All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
What are you prepared to do?
Young Treasury Agent Elliot Ness arrives in Chicago and is deternimed 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.
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…
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?
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,…
There's a lot to be said for ignoring historical accuracy in favor of fun, especially when you're making a movie like The Untouchables. I very much doubt that anything in this movie actually happened in real-life, except perhaps for the imprisonment of Al Capone. But when you have the choice to tailor a role specifically for Sean Connery, why wouldn't you take it?
The Untouchables is a fun movie with some great actors and a real sense of style. Brian De Palma directed this, but you wouldn't know it without some of the film's choice, stylish sequences. A first-person home invasion is reminiscent of the beginning of Blow Out, and a horseback raid on a liquor shipment feels straight out…
When going through some comments on the IMDb page for de Palma's film I see many people complain about lack of realism and hammy acting. My instinct would tell me to completely ignore such claims, but in the case of this film they happen to be entirely true and yet I adored every minute of the unashamedly over the top The Untouchables, which dares to take a true story and tell it in a completely fantastical and wonderfully charming way. I think those are all valid points but depending on the approach they can be seen as either negative or positive and I find myself happily tipping towards the latter category. This film may feature scenes with gripping tension aswell…
An all time Top Ten favourite.
I am, and have always been, a self-confessed DePalma addict. Rarely has the man disappointed me.
People like to classify The Untouchables as a gangster film, but I disagree. This is about the cops fighting the gangsters and to me that declassifies it. Everything about this film is perfect. The tone, the script, the outcome, the score, the performances - everything is just top notch all the way down the line. There are too many memorable scenes and quotes.
I love this film.
Thank you Brian DePalma.
The Potemkin reference, that grand slow-motion shootout-on-the-steps-with-a-baby-in-the-way of a cinematic allusion, works beautifully. It works because De Palma has clearly established the main characters and the stakes involved already. On the one hand, you have Elliot Ness, a low-level officer of the Treasury Department who has always played by the book, waiting patiently for his turn to catch Capone red-handed, and this is his last chance to get him legitimately. On the other, you have Al Capone and his henchmen, which is to say Darth Vader and the stormtroopers, the perfect personification of pure evil. Plus, these guys killed goddam Sean Connery, and they must pay! Meaning, it's absolutely the right choice to spare no expenses and go big, which is exactly what De Palma does, and the reason people still remember that sequence 27 years later.
It's entirely possible my familiarity with this movie -- I routinely reached for The Untouchables on VHS as a pre-teen -- has bred an unwitting sense of contempt, but it's just hard to see it as anything more than an exercise in pure genre mechanics. The movie's moral universe is only slightly less complex than the one you find in Bayport. The central performance from Costner is as blank and flat as unfinished laminate flooring. De Niro's turn as Capone is baked ham with a side of cheese. Nearly all of De Palma's fetishes have been checked at the door, from any hint of sex-as-pleasure to his signature use of doppelgängers and split-screens. The story moralizes like it's Sunday at…
Despite not being exactly the best film this genre has to offer, Brian De Palma's The Untouchables still has lots of fun and thrills to offer. It's well told, well directed, and above all it was masterfully acted. Kevin Costner delivers one of his most convincing performances as Eliot Ness, while Sean Connery was simply magnificent.
Aside from Costner's lackluster delivery and the unbefitting musical score, this film's structure is heavily influenced by vintage film noir and, being so, is full of interesting characters and one spiraling moral dilemma after another.
Stylish thriller that perhaps underuses De Niro as Capone. Come on, it would be interesting to see him get more screen time. This may be my favourite Kevin Costener role. He is another level of good. Morally and performance wise.
Palomera. Sean Connery lo mejor. De Niro hace de la caricatura del gangster italiano. No se molestan explicar y tampoco les importa, como es que dan con las pistas o información sobre las actividades de Al Capone. Para ser un grupo de hombres catolicos, buscabdo detener el flujo de alcohol ilegal, son un grupo de mercenarios igual de violentos que los malvados gangsters italianos. La escena más emocionente es en la estación del tren, aun así, los malos son convenientemente incompetemtes para que Costner y Andy Gacía puedan acabar con todos ellos.
Se siente como una película basada en un comic, Ness es el superman de la era de la prohibición, nada lo corrompe, no le gusta matar, pero eso no lo detiene de volarle los sesos a los malos.
Sean Connery es lo mejor,
I usually revisit this film yearly and for whatever reason it's usually in July. So what are my takeaways this go-round?
Sure it's a little by-the-numbers and manipulative. But it does so knowingly and self-consciously. Thus...perfection. Owes a lot to the golden age of cinema, has a meticulously crafted screenplay as its backbone, and this was probably DePalma's last great film.
Selfishly I wish every Hollywood movie took a page out of this one's book.
Breaks the Costner rule
By kicking ass, taking names,
What a weird film this is in its relationship to homage--more than even most of De Palma's other films. The Untouchables is so steeped in its '30s gangster milieu that it can be compared to Dick Tracy three years later, but at least the latter is fun. Only De Niro seems to get that this movie is broad, and his performance is ripped to shreds. We cut away whenever he starts to cook. That said, the train station sequence is as good as advertised, and the film takes its time to reflect after key characters die. Still, I wonder what it says about a film when its best scenes are the ones in which major characters die.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- Life of Pi
- Django Unchained
List made from the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. This list just from the 2013 edition,…