Kevin Costner Celebrates 35 Years of ‘The Untouchables’: ‘What a Tremendous Ride’

by Lauren Boisvert

“The Untouchables” came out on this day in 1987, and its star, Kevin Costner–who also recently reflected on being in “Hatfields & McCoys”–took to Twitter to celebrate the movie’s release and post a pivotal scene. In the scene, Costner as Eliot Ness heads into the Lexington Hotel to confront Robert DeNiro as Al Capone. Ness punches out one of Capone’s made men, then threatens Capone with a fight in the lobby of the hotel. Ness calls him a “son of a b—h,” and Capone delivers the scathing line “f–k you and your family” for calling him that in front of his son.

“35 years ago today, we released #TheUntouchables into the world,” Costner wrote on Twitter, accompanying the video. “What a tremendous ride for all of us involved.”

Continuing the scene, Ness goes to pull a gun on Capone, but Capone’s men are much faster. That’s when Sean Connery as Jim Malone shows up to get Ness out of there. Capone keeps taunting Ness on his way out the door, though, claiming he has “nothing in court, you don’t got the bookkeeper, nothing, nothing!”

This scene comes after the group The Untouchables has been formed, made up of Eliot Ness, Jim Malone, George Stone (Charles Martin Smith), and accountant Oscar Wallace (Andy Garcia). Wallace and Capone’s bookkeeper are killed by one of Capone’s men after a successful raid on one of Capone’s liquor shipments. Subsequently, Ness goes to confront Capone about his dead friend, resulting in the argument and threats.

Brian De Palma directed “The Untouchables,” along with “Scarface” in 1983, “Carrie” in 1976, and “Dressed to Kill” in 1980, among many others. He’s known for working with macabre subjects, as well as the suspense, thriller, and psychological genres. “The Untouchables” is definitely a must-watch for those fans of gangsters, historical fiction, or Kevin Costner in his early days.

The Story Behind Kevin Costner’s ‘The Untouchables’

So, you’re wondering, what’s the truth about Al Capone and “The Untouchables”? The film “The Untouchables” was based on Eliot Ness’ posthumous memoir of the same name. In it, he chronicled his efforts to bring Al Capone to justice for bootlegging during prohibition. Eliot Ness was a star member of the Prohibition Unit of the Justice Department. Ness had about 10 to 15 men in The Untouchables, all mostly young, stand-up guys who weren’t swayed or corrupted.

But, as Film School Rejects reports, Ness’ book, and subsequently the movie, is pretty much all made up. Eliot Ness had a fondness for mythologizing his role in The Untouchables, and while the group did severely hinder Capone’s outfit in Chicago, it wasn’t really just Ness at the center of it all.

Eventually, the courts took Al Capone in on tax evasion instead of Ness’ approach of bootlegging. U.S. Attorney George Johnson claimed that “jurors loved to drink […] but hated people who cheated on their taxes,” writes Film School Rejects. Therefore, they finally took Capone down; just not in the way Eliot Ness planned.