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->''"He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone."''
-->-- '''Jimmy Malone''' (Creator/SeanConnery)

''The Untouchables'' is a 1987 movie directed by Creator/BrianDePalma and written by Creator/DavidMamet. It stars Creator/KevinCostner, Creator/SeanConnery, Creator/RobertDeNiro, Creator/AndyGarcia and Creator/PatriciaClarkson in her screen debut. Connery won an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for his interpretation.

Based on the exploits of (RealLife) [[TheRoaringTwenties 1920s]] Chicago Prohibiton agent Eliot Ness and his group of loyal agents, nicknamed "The Untouchables" because of their refusal to be bribed by the Mob as many others were at the time. Most notable for pursuing bootleggers and gangster UsefulNotes/AlCapone (and eventually arresting him--[[JusticeByOtherLegalMeans on tax evasion charges]]!)

The movie was theoretically TheFilmOfTheSeries of [[Series/TheUntouchables the 1960s TV series]], but Mamet ended up largely ignoring the TV series, going back to the original sources and crafting his own version of the story.
!!The film includes the following touchable tropes:


* AdaptationalBadass: The real Frank Nitti preferred not to get his hands dirty, and generally left the violence to his subordinates.
* AdiposeRex: Al Capone is an obese kingpin. Robert [=DeNiro=] gained 15 pounds for the role, which is not much by his [[Film/RagingBull standards]]. He wanted to double that figure, but the schedule was tight, so he had to wear pads and pillows under his clothes.
* AdultFear:
** Nitti threatens Ness' family, but particularly his daughter.
** Clichéd as it is, the BabyCarriage scene is this. Come on, your kid's carriage is not only going down a flight of stairs, but it's caught ''in the middle of a shootout''!
%%* AgreeToDisagree
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Capone and Ness never met face to face.
** Frank Nitti wasn't thrown off a roof. He and Capone were both sent to prison on tax evasion charges, but he got a much lighter sentence and took charge of the Chicago organization (at least in name) after his release. Nitti committed suicide in 1943 rather than face the possibility of another prison sentence.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: A defense attorney cannot change his client's plea without said client's permission, and he ''certainly'' shouldn't be doing that in public view.
* AtTheOperaTonight: [[WickedCultured Al Capone]] is seen attending an opera when Frank Nitti comes up and whispers the news that [[spoiler:Jim Malone had been killed]].
* BabyCarriage: During the fight in the station, a runaway baby carriage presents Ness with the dilemma of trying to save the baby or dealing with a gun-wielding mobster. [[spoiler:He chooses the mobster, trusting that Stone will save the baby. It's the right choice, as Stone stops it with his legs. '''While still shooting down some mobsters'''. And the baby is fine in the end]].
* BadassBoast: Several, especially considering: a) Eliot Ness is trying to convict VillainWithGoodPublicity Al Capone; and b) Ness' team is called '''The Untouchables'''. Best seen when he refuses a bribe from an alderman.
-->'''Alderman''': You're making a mistake.\\
'''Ness''': Yeah, I know, well I've made them before, I'm beginning to enjoy them.\\
'''Alderman''': You fellows are untouchable, is that the thing? No one can get to you? Hey, everyone can be gotten to.\\
'''Ness''': You tell Capone, that I'll see him in hell.
* BadassBookworm: Oscar Wallace. An accountant by trade, he shows his courage under fire during the bridge shootout.
* BadassMustache: Malone.
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler:At Capone's trial, Ness realizes that the judge is skewing the trial in Capone's favor, and that the judge must have been on Capone's payroll. He forces the judge to conduct a fair trial by threatening to reveal evidence, proving that the judge took bribes. The threat works because they have Al Capone's ledger. We quickly find out that it was all a (successful) bluff, when the DA quietly notes to Ness that the judge's name isn't in the ledger...]].
* BatterUp: Al Capone famously used a baseball bat to savagely murder one of his subordinates.
* BigBad: Capone, of course, is the main antagonist of the film.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't insult Stone's heritage, or he'll shoot you. Malone uses this as a SecretTestOfCharacter when recruiting his team.
** At the beginning of the shootout at the bridge, Oscar Wallace is cringing, with a "Oh dear God please get me out of here" look on his face. Then Stone gets shot. Cue RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
** Eliot Ness [[spoiler:flips and throws Frank Nitti off a building when he gloats about killing Jim Malone]].
* BittersweetEnding: Capone is behind bars, his deadliest enforcer Nitti gone and his criminal empire shattered. [[spoiler:But two of the Untouchables are dead, and Ness had to violate a lot of his personal code of honor - including his tossing Nitti off a roof in revenge for Malone's death - to get Capone]].
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Capone orders the deaths of children and beats men to death with baseball bats. Ness is all-American Hero who loves nothing more than his family and getting notes from his wife in his lunch. As the film goes on, it turns into BlackAndGrayMorality as Ness adapts Jimmy Malone's "escalate" philosophy to bring down Capone.
* BloodBrothers: Malone takes Ness to a church, where they talk about a BloodOath and Malone tells Ness they are now bound by it.
* BondOneLiner: A classic Non-Bond example. Happens after Ness has thrown [[spoiler:Frank Nitti]] off the roof of the courthouse and he lands on the roof of a Model A:
-->'''Stone:''' Where's [[spoiler:Nitti]]?
-->'''Ness:''' He's in the car
** Notably, this is all vengeance for [[spoiler:killing Malone]].
** Also, Ness's line to Nitti just before.
* BringMyBrownPants: Implied during the border raid when Malone tricks the thug into talking after he shoots the already dead mobster:
--> '''Malone:''' And don't let him dry his pants until after!
* ByTheBookCop: Eliot Ness, at least at first.
* CallBack: "There endeth the lesson." (Malone to Ness, then Ness to Capone)
* CarCushion: [[spoiler:Frank Nitti's in the car after being thrown off the roof by Eliot Ness]].
* ChekhovsGun: Nitti has [[spoiler:Malone's home address]] written on a book of matches, which we see when he takes a match to light a cigarette [[spoiler:shortly before he guns down Malone.]] Later, during Capone's trial, Ness has Nitti escorted from the courtroom after seeing he's carrying a gun, and orders Nitti to empty his pockets; the matchbook is among the items taken out. Ness then takes it to light a cigarette...
* ChekhovsGunman:
** The mobster with the bowtie. He is seen several times, particularly when he [[spoiler:lures Malone out to be shot by Nitti]] and is later the one who takes the bookkeeper hostage on the train station steps [[spoiler:and gets shot by Stone]].
** The mobster Ness punches in the face when he tries to stop Ness from confronting Capone. Unfortunately this means he remembers Ness, which sets off the shootout when he sees Ness with the BabyCarriage at the railway station.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Capone tells Eliot Ness, "You talk to me like that in front of my son? Fuck you, and your family!" [[HypocriticalHumor In front of his son...]].
* CouldntFindAPen: After murdering [[spoiler: Oscar Wallace and George the Bookkeeper]] in an elevator, Frank Nitti uses their blood to write the word "TOUCHABLE" on the wall.
* DangerouslyCloseShave: The opening scene.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Frank Nitti]], who in RealLife was not killed by Ness, but took over the Chicago Outfit after Capone's imprisonment and lived until 1943.
* DesecratingTheDead: A pragmatic variation occurs in the Mounties raid, when the eponymous squad has captured a Capone henchman and is trying to get him to talk about Capone's finances. When the henchman refuses to talk, Malone wanders outside, grabs the corpse of another henchman they killed in the preceding gunfight, and after pretending to threaten to kill him if he won't talk, shoots the corpse through the head, spattering the window with gore. The henchman, believing he'd witnessed an actual execution, is ''very'' cooperative afterwards.
** [[spoiler:After killing Wallace and George, Nitti writes "TOUCHABLE" on the elevator wall with their blood, leaves George's body lying in the corner, and hangs Wallace's body from the ceiling.]]
* DiedInYourArmsTonight: [[spoiler: Malone dies in Ness's arms]].
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: While he's lured to his death quite easily, [[spoiler: Malone]] doesn't die after absorbing [[MoreDakka a full magazine of bullets]], crawls almost the full length of his apartment to bring a vital clue into Ness' attention, and then delivers meaningful FinalWords in his final breath. The scene couldn't be underscored better by Morricone's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWCG5X3zqW0 death theme]].
* DirtyCop: [[BadCopIncompetentCop The rule rather than the exception]], hence the need for a group of men whose integrity is beyond question.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Nitti falls to his death after being pushed off the roof by Ness]].
* DisproportionateRetribution:
** Done in the first scene when Capone's thugs blow up a bar that wouldn't buy his booze.
** Malone passionately defends that the only way to defeat Capone is by escalating the conflict because Capone will, and the mobster won't give up the fight until Ness is dead. It is a simple rule: They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. ''That's'' the Chicago way!
* DoomedMoralVictor: [[spoiler:The death of Jim Malone]].
* TheDragon: Frank Nitti.
* EscalatingWar: "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone."
* EvilGloating: Something [[spoiler:Nitti]] probably should have done '''after''' getting safely off the roof!
** When Capone hears of [[spoiler:Malone's death]], right at the most heartbreaking scene of Pagliacci, he chuckles for a moment.
* EvilOverlooker: The poster has Capone looming large like Darth Vader over [[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Elliot Ness as he is about to shoot you]] and the other Untouchables in [[PistolPose rifle poses]].
* FakeKillScare: Done with a twist -- Malone scares the crap out of a captured smuggler by letting him see Malone pick up the corpse of a henchman already killed in the gunfight that just happened, then "demand" the corpse reveal information, "threaten" to blow his head off if he won't talk, and then ''literally'' carry through with his threat. The surviving captive, not knowing it's a ruse, talks right away.
* FamousLastWords:
** "What are you prepared to do?" [[spoiler:Malone]]
** "I said that your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig. Now you think about that when I beat the rap." [[spoiler:Frank Nitti]][[note]]Unless "[[OhCrap AAAHHH!]]" counts as a last word.[[/note]]
%%* {{Fanfare}}
* FatalFamilyPhoto: A variation with the same outcome. Two of the four untouchables who pose as brothers for a photo are killed shortly afterwards.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Although Capone pretends to be [[AffablyEvil the opposite]] for the media. Behind closed doors, we see he's cruel, petty, vicious and quite bloodthirsty.
* TheFilmOfTheSeries: Only not really.
* FiringOneHanded: Famously done by Elliot Ness during the staircase shootout with a [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:Untouch-winp7.jpg Winchester Model 1912 shotgun.]]
* {{Foil}}: Elliot Ness starts as Chicago's idealist [[TheFettered white knight]], but his nature gets deconstructed by TheUnfettered and weary Malone, who during his DisproportionateRetribution speech mentioned above, points out that Ness' by-the-book and clean methods won't get him Capone.
-->'''Malone:''' What are you prepared to do?\\
'''Ness:''' Everything within the law.\\
'''Malone:''' And '''''then''''' what are you prepared to do?

* GoingByTheMatchbook: Frank Nitti has the address of Jim Malone written on a book of matches. Unfortunately for him he does not dispose of it after killing Malone, so when Eliot Ness searches him later it leads to their final shootout.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: A prominent theme in the film. It's both a lesson and a warning Malone gives several times to Ness.
* HeroicBystander: The two guys in the train station who die in the crossfire as they try to stop the baby carriage tumbling down the stairs.
* HiddenInPlainSight: The bookkeeper and his mobster bodyguards walk right past Elliot Ness at the train station, as all they see is a man helping his wife pull their baby carriage up the stairs. Unfortunately the last mobster to enter the station has a bandaged nose from Ness punching him in the face, and remembers the man who gave it to him.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade:
** Well, sure, Capone himself was a CorruptCorporateExecutive who wasn't above killing his own associates or starting a MobWar, but the real Al was ''much'' less monstrous than the version here. Also, the movie's Capone had no problem killing kids, while the real Capone tried to avoid any bystander injuries in gun battles, and paid their hospital bills for them if they were hurt.
** [[NonIndicativeName Despite his nickname]], Frank Nitti was Capone's number two rather than an enforcer, managing the outfit's organization and financial dealings. The movie's Nitti can be viewed as a CompositeCharacter of various Capone henchmen.
* HollywoodLaw: There are quite a lot of liberties with the depiction of Capone's trial:
** When they discover the jury has been bribed, they switch Capone's jury with the jury next door. Something like this [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Capone#Conviction_and_imprisonment really happened]], but not the way it's depicted in the film. Of particular note, in real life the jury was switched much earlier in the trial, and it wasn't specifically the jury that was changed - it was the pool of jurors both sides could select or veto that was switched; switching it when they did in the film, even if it had been allowed, would have meant that the new jury was handicapped by having missed the presentation of key evidence.
** Capone's lawyer attempting to enter a plea without his client's consent is ''not'' based on reality, and, in real life, is a good way to have a mistrial, an overturned conviction, and disbarment for the attorney.
* IconicItem: Malone's St. Jude medallion. He toys with it from time to time and gives it to Ness before dying, and Ness in turn gives it to Stone at the end of the film.
* IdiotBall: Ness and Co are in a corrupt town, they know they can't trust most of the police and what do they do with their key witness? They put him in an elevator with just ''one'' Untouchable (Oscar the accountant) and don't bother to clear out the elevator of anyone they don't trust. They were really holding onto it that day.
* ImpliedDeathThreat: When all the escorting mobsters are dead in the train station, Stone points the gun at the bookkeeper, and pulls back the hammer. The implication is that if he refuses to cooperate, one more dead Capone associate isn't going to make a whole lot of difference.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: George Stone. He shoots the Bowtie Gangster through the *teeth* at a good 10 yards, while holding up a carriage and laying on his back.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: On asked what he'll do when Prohibition is over, Ness replies he'll have a drink.
** Wallace sneaks a mouthful of whiskey from a shot-up barrel after the Canadian border raid.
* InfantImmortality: Averted and subverted. [[spoiler: Ness' own young daughter and (at the start) unborn child, prominently featured throughout, survive without a scratch. On the other hand, one of the first scenes in the movie shows a gangster walking out of a bar, and a little girl running after him, carrying him the suitcase he left behind. [[StuffBlowingUp Guess what's in the suitcase]]...]].
* ItsPersonal: Malone warns Ness that he must take this mindset in order to win. Because the gangsters certainly will.
* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Al Capone bribes all the jurors in his tax dodging trial to acquit him--but Ness smells something fishy with the trial, and asks the judge to switch the juries. He even puts some pressure on the judge, on a hunch that he's also been bribed, and the gambit pays off.
* JusticeByOtherLegalMeans: Getting Al Capone on ''tax evasion'', of all things. Even Ness lampshades it in the movie when his accountant sidekick keeps pointing it out. (Though a standard legal tactic today, convicting criminals on tax evasion was a radically new idea at the time, and though it had been used successfully as far back as 1927, no one had ever tried it on so large a scale, or against so prominent a criminal.)
* KickTheDog: Capone personally beats one of his goons to death with a bat to bring home the point that despite his attempts to paint himself as a good-natured high-roller, he is quite the vicious, ruthless gangster Ness says he is. Also, he has no problem with little girls getting blown up at the beginning.
* KnightInSourArmor: Malone. Ness starts as a KnightInShiningArmor, but gradually turns into one of these as well.
* LaserGuidedKarma:
** Nitti, who has killed Malone and shot at least three other people during his escape, isn't too concerned. [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections He knows he'll never go to jail.]] Ness, however, has other ideas. Technically what Ness did was cold blooded murder, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
** The Capone hoodlum who lures Malone into Nitti's tommy-gun ambush gets a bullet in his head from Stone towards the end of the film.
** And of course, Al himself. He had an intricate empire that let him do horrible things with impunity... and was taken down in a way he didn't expect.
* LeeroyJenkins: Ness and company ''specifically'' tell the Mounties to ''wait for the signal'' to charge. And what do they do...? Charge before the signal.
* LetsGetDangerous: After he runs out of bullets Wallace runs towards a gangster, screaming, and hits him twice with the butt of his gun. Finally Wallace enjoys a sip from a nearby barrel of liquor. He's an ''accountant'', by the way.
* LightIsNotGood: Frank Nitti is always seen dressed in white.
* LudicrousGibs: [[spoiler:Malone's death.]]

* ManInWhite: Frank Nitti.
* MeaningfulEcho: "What are you prepared to do?"
* MentorOccupationalHazard: [[spoiler: Jim Malone]].
* MobBossSuitFitting: A variation, with Al Capone talking business while getting a straight-razor shave from a barber.
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: It gets a 7 (possibly a hard one), because of some of the blood splattering and [[spoiler:Al Capone (Robert De Niro) bloodily bashing in the head of one of his stooges with a baseball bat]].
* MoralDissonance: Ness is a [[WideEyedIdealist crusader]], but Malone quickly shows him that if he's going make any headway in this war, he needs to operate on the edges of the law, sometimes outside.
* MultipleGunshotDeath: [[spoiler: Jim Malone. Pretty rare for the Trope, he manages to survive long enough to provide Ness a vital clue, although the scene makes it clear that he's in incredible agony]].
* NaturalizedName: George Stone's birth name is Giuseppe Petri, a close-enough translation ("Petri" is close to ''pietre'', Italian for "stones", but Giuseppe's English equivalent is traditionally Joseph, not George; normally, George would be the Anglicized version of "Georgio").
* NeverBringAKnifeToAGunFight: Malone provides the page quote and this memorable line, "Now isn't that just like a wop, brings a knife to a gunfight!" [[spoiler:Subverted in that the knife guy is actually just bait meant to lure Malone into Frank Nitti's Tommy gun ambush]].
** Could also be a CallBack to Malone's "Chicago way" speech
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Ness' speech about the Chicago way and all his moves to honor it (read the [[CycleOfRevenge conflict escalation]]) ultimately puts his family in great danger, so that [[spoiler:his wife and daughter have to move away from their house to avoid murder or [[AFateWorsethanDeath worse]]]]. Strangely enough, the threat to his family comes as a surprise to Ness, implying that he honestly thought that Capone would never go that far (or, as in his speech he always has the last word, maybe he ''would'' go even further than Capone's murder of his family... [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge Better not to know]]).
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Malone is very vocal about his anti-Italian prejudice, but Stone earns his respect.
* OfficerOHara: Malone and Mike.
* OhCrap:
** Malone has a tragic one when he sees Nitti waiting with his Tommy Gun and realizes he's been set up.
** Nitti when he realizes Ness [[DisneyVillainDeath isn't taking him into custody after all]].
** The barber trying to shave Capone while he chats with the reporters, after Al moves suddenly and gets a nasty cut on the cheek from his razor.
* OldFashionedCopper: Although not a British film, Malone fills this role. He is introduced by being such a hardass that he tells ''Elliot Ness'' to straighten up. His idea of recruiting a new cop? Go directly to the Police Academy and find the guy who shoots straightest.
** Gets downplayed in the end, seeing Malone ultimately picked the second-best shooter, as the best shooter could barely put together an intelligible sentence:
-->'''Malone''': There goes the next Chief of Police!
* OldSchoolChivalry: The Mounties. To such a ridiculous degree that almost blows the whole Whiskey Exchange ambush. Their glorious melodramatic head-on charge gives the gangsters plenty of warning to get ready. If The Untouchables didn't cut them off from behind, the gangsters would have probably escaped.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Sean Connery's Irish-Scottish brogue. Almost comical when Jimmy Malone's talking to Chief Dorsett (who has a pronounced Irish brogue)... it's even more obvious Connery's accent is Scottish, not Irish.
* PragmaticHero: Malone. In spades. The standout example is his gruesome "interrogation" and "execution" to scare George into cooperating. It's disturbing, but works extremely well.
* PreMortemOneLiner: Ness, to Nitti. Technically, it's still pre-mortem, as Nitti is still falling when Ness says it.
--> '''Nitti''': He died like a pig.\\
'''Ness''': [[BerserkButton What did you say]]?\\
'''Nitti''': I said that your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig. Now you think about that when I beat the rap.\\
''[As Nitti walks away, Ness grabs him]''\\
'''Nitti''': Hey! AAHH!\\
''[Ness pushes him off the roof]''\\
'''Nitti''': [[OhCrap AAAHHH!]]\\
* PsychoForHire: Frank Nitti.
* PutDownYourGunAndStepAway: The court guard tries this on Nitti when Elliot Ness figures out that Nitti was the one who shot [[spoiler: Malone]], and gets shot for his troubles.
* RealityIsUnrealistic:
** The infamous baseball bat scene seems like an over-the-top fabrication. But not only did Al Capone really do this... he attacked ''three'' associates during a dinner party this way. At the same time! Capone didn't kill them outright, though; he beat them senseless and then had his bodyguards finish them off with bullets.
** The Chicago police department seems outrageously corrupt for dramatic purposes. But this is more or less what The Feds had to deal with. The Mafia and the local police often were public rivals, but secret partners. As long as the mob kept the violence low and kept to the shadows, they allowed them to bootleg and operate. For a cut, of course. (In addition, Prohibition was basically unenforceable.)
* RecklessGunUsage: Probably unintentional on the part of the filmmakers, but the Untouchables in general and Ness in particular have a problem with this trope. The latter has a nasty habit of pointing at things with his weapon, and even hugs his daughter ''while carrying a .45 with his finger in the trigger well.''
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: The tommy gun of one gangster jams during a fight. (TruthInTelevision: a problem real tommy guns were frequently subject to, which is one of the many reasons it was never as popular as gangland movies would have you believe.) To the gangster's credit he tries repeatedly to clear the jam, but it gives the mousy accountant among the Untouchables time to get close enough to KO him with the butt of his shotgun.
* RooftopConfrontation: The final showdown between Ness and Nitti takes place on the roof of the courthouse.

* SceneryPorn: While they may be on the wrong side of Montana, the Rockies seen in the border raid are breath taking.
* SchiffOneLiner: "I think I'll have a drink". Doubles as a [[MythologyGag meta-continuity nod]] to the TV-series.
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Moral crusader Eliot Ness earned his men the nickname "The Untouchables" by his vehement refusal of a large bribe from Al Capone.
* ShameIfSomethingHappened: Frank Nitti threatens Eliot Ness's family in this manner.
-->'''Frank Nitti:''' Nice house.
* ShotgunsAreJustBetter: With the exception of the occasional Tommy Gun, the Untouchables wield pump-action shotguns as their main long arms.
** Malone keeps a double-barrel sawed-off in his apartment for protection, but [[spoiler:never gets to use it before Nitti mows him down]].
* ShoutOut:
** The baby carriage rolling down the stairs in Union Station is a direct homage to the famous "OdessaSteps" sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 masterpiece ''Film/TheBattleshipPotemkin''.
** This being a Creator/BrianDePalma film, the opening bar bombing owes a debt to Hitchcock.
* TheSociopath: Capone is a violent psychopath who finds joy in the death of his adversaries, and so does Nitti, his dragon.
* TheSquad: Also a BadassCrew.
** TheHero: Ness.
** TheMentor: Malone. Also doubles as TheLancer.
** TheAce: Stone. He's the best shooter promoted from the police force, and proves it during the train station shootout. He can also be considered TheBigGuy.
** TheSmartGuy: Oscar.
* StandardPoliceMotto: The first cadet interviewed for the team stammers out "To protect and serve" when asked why he wants to join the force. Stone gives a slightly more elaborate, "To protect the property and citizenry of the City of Chicago." Malone isn't impressed by either.
* SteelEarDrums: The baby in the carriage sequence.
* SuicidalGotcha: Elliot Ness chases Frank Nitti onto the roof where he waits in ambush. Ness rolls to the side to evade his fire, only to roll right off the roof with a scream. A smirking Nitti saunters up to the edge to look over, only to be shot by Ness who's lying on a wooden platform, presumably put up for painting or window washing.
* TeamShot: See the image up there. Also an in-universe example, the four pose for a family photo in a restaurant.
* TitleDrop: "You fellows are ''untouchable'', is that the thing? No one can get to you? Hey, everyone can be gotten to."
* TooDumbToLive: No, Mr. Nitti, I don't think it's a particularly good idea to taunt Ness about his partner you murdered when both of you are standing on top of a tall building.
** The Sicilian gunman who tries to shoot Ness with a pistol, when the latter has a shotgun on him, at virtually arm's length.
** Even Ness gets one! Furious at Capone, he draws his pistol and points it at the gangster, whose cordon of gunmen all draw on him. They were well within their legal rights to gun him down, since he was going to pull the trigger on an unarmed man for all they knew.
*** Though it should be noted that he wasn't necessarily "dumb," just blinded by rage.
* TookALevelInBadass: Oscar, the federal accountant assigned to Ness's team. More an office worker than a field agent, he takes to wielding a shotgun pretty quickly and gets a few Moments of Asskickery during the Canadian border raid.
* TragicKeepsake: [[spoiler: Malone's keychain]].
* TryNotToDie: Essentially, Malone's first rule of law enforcement: Make sure when your shift is over, you go home alive.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Ness and his Untouchables really existed. They really did get Capone on tax evasion. The baseball bat scene and the jury switch are based on real events. On the other hand, quite a lot of the story is just plain made up. The depiction of Ness owes more to dramatic effect than historical accuracy, and the rest of the Untouchables depicted in the film are entirely fictional. In real life there were 11 "Untouchables" not counting Ness, and they all lived to see the end of Prohibition. So did [[spoiler:Frank Nitti]], who took the reins of the Chicago Outfit after Capone went to prison, successfully diversified the Outfit's interests to keep it going after Prohibition ended, and eventually committed suicide in 1943. The tax evasion case was based on information collected by Frank J. Wilson, from the Treasury Department's Bureau of Internal Revenue; the credit for bringing down Capone belongs to him, not Eliot Ness. Capone and Ness never met face-to-face.
** Of note is that Jim Malone is named after Mike Malone, an agent that infiltrated Capone's organization and then served as a witness in the trial. He died of natural causes in 1960.
* VillainousBreakdown:
** Capone's unflappable demeanor slips badly after he learns about the raid at the Canadian border:
-->I want you to get this fuck where he breathes! I want you to find this nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I want to go there in the middle of the night and I want to piss on his ashes!
** During the court case: [[spoiler:As soon as the Judge decides to switch the Juries, Capone freaks out at his lawyer. As soon as his lawyer switches pleas, Capone punches him. When Ness gloats to his face, he repeats the phrase "You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge" to the point where the more he says it, the more he realizes his life of crime is over]].
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Capone, who is popular with the media (and somewhat of a celebrity) despite his illegal ties.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Ness is sorely tempted to shoot Nitti during the rooftop chase, when it's just the two of them there. He decides against it and arrests Nitti instead. [[spoiler:But then Nitti [[BerserkButton just had to go taunting]] about how Malone died by his hand, and how he'll still beat the rap... so Ness tosses Nitti off the roof to punish him, taunting him as he falls to his very KarmicDeath]].
* WhereDoYouThinkYouAre:
-->'''RCMP Captain''': I do not approve of your methods.\\
'''Eliot Ness''': Yeah, well... You're not from Chicago.
* WhyDontYaJustShootHim: A heroic example. When George is outrunning the older (and much heavier) Malone, Malone fires a quick burst from his Tommy Gun in the air to end the chase.
--> "Enough of this running shit..."
* WickedCultured: Capone, resplendent in evening wear, is enjoying a performance of the opera ''Pagliacci'' when his henchman arrives to inform him of another successful hit. TruthInTelevision: the real Capone was an opera lover and also a fan (and impresario) of the hot new sound of his era, jazz.
* WouldHurtAChild: The EstablishingCharacterMoment for Capone's organization involves a child being killed when a bar is blown up. Not to mention Capone ordering the death of Ness' ''infant'' daughter.
* YouHaveFailedMe: Al Capone beats one of his goons to death with a bat.