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The Untouchables (1987)

The Untouchables (1987)

(p.184) Chapter 18 The Untouchables (1987)
Brian De Palma's Split-Screen
Douglas Keesey
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter analyzes the complexities of the 1987 film, The Untouchables, one of De Palma's biggest box-office hits. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, The Untouchables shows Treasury agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and his handpicked band of incorruptible men—veteran cop Malone (Sean Connery), rookie Stone (Andy Garcia), and accountant Wallace (Charles Martin Smith)—pitted against mob kingpin Al Capone (Robert De Niro). But sometimes, as De Palma has indicated, the film may seem less like “a gangster movie” and “more like a Magnificent Seven” (the John Sturges Western). In the film, De Palma once again returns to a subject he often explores in his previous works—the blurred line between the good guys and the bad guys, or the split within the self between good and evil.

Keywords:   The Untouchables, gangster films, bad guys, good guys, westerns

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