar Fraley (suggested by book), Eliot Ness (suggested by book) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
565 ( 910)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ... Lt. Anderson
Don Harvey ... Preseuski
Robert Swan ... Mountie Captain
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Never stop fighting till the fight is done See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 June 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los intocables See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$76,270,454

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,240,936
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro and Brian De Palma's last film together (as of November 2017). Incidentally both men's surnames start with "De". See more »

Goofs

At his house, Malone's shirt alternates between being buttoned and being unbuttoned when talking to Ness. 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.
[...]
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 »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Deadly Mantis (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

MOOD INDIGO
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

 
My Favorite!
21 September 2005 | by MinorityReporterSee 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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