All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
What are you prepared to do?
Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is determined to take down Al Capone but it's not going to be easy, because Capone has the police in his pocket. Ness meets Jimmy Malone a veteran patrolman and probably the most honorable one in the force. He asks Malone to help him get Capone but Malone warns him that if he goes after Capone, he is going to war.
The hostility towards this film is baffling. From Morricone's score to the cinematography, The Untouchables oozes in style, and you only need to see the unforgattable train-station shoot-out to figure that one out. Historically inaccurate? Maybe, but I'll be damned if anyone can top De Niro's Al Capone. Some corny dialogue and poor direction aside, I find The Untouchables is as solid as the rest of De Palma's movies.
In his excellent review of The Untouchables, Cramer K opens up by asking if there has ever been a more bald-faced cinematic thief than Brian De Palma. You would probably expect a huge fan of De Palma's such as I to launch an impassioned defence of him and state that's not the case.
However, to quote a particular excellent episode of Blackadder (doesn't narrow it down, obviously), De Palma is as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo. I think the way these things work is that if the director in question is a load of crap and you don't particular like his or her work, it is more likely to bother you. Rarely during gushing…
Brian De Palma's crime/mobster film is one of style over substance. One that I won't comment on its historical accuracy due to me not knowing enough about this period.
What I do know is at the core of the story its factual however the story around the times is probably more for engaging the audience.
What makes The Untouchables so enjoyable is the set pieces of the times being spot on for the 30's prohibition era.
Some hammy acting kept me from loving it however enough of the episodic scenes were enough to make it very enjoyable.
most of the Untouchables is a staid period piece with hints of mamet flavor. david mamet is certainly a good screenwriter and I'd argue that de palma isn't the best pairing, despite their shared love for fast-talking, chest-puffing protags. mamet's meat n potatoes script leaves little room for de palma to show off his virtuosity.
of course, you get the exceptions. there's the famous battleship potemkin homage, and there's the elevator assassination scene (one sends up eisensteinian montage, the other is structured around an extended tracking shot). these two are immediately set in a different class from the other major setpieces, which are sometimes hindered by story functionality, and generally dulled by morricone's misjudged score.
what to take from this? de palma just needs to be able to do his thing. his best films are organic collaborations with freer material, and his dullest films (though I won't necessarily say his worst) are collaborations with high-profile screenwriters.
Has there ever been a more bald-faced cinematic thief than Brian De Palma? I mean sure, there's Quentin Tarantino, but at least Tarantino steals from movies that nobody has seen. De Palma steals from movies that everybody has seen. And yet, and yet... I still kind of admire the guy. Granted, his recent output has been impressively terrible (with the noted of exception of Femme Fatale, a movie I will defend until my dying breath). But when he's on his game he's the like the DJ Shadow of modern cinema, taking samples from all over the movie world and combining them to make something unassailably cool.
So how does The Untouchables fit into the De Palma canon? Not very well,…
Film 30 of The June Challenge
"Here endeth the lesson."
Right from the first few seconds of that opening credits sequence, you know that this is going to be good. Aided by a fantastic Ennio Morricone score, Brian De Palma manages to create a stylish and occasionally gritty crime thriller that manages to capture the 30's atmosphere brilliantly. Plus, the supporting cast includes Sean Connery being, well, Sean Connery and Robert De Niro as Al Capone who despite not actually having loads of screentime, has a presence felt throughout the entire film, whilst being genuinely threatening in the scenes he is in.
I did mention the soundtrack was amazing, right?
Revisiting childhood favorites as an adult can be quite a strange experience. Case in point, The Untouchables.
First, my politics are very different now and I see a naive agent of an over-reaching government where I once saw a hero. I see hypocrisy and arrogance where I once saw justice. I see unnecessary violence created by both sides. Also, it's fitting that Capone was brought down for tax evasion given the huge profits that resulted from Prohibition.
All that said, De Palma sure has style and it was lovely to see it splashed across the big screen. After years of wearing out my pan-and-scan VHS, this was my first time seeing the movie in its original aspect ratio since I saw it in the theater back in 1987.
And finally, the music. It conjures the time period as effectively as the clothes, cars, and sets do.
Alternately harrowing and operatic, and always stylish and entertaining, it still feels a touch stilted.
Turn your brain off if you want historical accuracy, and once you do you'll find a very entertaining crime-adventure film. The score by Ennio Morricone is classic.
This has dated quite badly. Considering the film set is 65 years or so before it was made that's quite a feat but it really does feel like it was made in the 80's. This isn't a bad thing, it has the shine of other great movies around it, it's stylistically slick and polished, but now it looks theatrical and mimed. The soundtrack is as heavy handed as some of the dialogue in places, but still also as enjoyable. It's a cartoon of a movie, fast paced, snappy and loud but great performances keep it a cut above the average.
This is an example of what movies are meant to be when you get everything done right! This is one of the best films of all time!
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The train station scene was intense.
also it was nice to know about prohibition era.
I think Untouchables is a great movie. Although, the film is plagued by inappropriate music and sprinkled with lame one-liners.
A handful of Uber-stylized scenes and a fiercely dedicated performance from De Niro save this from Costner's all-american banality. Doesn't feel as personal or passionate as De Palma's best but his usual technical excellence is here in full.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
List made from the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. This list just from the 2014 edition,…