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 »
1,494 ( 80)
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


The Chicago Dream is that big See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Included among the American Film Institute's 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies. See more »


When the photographer takes the shot of the four untouchables seated at the table, his flash is positioned to the right of the camera lens, this would cause the resulting shadows to fall on the opposite axis. But the shadows in the photo indicate the flash was positioned to the left of the lens. When we again see the photo towards the end of the film, the shadows have moved and are now indicating the flash was placed directly over the lens, revealing that it is a completely different photo. 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 »


Referenced in Cop Out (2010) 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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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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