Taglines: What are you prepared to do?
During Prohibition in 1930, Al Capone has nearly the whole city of Chicago under his control and supplies illegal liquor. Bureau of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness is assigned to stop Capone, but his first attempt at a liquor raid fails due to corrupt policemen tipping Capone off. He has a chance meeting with Irish-American veteran officer Jimmy Malone, who is fed up with the rampant corruption and offers to help Ness, suggesting that they find a man from the police academy who has not come under Capone’s influence.
They recruit Italian-American trainee George Stone (aka-Giuseppe Petri) for his superior marksmanship and intelligence. Joined by accountant Oscar Wallace, assigned to Ness from Washington, D.C., they conduct a successful raid on a Capone liquor cache and start to gain positive publicity, with the press dubbing them “The Untouchables.” Capone later kills the henchman in charge of the cache as a warning to his other men.
Wallace discovers that Capone has not filed an income tax return for some years and suggests that the team try to build a tax evasion case against him, since he is well-insulated from his other crimes. An alderman offers Ness a bribe to drop his investigation, but Ness angrily refuses it and throws him out of the office. When Capone gunman Frank Nitti threatens Ness’ family, Ness has his wife and daughter moved to a safe house.
His team flies to the Canada–United States border to intercept an incoming liquor shipment, aided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, killing several gangsters and capturing George, a Capone bookkeeper. Malone shoots a gangster through the mouth (not revealing the man is already dead) to scare George into agreeing to testify against Capone.
Wallace prepares to escort George from the Chicago police station to a safe house, but they are shot and killed by Nitti, who has infiltrated the station. Ness confronts Capone and his men over the deaths, but Malone intervenes to save him from being killed and urges him to persuade the district attorney not to dismiss the charges against Capone.
Realizing that police chief Mike Dorsett sold out Wallace and George, Malone forces him to reveal the whereabouts of Walter Payne, Capone’s chief bookkeeper. That night, a knife-wielding thug sneaks into Malone’s apartment; Malone chases him out with a shotgun, but falls victim to Nitti’s Tommy gun ambush. Ness and Stone arrive at the apartment; before dying, Malone tells them which train Payne will take out of town.
At Union Station, Ness and Stone find Payne guarded by several gangsters. A gunfight breaks out on the lobby steps, resulting in all the gangsters being killed and Payne being taken alive. As Payne testifies at Capone’s trial, explaining the untaxed cash flows throughout the syndicate, Ness notices that Capone seems unusually relaxed and also spots Nitti carrying a gun under his jacket. Ness has the bailiff remove Nitti and searches him outside the courtroom; a matchbook in Nitti’s pocket contains Malone’s address, leading Ness to realize that he killed Malone. Nitti shoots the bailiff and flees to the courthouse roof.
The Untouchables is a 1987 American gangster film directed by Brian De Palma, produced by Art Linson, written by David Mamet, and based on the book The Untouchables (1957). The film stars Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, and Sean Connery. Ness forms the Untouchables team to bring Capone to justice during Prohibition. The Grammy Award-winning score was composed by Ennio Morricone and features some period-correct music by Duke Ellington.
The Untouchables premiered on June 2, 1987 in New York City, and went into general release on June 3, 1987 in the United States. The film grossed $106.2 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for four Academy Awards; Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The Untouchables (1987)
Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, Patricia Clarkson, Richard Bradford, Peter Aylward, Steven Goldstein
Screenplay by: David Mamet
Cinematography by: Stephen H. Burum
Film Editing by: Gerald B. Greenberg, Bill Pankow
Costume Design by: Marilyn Vance
Set Decoration by: Hal Gausman
Art Direction by: William A. Elliott
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 3, 1987