“The Untouchables” (1987) Starring Kevin Costner, Sean Connery & Robert De Niro / Z-View
The Untouchables (1987)
Director: Brian De Palma
Screenplay by: David Mamet based on The Untouchables by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley
Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Billy Drago and Patricia Clarkson
Tagline: What are you prepared to do?
The Overview: Beware of spoilers
Elliott Ness (Costner) is a Federal Treasury agent sent to Chicago to take down Al Capone (De Niro) and his criminal enterprises. Due to widespread corruption in the Chicago Police Department, Ness creates a team of “Untouchables” consisting of a Jim Malone (Connery) a street cop; George Stone (Garcia) a young police cadet and Oscar Wallace (Smith) a Treasury bookkeeper. With their lives and families in danger, Ness and his Untouchables find themselves in Capone’s crosshairs as they move forward with their mission.
The Untouchables is arguably director Brian DePalma’s finest film. It is the movie that made Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia stars. Sean Connery won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Jim Malone. The film was also nominated for 3 additional Oscars: Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score.
I absolutely love The Untouchables. Everything comes together beautifully – the screenplay, the director, the cast and the music mesh to create a magical movie experience. David Mamet wrote the screenplay based on the book by (the real Elliott Ness) and Oscar Fraley. While the film is a fictionalized account, it’s not a documentary, so let’s not pick that nit. The film’s direction features DePalma at his peak. There are so many memorable scenes – Ness and Malone meeting for the first time, Malone’s way of getting a Capone bookkeeper to talk, Ness’ confrontation with Capone on the staircase, Nitti and another thug at Malone’s apartment, Ness and the baby carriage, Stone saving the day and Ness and Nitti on the rooftop – to name several.
Connery is at his best and deserving of his Oscar. Kevin Costner is perfect as the straight arrow cop who tests his limits when he discovers what he is willing to do to bring down Capone. Andy Garcia is spot on as the cocky because he’s that good cop. Charles Martin Smith plays what looks like a stereotypical bookkeeper until the action starts. Billy Drago has a smaller but vitally important role as Frank Nitti, Capone’s number one hitman.
If you’ve never seen The Untouchables, you should rectify that as soon as possible. If you have seen it, then you know I’m not exaggerating when I say The Untouchables is worthy of a 5 of 5 star rating.