The Untouchables is a 1987 gangster film directed by Brian De Palma. It was produced by Art Linson with David Mamet writing the screenplay based on the autobiographical memoirs in the book of the same name by Eliot Ness (co-written with Oscar Fraley) and originally published in 1957. The film stars Kevin Costner, Charles Martin Smith, Andy García, Robert De Niro and Sean Connery.
The storyline follows Eliot Ness, a government agent played by Kevin Costner who is chasing notorious gang leader Al Capone played by Robert De Niro. Sean Connery plays Irish-American officer Jimmy Malone who is based on the real life Irish-American agent and “Untouchables” member Marty Lahart. The film reflects the autobiographical account of Eliot Ness and the efforts of his Untouchables team to bring Capone to justice during Prohibition.
The Untouchables began principal photography in Chicago, Illinois on August 18th 1986 and actual historical Chicago locations were featured and used extensively throughout the film. Robert De Niro’s character research for the role of Al Capone included reading extnesively about him and watching historical footage, he also wanted to gain about 14 kg to play the character. Initally Brian De Palma had wanted Don Johnson or Mickey Rourke to portray lead role of Eliot Ness but in the end turned to Kevin Costner, who in preparing for the role as Eliot Ness, met with former FBI agent and Untouchable Al “Wallpaper” Wolff for historical context and to learn about Ness’s mannerisms.
When The Untouchables was released it received positive reviews from the critics and audiences alike with polls conducted showed that approximately 50% of the audience were women. Producer Art Linson, said “Ordinarily, a violent film attracts predominantly men, but this is also touching, about redemption and relationships and because of that the audience tends to forgive the excesses when it comes to violence”. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 82% with the general consensus being, “Slick on the surface but loaded with artful touches, Brian DePalma’s classical gangster thriller is a sharp look at period Chicago crime, featuring excellent performances from a top-notch cast”. Roger Ebert praised the film and awarded two and half stars for its action sequences and the locations used but disapproved of David Mamet’s script and Brian De Palma’s direction. In his review he singled out the film’s portrayal of Al Capone, who is depicted as arrogant and childish to the point of misbehaving in public and in court, as the biggest disappointment of the film, but praised Sean Connery’s work.
Commercially, The Untouchables was a huge hit. Made on a estimated production budget of $25 million, it acheived $10,023,094 in US box office reciepts on the opening weekend and went on to make $76.2 million. Overall, The Untouchables took $106,240,936 in worldwide box office reciepts.
The Untouchables was nominated for four Academy Awards in 1988; Best Supporting Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Production Design where Sean Connery’s portrayal of Jimmy Malone won Best Supporting Actor. Sean Connery also picked up the award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards. At the BAFTAs it received four nominations; Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Music, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design where Ennio Morricone won the BAFTA Award for Best Original Music, formerly known as the Anthony Asquith Award.
Year of Film
Brian De Palma
Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Andy García, Charles Martin Smith, Robert De Niro, Patricia Clarkson, Billy Drago
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Crime | Drama | Thriller
Budget: $25,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $645,363 (USA) (20 August 1995) (42 Screens)
Gross: $106,240,936 (Worldwide)
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Richard Nobel (Photography)
39 13/16″ x 27″
Single Sided or Double Sided
NSS # / Printer Markings
National Screen Printed in England
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.
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