YMMV: The Untouchables

The film contains examples of:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Possibly overlapping with Fridge Brilliance; Capone's lawyer, at the end, immediately enters a plea of guilty as soon as the judge orders the bribed jury swapped out for another one. The lawyer does this without Capone's consent which, as noted on this wiki and elsewhere, is grounds for an immediate mistrial in real life. Anyone ever consider that said attorney knew this and pulled the stunt as a Hail Mary to get Capone off once he knew it was otherwise all over?
  • Awesome Music: Original score by Ennio Morricone himself.
    • Its centerpiece, The Strength of the Righteous, is instantly recognizable to many, but few remember its origins in this film.
    • Victorious / End Credits provides an uplifting contrast to an ominous score / grim film.
    • Al Capone's Theme. The second half plays during the scene where a jubilant Al Capone gets word that Eliot Ness' sting operation was a fiasco; there's even a very jarring "wah-wah" horn section in it, as if Capone is mocking Ness.
  • Cliché Storm: The amount of tropes this film plays remorselessly straight (among other things, The Mentor, Never Hurt an Innocent, Sacrificial Lion, Man of Wealth and Taste, The Squad, You Have Failed Me, Black and White Morality, Very Loosely Based on a True Story, etc) can be rather jarring to to some modern viewers. But seeing how popular the film became in its day, and what a great following it still has, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • Complete Monster: Frank Nitti is presented as a Psycho for Hire for Al Capone. Introduced early on as Capone's main enforcer and hitman, Nitti is seen bombing a restaurant with a little girl inside, not caring that she's killed as well. Through the film, Nitti handles Capone's wetwork, ruthlessly murdering anyone in his way with barely disguised relish, continuing to eat his meal even as the man right next to him is having his brains bashed out by Capone, slaughtering both Oscar Wallace and the Capone man apprehended by the squad and writing "touchable" on the wall in their blood, and later gunning down tough Irish cop Malone. He threatens Elliot Ness's family if he won't drop his case. Nitti later tries to rub his own status as untouchable in Ness's face, even taunting him that Malone "died screaming like a stuck Irish pig," which finally makes even the composed Ness snap (leading Ness to throw Nitti off the roof, with Ness taunting Nitti as he falls screaming to his death).
  • Consolation Award: A conversation in the film Trainspotting suggests that Connery received the nod for Best Supporting Actor for this reason.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In this film, Sean Connery's character frequently says you should Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight. Not long afterwards, Sean would star in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as the father of Indiana Jones, a man that always brings a gun to knife fights.
    • Similarly, Austrian-born actor John Banner appeared on this show as a Bavarian brewmeister, who is later confronted by a fellow brewmeister - whose brewery was rushed by the police - to see what he knows about any of it. He knows nussink! NUSSINK!
  • Memetic Mutation: "I want him dead! I want his family.. dead!"
    • "You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge!!"
    • The whole "How to get Capone" speech.
    • "Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him."
  • Shocking Swerve: Nitti gloats about killing Malone after Ness takes him into custody on the top of the Court Building. Then Ness grabs him from behind, and the POV indicates he's about to angrily shove Nitti face-first into the roof door.... and at the last second, the POV (literally) swerves to show Ness has something *much* worse in mind for this creep.
  • Special Effect Failure: Toward the end of the bridge scene, Ness throws a frag grenade at one of the gangsters, which then explodes. Even on a first viewing, it's apparent that the grenade itself does not blow up, but rather a separate charge buried directly behind it.