HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
   
 
  Untouchables, The That's The Chicago WayBuy this film here.
Year: 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, Richard Bradford, Jack Kehoe, Brad Sullivan, Billy Drago, Patricia Clarkson, Vito D'Ambrosio, Steve Goldstein, Peter Aylward, Don Harvey, Robert Swan, Del Close, Clifton James
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1930 and there's a war going on in Chicago between rival factions who wish to control the supply of illegal alcohol during the Prohibition-era ban. The most powerful gang leader is Al Capone (Robert De Niro), a man satisfied that he will never be taken down by the law because he believes he is too clever for them. Nevertheless, the police are on to him, and amidst the bribery that turns a blind eye to his criminality emerges one man, Treasury agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner), determined that the killing ends now - yet Capone is in a far more powerful position than he is...

The Untouchables, loosely adapted from the classic television series, was a big favourite among movie audiences in 1987 who responded to what was essentially one of the era's action movies performed in period costume. However, this was no Arnold Schwarzenegger movie in thirties Chicago, as it has the benefit of Brian De Palma's direction at its most stylish and confident, and a script by David Mamet that perfectly suited its story and characters, some of whom were drawn from real life. But do not mistake this film for an accurate document of those days: this was strictly the cops and gangsters of the movies we were being presented with.

And of course, if any director knows the right films to reference and influence him it was De Palma. Here it was as if the filmmakers of the classic hoodlum movies of the time this was depicting had been transported to the eighties and given carte blanche to make the purest thriller experience they could based on the genre they knew. As filtered through De Palma's sensibilities, the result was tense, colourful and a pleasure to watch for any fans of the most accomplished of its type, with sequences evoking not only films like Howard Hawks' Scarface or The Roaring Twenties, but also more obscure works such as Nicholas Ray's Party Girl when Capone takes a baseball bat to one errant underling.

And not only that, for as the scenes where Ness takes his newly assembled team - called The Untouchables because they are immune to bribery - out to the border illustrate, this was in some ways a western in alternative dress. One of the most enjoyable themes is that we are in no doubt who is a good guy and who is bad, and our faith in the decency of the four heroes is unshakeable. They include Charles Martin Smith as the accountant who notices that there are deep inconsistencies in Capone's tax payments, Andy Garcia as the sharp-shooting Italian there to show us that not all his countrymen are bad, and the scene stealer: Sean Connery as beat cop Malone.

Connery won an Oscar for his role, and provides a jolt of electricity in his playing as Malone shows Ness he will have to fight dirty when push comes to shove if he wants to defeat Capone. It is he who brings hope to a world where it appears as if the battle against crime has been lost, as he is the embodiment of St Jude, the patron saint of hopless causes, driving the team on even to the risk of their own lives. Contrast him with De Niro's splendidly loathsome Capone, a smug and despicable mobster who we're itching to see brought down - it's a pity he and Connery don't share any scenes, although the screen might not be able to take that much forceful personality. Costner's Ness is a curious hero, humourless and by the book, but the pillar of righteousness the film needs nevertheless. With vivid lines and setups such as the railway station shootout, De Palma and his team brought both brutality and class to one of the finest thrillers of the decade. Music by Ennio Morricone, which has him at the top of his game.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2946 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Brian De Palma  (1940 - )

Controversial American director and Alfred Hitchcock fan, strong on style, but weak on emotion. His early, political films like Greetings and Hi, Mom! gained some acclaim, but it was with Sisters that he emerged as a major talent of the 1970s and settled into his cycle of thrillers and horrors: The Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Obsession, The Fury, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale being good examples.

He's not aversed to directing blockbusters such as Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, but Bonfire of the Vanities was a famous flop and The Black Dahlia fared little better as his profile dipped in its later years, with Passion barely seeing the inside of cinemas. Even in his poorest films, his way with the camera is undeniably impressive. Was once married to Nancy Allen.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: