Trivia / The Untouchables

The 1987 movie

  • Actor-Inspired Element: It was Sean Connery's idea to film the "blood oath" scene between Ness and Malone in a Catholic church. Originally it was going to take place on the street (in the same scene that follows the church scene). Connery felt that a church would be the only "safe" place in Chicago where the two characters would make such a commitment to fight Capone.
  • California Doubling: The Canadian Border raid was filmed at Hardin, Montana, which is about as far away from the Canadian border as you can get while still being in Montana.
  • Completely Different Title: In Sweden, the film was called "De omutbara", meaning "The Unbribable [Ones]".
  • Dyeing for Your Art / Method Acting: Robert De Niro gained 30 pounds for his role as Capone, and (allegedly) even insisted on wearing the same clothes Capone did, right down to his silk underwear.
  • Enforced Method Acting: For his death scene, Sean Connery did not expect the squibs to be as explosive as they were. After the first take, he was taken to the hospital with dust and fake blood in his eyes.
  • Fake Irish: Edinburgh-born Sean Connery as Jimmy Malone.
  • Fake Nationality: Havana-born Andy Garcia as an Italian-American (first generation), and the Kansas-born Native American and Romany Billy Drago as an Italian.
  • Star-Making Role: For Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia.
  • Throw It In: Kevin Costner ad-libbed the line "He's in the car," after throwing Nitti off of the roof.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Mel Gibson turned the role of Eliot Ness down in order to star in Lethal Weapon. Harrison Ford, Mickey Rourke, Michael Douglas, Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte, Jack Nicholson, William Hurt, Tom Berenger and Don Johnson also passed on it.
    • Suffolk-born Bob Hoskins was cast as Al Capone, but was paid a bundle of money once Brian De Palma brought Robert De Niro, the director's first choice all along, onboard.
    • Gene Hackman was offered the role of Malone.
    • In the original script, the final gunfight had Eliot Ness and George Stone battling Capone gunmen on a stopped train. Brian De Palma conceived the gunfight on the steps in Chicago's Union Station when Paramount decided that staging the scene and finding a 1930s period train would be too expensive.
    • There was originally a different ending for the movie. It was to have been a scene with the camera shooting a close up of Capone's face as it is being warmed up for a shave. And then the camera would have craned up to show the audience that he has reporters around him, but he is in his jail cell.
    • Cinematographer Stephen H. Burum originally wanted to shoot the film in black & white.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Brian De Palma said that when he was filming the scene in the train station, he made up the series of shots as the scene was being filmed.