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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
837 ( 44)
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 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:

What are you prepared to do? 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:

The Untouchables 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

Don Johnson was offered the Eliot Ness role, but declined. Kevin Costner, a good friend of Johnson, later accepted the part. Johnson said he congratulated Costner on getting the role, never telling him he was offered the part first until several years later, in order to not offend Costner, nor steal any thunder away from his acclaim. Costner and Johnson co-starred in Tin Cup (1996). See more »

Goofs

One of Capone's men has the accountant hostage. Capone's man is sweating a lot as he counts to three; his sweat vanishes as the bullet enters his mouth. 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

Spoofed in Chuck: Chuck Versus the Predator (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brian De Palma's Masterpiece
30 January 2005 | by jcanettisSee all my reviews

"The Untouchables" is in my opinion De Palma's greatest work, with his other masterpiece, namely "Scarface", coming a very close second. In "Scarface" the focus is on a paranoid and self-destructive gangster who rises to meteoric heights and then falls; in "The Untouchables" the focus is on a very honest man with a noble mission, Elliot Ness (Kostner), who is prepared to do anything to clean Chicago from the corruption and mayhem caused by the notorious gangster Al Capone (De Niro). His quest is really tough, as his opponent is determined and powerful, but he has the help of three invaluable partners: Malone (Connery), a no-nonsense experienced cop, Wallace (Martin Smith), an accountant who will try to help bring tax charges against Capone, and Stone (Garcia), a great shooter.

As I noted before the film is brilliantly directed, with some scenes such as the one with the baseball bat, or the one with the baby in the train station, having become classic. The acting is superb, and while Connery was the one who received his well-deserved Oscar, Kostner and De Niro made Oscar-class performances too.

Although belonging to a typical genre, this film certainly stands out. Don't miss it! 10/10.


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