The 1987 Film
A Treasury agent who is willing to stop Al Capone's reign of crime and terror at all costs.
- Action Dad: He has two children by the end of the movie, and he's a Treasury agent who gets in shootouts with gangsters on his crusade to take down Al Capone.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Eliot Ness is the most classy of the group thanks to his black suit, though most of the time he is seen in action with his longcoat. Then he chases Nitti through the rooftop and we see it in full action, and also for a visible contrast between Ness and the gangster in white.
- Batman Gambit: The way Ness gets the the Judge to bring in a new jury for Al Capone's trial. He lies and told the Judge his name was in the ledger.
- Being Good Sucks: At first, he disposes every lawful procedure to catch Capone, then Jim Malone shows him a much more unorthodox way to defeat the gangster's organization. At the end, he forces the judge to change the corrupt jury telling him that he would say his name is in said corrupt jury's list.
- Berserk Button: He finally cracks when Frank Nitti taunts him about how he killed Malone and ends up sending him to a Disney Villain Death.
- Bond One-Liner: After killing Nitti, he takes the time to tell George of what happened earlier.Ness: He's in the car.
- By-the-Book Cop: At first. He's quickly taught the folly of this when faced with the likes of Capone. He then goes full Cowboy Cop, raids places without a warrant, and, in one case, outright murders Nitti, whom he just arrested.
- Determinator: To stop Capone at all costs. At first, with conventional legal procedures, but when he fails at this and teams up with Malone, the Irish cop teaches him how to deal with dangerous criminals that don't hesitate at killing anyone, even sacrificing his moral convictions.
- The Faceless: In his introductory scene, he's only seen from behind.
- Firing One-Handed: Famously during the staircase shootout with a Winchester Model 1912 shotgun.◊
- Good Is Not Soft: By the end of the movie he admits he's broken every law he's sworn to uphold, including cold-blooded murder and blackmailing a Judge, but is convinced they were the right thing to do.
- Happily Married: To his wife, Catherine, who writes him encouraging notes saying how proud she is of him.
- The Hero: The one who leads the crusade against Al Capone's criminal schemes.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: When he first shows up, Capone learns of his raid on a warehouse full of liquor and switches the cargo to make Ness look like a fool. Sure enough, next day there's a headline of Ness looking foolish, holding one of the umbrellas found in the raid.
- Heroes Want Redheads: His lovely wife, Catherine, who is a redhead.
- Heroic BSoD: His good friend, Oscar Wallace, and Malone have been killed, the District Attorney wants to suspend the case because the latter individuals were important witnesses for the prosecution and Walter Payne, Capone's bookkeeper, may have left the city under his boss' orders, leaving Ness hopeless and almost giving up if Malone didn't intervene.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In reality, while the Untouchables put pressure on Capone's organization, and Ness weeded out the corruption in Chicago's law enforcement, it was an unrelated IRS operation that ultimately brought down Capone. Ness's self-promotion at the time helped popularize the impression that Ness was responsible. The film also portrays Ness as an Action Dad who gains resolve when Capone targets his family, but Ness had no children when taking on Capone. His later life was marked with business failures, alcoholism, and his failure to capture the Cleveland Torso Murderer.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: He is the leader of the Untouchables no less. Tell that to the corrupt alderman who tried to bribe him. He ain't playing in the same league as Capone.
- Papa Wolf: To his daughter and pregnant wife. His first reaction to Nitti threatening them is immediately chasing after him with a gun, before rushing into the house to make sure they're okay.
- Rage Breaking Point: Ness is fairly a non-violent person but then Capone menaces his family, faces the very gangster himself after Oscar Wallace is killed by Frank Nitti and throws Nitti off the building rooftop when he says that Malone died screaming like a pig.
- Reckless Gun Usage: He has a nasty habit of pointing at things with his weapon, and hugs his daughter while carrying a .45 with his finger in the trigger well.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: He earned his men the nickname "The Untouchables" by his vehement refusal of a large bribe from Al Capone.
- What You Are in the Dark: At the climax he gets the drop on Frank Nitti, the man who murdered Wallace and Malone, with no one else around. He prepares to murder the oblivious Nitti in revenge, but relents and arrests him instead. Then Nitti pushes his luck by bragging about how Malone died screaming, resulting in Ness throwing him off the courthouse roof.
James "Jim" Malone
A veteran and tough street cop of Irish ancestry who has seen enough of Chicago's corruption.
- Almighty Janitor: He's a simple beat cop who is the most competent man on the force by a long shot and on a first name basis with the chief.
- Almost Dead Guy: Even after Nitti shoots him almost a dozen times, Malone manages to cling to life just long enough to give Ness the train schedule of Capone's bookkeeper.
- Badass Mustache: This time Sean Connery didn't grow a beard for the character.
- Being Good Sucks: What Malone teaches to Ness.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: A trademark of Mr. Connery. They are very expressive. Pay attention when he is "amused" to hear George Stone as Petri's real name.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: To his fellow police workers. His old friend Mike points out that his new clothes are not very proper for an officer.
- Combat Pragmatist: When Bowtie Driver attacks him with a knife, he responds with a sawn-off shotgun.
- Cool Old Guy: Even with his brute personality, he is a friendly and charismatic man. He is tremendously tough for his age. He can stand a fight punch to punch and survive a long time after he has been shot to death by Nitti's machine gun.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Nitti empties most of a 50 round Thompson magazine into him and it takes an excruciatingly long time to die.
- Deadpan Snarker: Being as badass and experienced as he is, it is not unusual that he likes to remark everything.Malone: (After listening to a stuttering police recruit) There goes the next chief of police.
- Death by Racism: A rare heroic example. When the mob sends a knife man into his apartment, Malone pulls a sawed-off shotgun on him. Malone calls the knife man a "dago bastard" while chasing him out out of his apartment. Unfortunately for Malone, Nitti guns him down at the doorway immediately after that.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in Ness' arms after Nitti ambushes him with a Tommy Gun, but not before passing on vital information about the bookkeeper whose testimony can bring Capone down.
- Dies Wide Open: His eyes remain open after his death.
- Doomed Moral Victor: He's murdered by Capone's men, but his teachings help Ness bring Capone to justice.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: While he's lured to his death quite easily, he doesn't die after absorbing 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 Final Words in his final breath. The scene couldn't be underscored better by Morricone's death theme.
- Fighting Irish: He won't surrender for anything.
- Knight In Sour Armor: He doesn't trust anyone, has a cynical outlook on life, and is willing to perform dubiously moral acts to bring down Capone, but when Ness gives him the chance to join him and make a difference, Malone agrees because he wants to cleanup Chicago.
- The Last DJ: When Ness asks him why he's still a beat cop at his age, the latter answers that he's one of the few policemen in Chicago who isn't on the take.
- The Mentor: Years and years of patrolling the streets and watching his home city turn into a corrupt place made him very experienced, which is one of the valuable things Ness sees in him aside from his honesty. Though he teaches Ness some very unorthodox methods to deal with Capone's men.
- Mentor Archetype: He teaches Ness how to deal with Capone's forces in Chicago beyond conventional legal methods.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: He's Ness' mentor, showing him the ropes on how to bring down Capone and the corrupt system working against him. Then, Frank Nitti murders him on Capone's orders.
- Multiple Gunshot Death: 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 the whole time.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: He's not at all shy about voicing his prejudices towards Italian people. He gets along well with fellow Untouchable, George Stone, aka Giuseppe Petri, after insulting his heritage as a Secret Test of Character.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: He's supposed to be Irish, yet Sean Connery speaks in his normal accent. When asked why he didn't attempt an Irish accent for the film, he reportedly said, "If I didn't talk like this, you wouldn't know who I am." (it was named "Worst Accent Ever" by a UK magazine).
- Officer O'Hara: A tough one. He's stated as Irish though Mr. Connery's only thing in common with Ireland is his surname.
- Oh, Crap!: After he chases the Bowtie Driver out of his house and finds himself face to face with Nitti.
- Old-Fashioned Copper: 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 literally shoots the straightest.
- Only Sane Man: One of the few police officers in Chicago who is totally incorruptible.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: 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.
- Pragmatic Hero: In spades. The standout example is his gruesome "interrogation" and "execution" to scare George into cooperating. It's disturbing, but works extremely well.
- Religious Bruiser: As an Irishman, he is a proper Catholic. He is always seen with a St. Jude medallion, the patron of police and lost causes. It tells a lot of his tough personality and how much he loves his job. Also, he finds the only secure place to talk about anything in a church.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Mike Dorsett, the Chief of Police, who's corrupt and on Capone's payroll. Mike is concerned enough with Malone's safety to warn him to get out of town, but when he refuses to help Malone find Capone's bookkeeper, Malone resorts to beating the information out of him.
An accountant sent from Washington to help Ness but ends up being a field agent. He also comes up with the idea of catching Al Capone with tax evasion accusations.
- Adorkable: He's a very nerdy guy with an enthusiasm for accounting. Even when he takes a level in badass, he awkwardly charges his opponents while screaming then follows it up by sipping alcohol from the now leaking barrels when no one's looking.
- Badass Bookworm: As an accountant he has never been in action yet he can overpower dangerous gangsters when given a weapon. He enjoys it a lot.
- Boring, but Practical: His ultimate plan to bring down Capone is not to charge him with his countless murders and bootlegging, but to charge him with tax evasion. It takes a while for him to convince his fellow Untouchables about this, but they concede after finding evidence that could make it work.
- Cassandra Truth: Wallace tries to persuade Ness to go after Capone on tax evasion charges, but Ness blows him off. It doesn't sound so ridiculous after the Canadian border raid, thanks to George and his account ledger, and it ends up being the charge that gets Capone sent to prison.
- Distracted by the Sexy: When he sees the Attorney's beautiful secretary coming from the lift. Being a cop is much better than a desk accountant! Unfortunately this means that he doesn't notice the other occupant in the elevator is Capone hitman, Frank Nitti.
- Justice by Other Legal Means: His plan to put Capone away for tax evasion. It works.
- Moe Greene Special: Shot through the right eye by Nitti.
- Oh, Crap!: When Nitti turns his gun on him in the elevator.
- Sacrificial Lion: The first of The Untouchables to die.
- Specs of Awesome: Besides coming up with the plan to take down Capone, he shows himself to be this. During the Canadian border battle, when he runs out of ammo, he charges one of the hoods and knocks him unconscious with the butt of his shotgun. Sadly, after the battle his badassery will be short-lived.
- Took a Level in Badass: He stays at desk looking at numbers but when Malone gives him a shotgun he becomes efficient. In the Canadian frontier assault, he shoots at several gangsters and knocks out one with the shotgun's breechblock.
George Stone (Giuseppe Petri)
A rookie police officer of Italian origin.
- The Ace: He's the best shooter promoted from the police force, and proves it during the train station shootout.
- Berserk Button: If you insult his Italian ancestry, though the wise old Malone used this for a Secret Test of Character.
- Bond One-Liner: "Two." after shooting the Bowtie Driver through the mouth.
- Chekhov's Skill: His Improbable Aiming Skills becomes very important during the train station shootout where he headshots the gangster using Capone's bookkeeper as a Human Shield.
- Gratuitous Italian: When he claims "Santo Jude" as Malone mentions St. Jude.
- Guns Akimbo: Wields two guns in the train station shootout.
- The Gunslinger: He was one of the two best gunmen at the police academy (and didn't stutter like Williamson). One of the reasons he got recruited.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He shoots the Bowtie Gangster through the *teeth* at a good 10 yards, while holding up a carriage and laying on his back.
- Naturalized Name: His 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 "Giorgio").
- New Meat: He's a rookie cop who's the best shot among his peers. Malone has Ness recruit him in order to get a skilled shot who hasn't had a chance to be corrupted yet.
- The Quiet One: From all the Untouchables, he almost never speaks.
- Token Enemy Minority: As an Italian cop going up against Al Capone and his mob.
- Tragic Keepsake: Ness gives him the deceased Malone's St. Jude medallion and callbox key, telling him Malone would want a cop to have it.
- Weapon of Choice: A Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver.
A ruthless and powerful Italian-American gangster who establishes a reign of crime, alcohol smuggling and corruption in the city of Chicago.
- Adipose Rex: Much like the real Capone, he is quite chubby. De Niro had to gain some weight à la Raging Bull and put on some pillows to make him fatter.
- Bad Boss: See You Have Failed Me.
- Bald of Evil: He has very few hairs and of course he's evil.
- Big Bad: It's his fault that Chicago is a city of corruption and violence even though he does not take part in any of his schemes.
- The Don: He's the crime lord of Chicago who controls all the illegal activity and has the cops and other officials in his pocket.
- The Dreaded: Capone is very feared because of his Hair-Trigger Temper and the violent consequences he may take if someone messes with him. Just look at the face of the barber who accidentally cut him at the beginning.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Implied since he's outraged when Ness confronts him with his crimes in front of Capone's son.
- Evil Gloating: When Capone hears of Malone's death, right at the most heartbreaking scene of Pagliacci, he chuckles for a moment.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's a Magnificent Bastard who goes from pontificating on the joys of baseball one second to savagely murdering an associate with a bat the next. Every word that passes his lips is met by sycophantic laughter.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He has a Berserk Button that is very easy to push. Try to cross him, insult him in front of his son or mess in his "business".
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Well, sure, Capone himself was a ruthless crime boss who wasn't above killing his own associates or starting a Mob War, 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.
- Hypocrite: In public, he is seen smiling and an affable citizen, who claims that the violence in Chicago is not his fault or that he doesn't evade taxes.
- Justice by Other Legal Means: The classic example of sending a gangster and killer away on tax evasion.
- Karma Houdini Warranty: For the entirety of the film, up until the end, he's evaded suffering any consequences for his crimes.
- Kick the Dog: He 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 children and other innocent bystanders getting blown up at the beginning.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He had an intricate empire that let him do horrible things with impunity... and was taken down in a way he didn't expect.
- Never My Fault: He always excuses himself to the public that neither he or his "employees" are the ones causing the scaling violence of Chicago. It's because it isn't a "good business".
- Pet the Dog: After being accidentaly cut on the cheek by his barber which look terrified he reassures him that it's all right.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He's popular with the media (and somewhat of a celebrity) despite his illegal ties.
- Villainous Breakdown: He starts to lose it when the Judge has his bribed jury switched with an unbiased one, but when his attorney pleas guilty, he loses it, punching his lawyer out. By the time Ness comes to gloat, Capone is left restrained by his men, repeatedly screaming that Ness is, "Nothing but talk and a badge!"
- Wicked Cultured: He enjoys opera (like his real life counterpart) as much as he enjoys to hear that a police officer has been brutally murdered.
- You Have Failed Me: In an infamous scene he beats an underling to death with a baseball bat during dinner because the man failed to stop the Untouchables from raiding his stash of booze.
Al Capone's efficient goon and a killer with no remorse that would do anything for his boss without hesitation.
- Car Cushion: How Ness kills him.
- Combat Pragmatist: Sends the Bowtie Driver to lure Malone out before shooting him with a tommy gun.
- Cop Killer: In addition to Wallace and Malone, he also kills two uniformed cops as he leaves the police station.
- Creepy Monotone: He is usually seen in silence, but when he talks...
- Death by Adaptation: In Real Life, he was not killed by Ness, but took over the Chicago Outfit after Capone's imprisonment and lived until 1943.
- Disney Villain Death: Ness pushes him off the building's rooftop after saying that Malone died screaming like a pig.
- The Dragon: He does every dirty duty that Al Capone commands, mostly assassinations.
- Dressing as the Enemy: A villainous example - he briefly dresses up as a police officer to infiltrate the police department and assassinate Oscar and the informant, along with two other police officers who were waiting outside.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: As portrayed by Billy Drago, he looks like the human form of Death walking the Earth.
- Evil Gloating: Something he probably should have done after getting safely off the roof!
- Hero Killer: Murders George the accountant, Oscar, the two cops who were going to be escorting George, and Malone, plus several people, including a little girl.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: The real Nitti wasn't as scary as how the movie portrays him. For the most part, he delegated the "dirtier" parts of his job to his subordinates.
- Historical Beauty Update: The real Nitti◊ was a deceptively meek-looking guy with a Hitler mustache, not the skinny, pale and skull-faced psychopath of the film.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Nitti was one of Capone's number two but wasn't the cold killer from the film and preferred to stay in the shadows.
- Impersonating an Officer: He disguises himself as a police officer to assassinate the bookkeeper the Untouchables have persuaded to testify, right inside the police station.
- Karmic Death: He's killed by Ness in retaliation for killing his friend Malone and taunting Ness about how he died.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He kills George for cooperating with the Untouchables.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He kills Malone and shoots at least three other people during his escape, but he's sure he'll never go to jail. He doesn't.
- Lean and Mean: Unlike Capone, he's quite thin.
- Oh, Crap!: When Ness pushes him off the rooftop to his death.
- Psycho for Hire: A psychotic and sadistic gangster who kills people without even batting an eye and who also takes pride in it.
- Slasher Smile: He has one when Ness arrest him, knowing he'll be released soon. Billy Drago is quite an expert at this.
- The Sociopath: Never shows sign of remorse for any of his victims. When Capone beats a man to death he simply watches him without changing expression. We can say he almost surpass his boss in evilness.
- Villain in a White Suit: A sociopathic villain who frequently wears a white suit. It also has a very symbolic black and white contrast with Ness' (a law enforcement agent) suit.
- Would Hurt a Child: He indirectly killed the girl at the bar but he didn't care. Nitti would kill Ness' family, including his daughter, to stop messing in Capone's business.
The man who checks the smuggling cargo for Capone.
- Asshole Victim: Even though he had a pivotal role in the story, he was very rude with the Untouchables.
- Bring My Brown Pants: 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 clean himself 'til after he talks!
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's the man sitting to Nitti's right when Capone beats one of his henchmen to death with a bat and is visibly wincing whenever Capone strikes a blow.
- Dirty Coward: He readily mouths off to the Untouchables until Malone scares the daylights out of him by shooting an (already-dead) gangster.
- Only One Name: The end credits have him as George.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. He shares the name with Giuseppe Petri's American name, George Stone.
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: When Malone shoots the corpse to scare him.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He keeps the ledger that contains proof of Capone's tax evasion. After Frank Nitti kills him for collaborating with the Untouchables, the district attorney wants to drop the case for lack of evidence.
Capone's bookkeeper and accountant.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's first seen doing his bookkeeping job in Capone's hotel room. Apparently there is only one place for an accountant in the film. But Oscar is killed by Nitti and Payne becomes the hope spot to process Capone for evading taxes.
- Please, I Will Do Anything!: When he is retained at gunpoint by the bowtie driver, he encourages Ness and Stone to kill him and promises to give any information they need to know.
A lesser henchman in Capone's organization.
- Boom, Headshot!: Shot through the mouth by Stone who had him at gunpoint after threatening to kill Walter Payne.
- Chekovs Gunman: He is seen several times, particularly when he lures Malone out to be shot by Nitti and is later the one who takes the bookkeeper hostage on the train station steps and gets shot by Stone.
- Human Shield: Uses Payne as one when all the other henchmen are dead in the station.
- Karmic Death: He lures Malone into Nitti's tommy-gun ambush and gets a bullet in his head from Stone towards the end of the film.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Stone shoots him through the mouth mid-countdown.
- Knife Nut: Uses a knife to try and kill Malone.
- Made of Iron: Takes a shotgun blast to the shoulder from Ness during the shootout and the arm is fine about a minute later.
- Mook Lieutenant: Leads Capone's henchmen during the shootout in the train station.
- No Name Given: His name is not mentioned any time and it is credited as "Bowtie Driver" only.
- Unfriendly Fire: Guns down several civilians who get caught in the crossfire during the shootout in the train station.
Eliot's perfect redheaded wife.
- Housewife: She prepares the food, takes care of her daughter and her newborn son, and is interested in the house's decoration.
- Happily Married: Catherine and Eliot are never seen arguing even with the stressful situation they're living with.
- Living Emotional Crutch: To Eliot. She loves him very much and supports him when bad things happen.
The Chief of the Chicago Police Department and an old friend of Jim Malone.
- Da Chief: Only in the literal sense since he's the Chief of Police, but he's another corrupt cop on Capone's payroll.
- Dirty Cop: Despite selling himself to Capone like most police officers, he helps Jim to gather information about the gangster's whereabouts and he is concerned about his safety.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's one of Capone's moles but performs the sign of the cross when he sees the police officers Nitti's murdered. He's also disturbed by Wallace's death.
- Minion with an F in Evil: He's one of Capone's moles, yes, however he's not shown to be evil or something. He also appears quite remorseful when Wallace is killed by Nitti.
- Mole in Charge: The Chief of Police, and a corrupt cop working for Capone. However he is also feeding information to Malone, apparently more out of friendship than because he believes the Untouchables will achieve anything.
- Officer O'Hara: An Irish police officer.
- Pet the Dog: Consoling Malone after Wallace's death and warning him to get out of town to save his own life.
- The Straight Man: To Malone's Bunny-Ears Lawyer personality.
- We Used to Be Friends: Mike and Malone used to be friends, and Mike still cares enough about him to warn him to get out of town for his own safety.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is never stated what was his fate after fighting with Jim Malone.
A young journalist who wants to team up with Ness to have the latest news.
- Intrepid Reporter: Though he is seen more in public appearances, he went to the snowplow raid to get a exclusive.
- No Name Given: His name only appears in the credits and isn't even pronounced in the whole film.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Like Oscar Wallace, he is a source of funny moments due to his gossipy nature, such as asking the District Attorney if he is part of the Capone Organization.