4.4 21
Director: Brian De Palma

Cast: Brian De Palma, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith


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Like the TV series that shared the same title, The Untouchables (1987) was an account of the battle between gangster Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness, this time in the form of a feature film boasting big stars, a big budget, and a script from respected playwright David Mamet. Kevin Costner stars as NessSee more details below


Like the TV series that shared the same title, The Untouchables (1987) was an account of the battle between gangster Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness, this time in the form of a feature film boasting big stars, a big budget, and a script from respected playwright David Mamet. Kevin Costner stars as Ness, a federal agent who has come to Chicago during the Prohibition Era, when corruption in the local police department is rampant. His mission is to put crime lord Capone (Robert De Niro) out of business, but Capone is so powerful and popular that Ness is not taken seriously by the law or the press. One night, discouraged, he meets a veteran patrolman, Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery), and discovers that the acerbic Irishman is the one honest man he's been seeking. Malone has soon helped Ness recruit a gunslinger rookie, George Stone (Andy Garcia), and, joined by nebbish accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith), the men doggedly pursue Capone and his illegal interests. At first a laughingstock, Ness soon has Capone outraged over his and Malone's sometimes law-bending tactics, and the vain mobster strikes back in vicious style. Ultimately, it is the most unexpected and minor of crimes, tax evasion, which proves Capone's undoing. All of the credits for The Untouchables boasted big names, including music from Ennio Morricone and costumes by Giorgio Armani. Director Brian De Palma continued his tradition of including a homage to past masters of the cinema with a taut stairway shoot-out reminiscent of a similar sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925).

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The Prohibition-era reign of mob kingpin Al Capone is dramatized in The Untouchables, a colorful, stylishly violent drama graced with a superb script by David Mamet and flamboyantly directed by Brian De Palma (Scarface). Nominally based on the popular '60s TV show (and even more nominally on the bestselling memoir from which it was adapted), De Palma's film depicts Chicago during the Depression years as a booze-soaked, crime-ridden, hopelessly corrupt city held captive by vicious gangsters and crooked officials. Sincere but naive federal agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), assigned to find the weak link in Capone's chain of command, handpicks a team of similarly dedicated subordinates, among them streetwise Irish cop Jim Malone (Sean Connery in an Oscar-winning characterization). Robert De Niro contributes a deliberately florid performance as the beefy, swaggering Capone. De Palma dramatizes the events of Ness's campaign with operatic fervor; his movie is less concerned with busting the booze racket than it is with treachery, murder, and retribution. His bravura directorial approach extends to the crafting of action set pieces, especially a climactic train-station shootout that echoes the Odessa Steps sequence in Potemkin.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Brian De Palma's strikingly authentic re-creation of 1930s gangster films and Prohibition-era Chicago is dominated by the performance of Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winner Sean Connery as Jim Malone. Malone's mentorship of Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), guiding him from his initial, Dudley Do Right-esque altruism to a more grimly realistic law-enforcement agent, gives the film its emotional anchor. Costner's white-bread Ness and De Niro's grandiose Capone pale in comparison to the charismatic Connery. Ennio Morricone's lush score and Stephen H. Burum's classy, high-gloss cinematography may romanticize the oft-gruesome violence, but both are well-suited to the approach taken by screenwriter David Mamet, who attempts to raise the pulp features from the original TV drama to high art. The film climaxes in a Union Station shoot-out that is De Palma's stylish homage to the "Odessa steps" sequence in director Sergei Eisenstein's seminal Battleship Potemkin.

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Product Details

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Special Features

"The Script, The Cast"; "Production Stories"; "Reinventing the Genre"; "The Classic"; Original featurette: "The Men"; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Costner Eliot Ness
Sean Connery Jim Malone
Charles Martin Smith Oscar Wallace
Andy García George Stone
Robert De Niro Al Capone
Richard Bradford Mike
Jack Kehoe Walter Payne
Brad Sullivan George
Billy Drago Frank Nitti
Patricia Clarkson Catherine Ness
Jennifer Anglim Woman in Elevator
Patrick Billingsley Bailiff
Michael P. Byrne Ness's Clerk
Mali Finn Actor
Clifton James Actor
Louie Lanciloti Barber
Tony Mockus Judge
Meldoy Rae Union Station Woman
Lynn Stalmaster Actor
Vince Viverito Italian Waiter
Tim Gamble Reporter
Vito D'Ambrosio Bow Tie Driver
Steve Goldstein Scoop
Peter Aylward Lt. Alderson
Don Harvey Preseuski
Robert Swan Mountie Captain
John J. Walsh Bartender
Del Close Alderman
Colleen Bade Mrs. Blackmer
Greg Noonan Rangemaster
Sean Grennan Cop Cousin
Kevin Michael Doyle Williamson
Mike Bacarella Overcoat Hood
Aditra Kohl Blackmer Girl
Charles Keller Watson Reporter
Larry Brandenburg Reporter
Chelcie Ross Reporter
Sam Smiley Bailiff
John Bracci Fat Man
Eddie Minasian Butler
Will Zahrn Defense Attorney
Clem Caserta Bodyguard
Bob Martana Bodyguard
Valentino Cimo Bodyguard
Robert Miranda Gunned Head
James Guthrie Pagliacci
Basil Reale Hotel Clerk
Kaitlin Montgomery Ness's Daughter
Joe V. Greco Bodyguard

Technical Credits
Brian De Palma Director,Screenwriter
Patrizia Von Brandenstein Production Designer
Richard Bruno Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen H. Burum Cinematographer
E.C. Chen Set Decoration/Design
Gil Clayton Set Decoration/Design
William Elliott Art Director
Mali Finn Casting
Hal G. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Jerry Greenberg Editor
Jim Halty Stunts
Michael Hancock Makeup
Ray Hartwick Associate Producer
Gary Hymes Stunts
Nicolas Laborczy Set Decoration/Design
Art Linson Producer
David Mamet Screenwriter
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Joe Napolitano Asst. Director
Bill Pankow Editor
Douglas Ryan Camera Operator
Steve Sardanis Set Decoration/Design
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Jim Tanenbaum Sound/Sound Designer
Marilyn Vance Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Credits [2:43]
2. The Time of Al Capone [3:32]
3. At Home With Eliot Ness [:25]
4. Ness Speaks Out [1:35]
5. First Plan [2:22]
6. Ness Meets Malone [2:13]
7. The Ness Mess [3:06]
8. Malone Advises [3:05]
9. Building the Team [:33]
10. First Raid [3:33]
11. Celebration [2:24]
12. A Bribe [4:02]
13. Protecting the Family [2:08]
14. Canadian Confiscation [2:12]
15. Capone Strikes Back [2:00]
16. Ness Swears Revenge [2:07]
17. A Night at the Opera [2:54]
18. 1634 Racine [2:24]
19. A Final Gesture [1:11]
20. The Station Steps [2:53]
21. Courtroom [3:07]
22. Ness' Justice [6:07]
23. Finale [4:47]
24. End Credits [1:39]


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