Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Past Perfect: The Untouchables (1987)

Home movie gems from the past few decades that need some dusting but never get old.


I have a very clear childhood memory of my slightly older brother coming back from some sort of sleepover or football camp, and in hushed tones telling me about the coolest film in the world. I sat in awe as he detailed the violence, the heroics, the scary bits. It was rated 15, and back in the late 80s I was still miles away, but rarely have I yearned so much to watch a film. When, of course, I eventually did, years had passed, and I was expecting an anti-climax. Thankfully, it didn’t materialise, and to this day repeat viewings keep rewarding me with wonderful set pieces, memorable characters, and a team of good guys it’s impossible not to feel proud of. The casting is wonderful, with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery in fine form, and the often forgotten De Niro looking unnaturally large as the menacing Al Capone. Brian De Palma works wonders with light and colour, aided by the period setting, and everything looks so classy since the whole cast is wearing Armani. Plus, Ennio Morricone blessed the film with one of his all-time greatest heroic themes, which would even make the Care Bears look cool. Crime dramas are made quite frequently, but this remains one of the very best.

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