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Untouchables, the


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: David Mamet, Eliot Ness, Oscar Fraley
  • Producers: Art Linson, Raymond Hartwick
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: Jan. 8 2004
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000003KDG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,617 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

As noted critic Pauline Kael wrote, the 1987 box-office hit The Untouchables is "like an attempt to visualize the public's collective dream of Chicago gangsters." In other words, this lavish reworking of the vintage TV series is a rousing potboiler from a bygone era, so beautifully designed and photographed--and so craftily directed by Brian De Palma--that the historical reality of Prohibition-era Chicago could only pale in comparison. From a script by David Mamet, the movie pits four underdog heroes (the maverick lawmen known as the Untouchables) against a singular villain in Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro as a dapper caesar holding court (and a baseball bat) against any and all challengers. Kevin Costner is the naive federal agent Eliot Ness, whose lack of experience is tempered by the streetwise alliance of a seasoned Chicago cop (Sean Connery, in an Oscar-winning performance), a rookie marksman (Andy Garcia), and an accountant (Charles Martin Smith) who holds the key to Capone's potential downfall. The movie approaches greatness on the strength of its set pieces, such as the siege near the Canadian border, the venal ambush at Connery's apartment, and the train-station shootout partially modeled after the "Odessa steps" sequences of the Russian classic Battleship Potemkin. It's thrilling stuff, fueled by Ennio Morricone's dynamic score, but it's also manipulative and obvious. If you're inclined to be critical, the movie gives you reason to complain. If you'd rather sit back and enjoy a first-rate production with an all-star cast, The Untouchables may very well strike you as a classic. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Donnelly on July 13 2004
Format: DVD
This film marks several remarkable firsts: The first true representation of a David Mamet film script (although "The Verdict" in 1980 came first), the leading-man status of Kevin Costner (deservedly so, since despite disasters like "The Postman" and "3000 Miles to Graceland", he's a very good actor with a very impressive resume and an Oscar to boot), Sean Connery's first Oscar win, also very much deserved, and most importantly, the first good film from Brian De Palma. People call films like "Body Double", "Carrie", "Blow Out" and "Dressed to Kill" classics... why they do, I have nary a clue. Those are some of the worst rip-off films in history. His "Hitchcockian" feeling is, to me, straight-up plagarism. He rips off plots and shots that are embarassing mish-moshes of Hitch's best (and worst) stuff. And did you see "Mission to Mars"? I didn't think so. And the only people that I can imagine that liked "Femme Fatale" were fans of the bathroom sequence (If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about). The only other film of his that was worth watching was "Mission: Impossible". But "The Untouchables" is a real work of art. I won't go into plot points, but I'll comment on the film's great points: 1) The dialogue is sparkling. Mamet makes these people real as opposed to just making them standard action caricatures (the young idealist, the grizzled old wise-man, the cocky rookie, and the dorky fifth-wheel). 2) The performances are top-notch. Costner, Connery, Martin Smith, Garcia, De Niro, and an underrated performance from Richard Bradford as Chief Dorsett really help to pull this film off. They give it all they got. They make the tragedy and drama and excitement and horror and triumpth of this film work. 3) The visuals are stunning.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28 2004
Format: DVD
hello,my name's aaron johnson
the reason i'm writting this review for the untouchables film
is because i've seen it so many times that i enjoy how malone says his famous line to elliot , the one about getting capone
anyway, the whole entire plot is excellent
especially when the federal agents try to stop capone's men in time
the other reason i'm writting in this review , is because i've seen the untouchables tv series
and i'm wondering this very question ;
"when will the untouchables tv series from 1993
be out on dvd"
because i think that people would enjoy the entire [whatever how many seasons it ran for [if it was one or two] of the series
i'm sure a lot of other customers would appreciate the untouchables tv series on dvd
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Format: DVD
I am what you could call a relatively new movie fan. I have always liked movies, but I didn't use to watch too many of them. Things have changed, but due to that previous attitude, I still have a lot of old movies to "discover". That is the reason why from time to time I find some jewels that were released a long time ago, but that are totally new to me. "The untouchables" (1987) is, of course, one of such movies.

This film is set in Chicago, during the prohibition, a time were mobsters had enormously increased their influence due to the contraband of alcohol. The most important of all mobsters was Al Capone (wonderfully played by Robert De Niro), whose influence was pervasive and somehow accepted by most as a fact of reality. Capone controlled Chicago with force and bribes, and a philosophy that the scriptwriter of this movie (David Mamet) summed up in a phrase that the actor that plays Capone said: "Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him".

Things change when a newcomer to the city, federal agent Elliot Ness, forms a small group to fight crime and target Capone's shady dealings. The team formed by Ness, an old Chicago cop (Sean Connery), a rookie police officer (Andy Garcia) and an accountant (Charles Martin Smith), replays in a highly entertaining way Brian de Palma's cinematographic version of the group called "The untouchables".

It is worthwhile to highlight the fact that you shouldn't expect a movie that tells the historical truth about that period in America's history. If that is your purpose, I think that you are likely to be sorely disappointed. However, if you want to watch a great film, with wonderful performances and marked by a dynamic pace, rent this movie :)

Belen Alcat
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By T. Lobascio on May 1 2004
Format: DVD
I am not really a fan of Kevin Costner's acting skills. That said, there are a handful of his films though, where I think that despite his prescence, the film is still to good to ignore. The Untouchables is such a film. Taking its cues from the hit television show of the same name, starring the late Robert Stack, Brian De Palma created an unflinching mob film that is hard to forget.
The film traces the struggles of idealistic lawman Eliot Ness (Costner) as he ties to bring down the notorious Al Capone (Robert De Niro) at the height of the prohibition era. Ness soon discovers that most of the Chicago police force is corrupt and on the take. After a chance meeting of beat cop Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery, giving an Oscar winning performance), Ness learns he must do things a bit differently, if he wants to take down Capone. The two men take on a pair of allies, to help with their crusade, Agent Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) and Agent "George Stone" (Andy Garcia).
Those familiar with the films of Brian De Palma wont be disappointed. Like Scarface before it, the film is nearly an urelenting assault on the senses. Everything is nearly pitch perfect. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that writer David Mamet's script, expertly avoids the typical ganster cliché at almost every turn. The film is quite violent but after awhile, you are so drawn in, that it becomes an important part of the narrative. De Niro as Capone gives a gleeful turn, without going over the top. Garcia, early in his career, makes us sit up and take notice. And all I can say of Connery is that, for me, the film helped me to see him outside of his role as superspy James Bond, for the first time (even though he hadn't been Bond for some time by then).
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