It’s the year 1930. Prohibition is in force in the USA. What was actually intended to stop crime and corruption significantly finally promoted them. Because greedy criminals don’t let bans stop them. Neither did the notorious gangster Al Capone. With extreme brutality, he rules large parts of the Chicago underworld. The police and authorities hardly bother him. The reason is simple. Because he bought most of them or made them docile in some other way. But a group of loyal lawmen stands up to him. They cannot be intimidated or bought, as they are the Untouchables.
THE SPECIAL OF THE UNTOUCHABLES
With The Untouchables, Brian De Palma created an absolute masterpiece. It not only fascinates viewers of many generations. Rather, the film became a textbook. Still, it’s a blueprint for those who want to live their dream and find their purpose behind the camera. Because the film is bursting with visually stunning scenes. Be it the moment when The Untouchables are waiting for Capone’s accountant at the train station.
Or be it when Capone brutally murders a warehouse manager with a baseball bat at the table in front of all the subordinates. The film shocks and touches at the same time deeply.
It’s essential for a good film that we can connect with the characters. In the best case, this happens on an intellectual as well as an emotional level.
In almost 120 minutes, De Palma manages to make us merge with the characters, become one with them, love them, fear them or hate them.
JIM MALONE (SEAN CONNERY)
Of course, the incredible cast also contributes significantly to this, above all, Sean Connery. In The Untouchables, the man who always had an ambivalent relationship with his role as James Bond shows what a brilliant actor he is. With his almost caring manner, he touches us as the patrolman Jim Malone. He helps Eliot Ness to better understand the world of gangsters.
ELIOT NESS (KEVIN COSTNER), OSCAR WALLACE (CHARLES MARTIN SMITH) AND GEORGE STONE (ANDY GARCIA)
Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) is an incorruptible agent assigned to the government to stop crime in Chicago. So, this forms a kind of task force.
In addition to Malone, this group is joined by the nerdy accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) and George Stone (Andy Garcia). The latter is still young. In order to have a chance as an Italian in Chicago’s police office, he changed his identity. Because his real name is Giuseppe Petri. That little lie doesn’t make the Untouchables dubious. On the contrary, like the mistakes of the others, it makes the group appear authentic and human.
AL CAPONE (ROBERT DE NIRO)
None of them are perfect. But they are decent and law-abiding people. That’s not Al Capone. He, of course, rages as the group confiscates more and more of his contraband. And angry people make mistakes.
Al Capone is played by the one and only Robert De Niro. He just shines in every role, on-screen as well as in real life. Because in contrast to the film, where he again plays a gangster, De Niro is one of the truly incorruptible role models and greatest personalities of our time. His statements about Donald Trump are legendary.
THE SCORE – ENNIO MORRICONE
It should not go unmentioned that Ennio Morricone composed the score for the film. This alone already guarantees an incredibly dense atmosphere and great emotions.
Morricone is the true Master of Film Music. Besides him, there were and are other great film composers like John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, and Danny Elfman. But like no other, the Roman, who died on July 6, 2020, managed to exude so much magic with the first note and to address our deepest emotions.
When one listens to his scores, everybody immediately knows whose pen it came from. Morricone’s greatest scores, aside from The Untouchables, include Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Moreover, the Clint Eastwood films A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) belong also to Morricone’s masterpieces.
Incomprehensibly, he only received an Oscar in 2015 for the Quentin Tarantino film adaptation The Hateful Eight.
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Text: Marco Kokkot
Images: Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
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