Thursday, December 23, 2010
Movie Review: The Untouchables (1987)
Written by Dave Mamet, directed by Brian De Palma, music by Ennio Morricone, and starring Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro and Andy Garcia; The Untouchables is a stellar crime drama with talent to spare on both sides of the camera.
With all local officials and the police force on Capone's payroll, Federal Treasury Agent Elliott Ness (Costner) is dispatched to Chicago on a mission to put an end to Capone's reign. He teams up with beat cop Jim Malone (Connery), trainee sharp shooter George Stone (Garcia) and federal accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith). After initial set-backs, the foursome succeed in disrupting Capone's operations, capturing or killing many of his men and seizing illegal alcohol shipments. Attempts to corrupt Ness and his team fail, and they earn the reputation as untouchable. With his empire threatened, Capone fights back, and his henchmen succeed in killing two members of the Ness team.
But Ness, inspired by Wallace and a gathering mountain of evidence, unexpectedly goes after Capone on tax evasion rather than murder or racketeering charges, eventually capturing Capone's main bookkeeper, whose court testimony is enough to place Capone behind bars.
Morricone weaves his spaghetti western themes with a 1930s mood to provide an evocative soundtrack to the proceedings.
Elliott Ness memorably got his man; The Untouchables stylishly got all the details right.
All Ace Black Movie Reviews are here.