Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith
Written by: David Mamet
Directed by: Brian De Palma
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 119
Date: 06/02/1987

The Untouchables (1987)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Chicago Way

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Based on the classic television show, The Untouchables is a lesser effort from director Brian De Palma, whose extreme visual style is far more apparent in films like Sisters, Blow Out, and Scarface. Only the opening shot, an overhead angle showing Al Capone (Robert De Niro) getting a shave, surrounded by henchmen and reporters, shows the De Palma style.

Kevin Costner blandly occupies the central role of Eliot Ness, and surrounds himself with far more potent actors, Sean Connery (who won an Oscar), Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith. Some scenes, like the baby carriage scene (famously lifted from Battleship Potemkin) and Connery's taking-charge scenes, come alive, but the film mostly revels in nostalgia and feels numb. David Mamet apparently provided the screenplay, though it certainly doesn't sound like him, and Ennio Morricone composed the rousing score.

In October of 2004, Paramount Home Video released a new Special Edition, replacing their 2000 disc. The new disc comes with four new featurettes: "The Script, The Cast," "Production Stories," "Reinventing the Genre" and "The Classic," plus a vintage featurette and a trailer.

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