Prime Time Crime with Sophia: “The Untouchables”


Courtesy of TheSeafarer

By Sophia Coronado

My dad and I sit on the couch, share a bowl of popcorn and turn on his favorite mafia movies that would eventually become mine, too. The fast paced and action packed movies keep my attention as I try to understand their oftentimes layered and dramatic plots. It is hard to imagine that some of these movies were based on true events. 

Of course, in order to come to love these gangster movies, one must appreciate the older and often slower paced movies like “The Untouchables”. A classic and ruthless story of Al Capone and his gang on the streets of Chicago during the era of prohibition. 

Brian De Palma, the director of “The Untouchables”, focused on creating the classic 1930s sets. He also provided clothes, cars and accurate locations for each scene. One of the most sensational shots was of Chicago’s La Salle Street canyon, set in the ‘30s. Additionally, we are shown Capone’s actual hotel and the courtroom where his trial was held.

Starring in the movie are Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Sean Connery as Jim Malone, Charles Martin Smith as Oscar Wallace, Andy Garcia as George Stone and Robert De Niro as Al Capone. 

De Palma’s “The Untouchables” is based on the true story of how a treasury agent, Ness, attempts to take down the infamous Chicago mobster Capone, but fails due to the corrupted police force. Ness must recruit a group of lawmen that refuse to be manipulated by fear or bribery.

Ness meets Jim Malone, a knowledgeable Irish street cop, who soon becomes his father figure. Along the way, he picks George Stone, a sharp shooting rookie cop, who comes in handy during their encounters with Capone’s men. We are also introduced to treasury agent Oscar Wallace who will try to capture Capone for tax evasion. 

I highly recommend “The Untouchables” for all gangster movie lovers because its characters, like the wise Irish cop Malone and flamboyant yet terrifying Capone, makes for a juicy and dramatic story.