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The Untouchables (1987)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  3 June 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 207,691 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 410 user | 114 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.



(suggested by book), (suggested by book), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Police Chief Mike Dorsett
Jack Kehoe ...
Walter Payne
Brad Sullivan ...
Bowtie Driver
Steven Goldstein ...
Peter Aylward ...
Lt. Anderson
Officer Preseuski
Robert Swan ...
Mountie Captain


Federal agent Elliot Ness assembles a personal team of mob fighters to bring Chicago crime boss Al Capone to justice using unconventional means during the mob wars of the 1920s. This fictionalized account of the arrest of Al Capone is heavy on style and gunfire. The end shootout combines a baby carriage and stairs with a nod to Eisenstein's _The Battleship Potemkin_. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one messed with Al Capone, but Eliot Ness messed with him See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los intocables  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$76,270,454 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Brian De Palma first noticed Andy Garcia in 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) and first pictured him playing a villain, in this case, Frank Nitti. Garcia insisted on reading for Stone instead. See more »


In the movie Ness is portrayed as married with children. In real life, Ness was a young bachelor living with his parents when he was hired as a prohibition agent and used political/family connections to get his Chicago assignment. 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.
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 »


Referenced in Homicide (1991) See more »


Written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Barney Bigard
Arranged by Bob Wilber
Courtesy of Wilkes College Jazz Archives
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Never stop fighting till the fight is done, here endeth the lesson.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As good a gangster movie that has ever been made as DePalma does justice to Mamet's electric script. The acting on show is right out of the top draw, the inevitable ease that DeNiro puts menace into Capone is quite impressive, whilst the fresh faced pugnacious tenacity of Andy Garcia's George Stone is something of a delightful experience. Yet that is not enough because we still need the central actors to carry the film if it is going to triumph. Connery is a given performance wise (accent aside of course, but then again who cares when the character portrayal is as sharp as it is here?) but it is Costner as Eliot Ness that shines like the star he was soon to become, it's a magic performance that manages to fuse genuine tenderness of family love with little trips to the dark side in pursuit of making good triumph over evil.

I love that the film is showing how violence and fear affects families, mother and child is a theme that is central to the film's heartbeat, notice how some of the more violent scenes are followed by tender scenes of Ness and his family. The set pieces here are attention grabbing entertainment, a roaring Canadian border rumpus and a smashing roof top pursuit and face off are top value, but it's DePalma gold watching a brilliant Battleship Potemkin homage at the Union train station that takes the cake as the film enters its last quarter. Surely historical facts does not matter when films are as sharp as this one is? It's frightening, touching, and even witty. So for me at least, the film is 10/10 in every department (and yes, even with Sean's accent).

Footnote: The academy saw fit to nominate Ennio Morricone for his wonderful score, yet strangely he used some of it for the main theme in John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, they must have missed it that time I presume! Must be the genre angle one thinks....

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Why is this story based in Prohibition era? kevinchengxin
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