How Well Do You Remember the Gangster Classic, The Untouchables (1987)?

By: J. Reinoehl
Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

De Palma had to push Paramount to get the $25 million production budget for The Untouchables. The film was successful in America and grossed $106 million worldwide. It was nominated for four Academy Awards and two Golden Globes, and Sean Connery won one of each for his role in the film. How well do you remember The Untouchables? Find out by taking this quiz.

In the opening press scene with Capone, what is Capone doing?

After directing Scarface in 1983, Brian De Palma had two films that did poorly. He wanted to make a big studio picture so he could have a commercial success that would let him do more movies closer to his heart. Paramount owned the rights to the television series, but neither the producer or writer were fans of the show, so it was easier for them to re-imagine the characters.

What problem was Eliot Ness specifically sent to Chicago to take care of?

"Thank you, Chief. At the request of the city of Chicago, the federal government, specifically the Department of the Treasury, has inaugurated a special program to deal with the flow of illegal liquor and the violence which it creates."

In Ness’ first bust, what symbol marked the crates?

"Remember, the liquor cases are marked with the red maple leaf… The Treasury Agent is in a gray suit with a white scarf."

What did Ness find instead of liquor in the crates at his first bust?

A newspaper photographer with quick reflexes catches the "befuddled" Ness with one of the opened umbrellas in a photograph, which of course winds up on the next day's front page.

Who played Eliot Ness?

Kevin Costner (b. January 18, 1955) was one of the first people chosen for the film after the producer saw him in Silverado, but he wasn’t a big-name actor at the time. Costner was initially not interested in the movie, but his agents convinced him to do it.

What, according to Jim Malone, was the first rule of law enforcement?

“You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: Make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.”

Which actor played Malone?

Sir Thomas Sean Connery (born October 8, 1939) felt the clothing designed by Giorgio Armani (Costume designer Marilyn Vance recommended he help with the costumes) was over the top, so he put together his own outfit.

Who was the first person Ness handpicked from the police force after the first raid was a bust?

The real Malone was a member of the Treasury Department, but he didn’t have any affiliation with Ness. He did infiltrate Capone’s establishment and was able to help find evidence against him.

What idea did Agent Wallace come up with for putting Capone in jail?

"And the [idea] that I want to try first is this: He has not filed a return since 1926 … An income tax return."

Where did Malone take Ness so they could talk about how to get Capone?

Although the movie had Ness recruiting three people for his team, in real life he found nine. None of the members were from the Chicago Police Department because of all the corruption within it.

At the beginning of the movie, in what was the bomb hidden that blew up the little girl?

It was an act of brutality that reminded the audience just how bad these bad guys were. “Mister— Mister— Hey, Mister, wait! Mister— wait! You forgot your brief—“

Finish the quote: "What is bootlegging? On the boat, it’s bootlegging. On Lake Shore Drive, it’s ______________."

"What is bootlegging? On the boat, it’s bootlegging. On Lake Shore Drive, it’s hospitality."

Where did Malone lead Ness and his crew on their first liquor raid together?

Most of the movie was based on the dramatized biography that came out after Ness’ death. In real life, the Treasury investigators set up their headquarters at the post office.

What was Agent George Stone’s real name?

"That is my real name.” “Nah, what was it before you changed it?” “Giuseppe Petri."

Which patron saint did Malone carry a medallion of?

"Il Santo Jude—He’s the patron saint of lost causes." “And policemen.”

How did Al Capone commit a murder in the middle of a speech about teamwork?

The scene at the dinner is based on a real event where Capone felt three of his associates were planning to murder him. He invited them over to dine with him and used a baseball bat to kill them after they were drunk.

Who came to bribe Ness and got the envelope of money thrown back in his face?

"Yes, alderman, I know who you are. Would you excuse us?"

Where did Ness successfully intercept a delivery of alcohol to Capone?

Agent Oscar Wallace was based on real-life Frank Wilson, Wilson did most of the paperwork and digging required to charge Capone with tax evasion.

How did Ness reply when the Mountie Captain said, "Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods!”

“Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods!” “Yeah? Well, You’re not from Chicago.”

How did Ness distract the outlaw hiding in the cabin?

Stephen Burum wanted to shoot the film in black-and-white, which was instantly shot down by De Palma who had already fought with Paramount for many other aspects of the film. To recreate that same old-time feel, they used repetition (such as using the same model of car for all the parked cars) and filmed many shots with few extras to give the movie the sense of a less crowded and newer city.

What did Ness say he was going to name his son?

" No, it’ll be Edgar. It’ll be J. Edgar." “I don’t think so.”

How did Malone get the gangster to talk in the cabin?

Ledgers seized in a raid in 1926 did become key evidence that Capone received unreported income. But they also provided handwriting evidence that Leslie Shumway was involved. He was taken into custody from his Florida home.

Finish the quote: " If you’re afraid of getting a rotten apple, ______________."

"If you’re afraid of getting a rotten apple, don’t go to the barrel. Get it off the tree."

Where was Oscar killed?

Charles Martin Smith played Oscar Wallace in the movie, but he is also known for his role as Terry the Toad in American Graffiti.

What advice did the Chief of Police give Malone after Wallace was shot?

“Sometimes, it’s better not to get involved. Jimmy, take a day off. Get out of the city for a while.”

Who was giving Malone information?

At the time, there was one real “Untouchable” still alive, Al “Wallpaper” Wolff. Wolff served as a consultant for the film.

As Malone was dying, what was the last thing he was trying to grab?

"The bookkeeper? What? The bookkeeper? He’s on this train?"

When the bookkeeper entered the train station, what was Ness doing?

The baby carriage scene was a reference to Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925). Mamet felt the scene was silly and Paramount didn’t want to pay for it, but De Palma managed to save enough raw film stock to complete the scene.

What did the D. A. say he had to have or he wouldn’t prosecute the case?

"He says he won’t make a fool out of himself, and he won’t go into court without a witness.”

Who played Al Capone?

Robert De Niro (born August 17, 1943) is noted for his method acting. He gained thirty pounds for this movie and was still worried that his face did not look stout enough. To gain weight, he ate pancakes for breakfast and went on an Italian eating vacation, but he still needed padding in his stomach.

Why was Mr. Nitti removed from the courtroom?

"That [guy] is wearing a gun in court. Get me the bailiff."

How did Nitti die?

Andy Garcia, who played George Stone/ Giuseppe Petri, was initially invited to audition for the role of Frank Nitti because of his bad guy work in 8 Million Ways to Die. Garcia convinced them to let him play Stone.

What did the judge do that made Capone’s lawyer have him plead guilty?

"Bailiff, I want you to go next door to Judge Hoffman’s Court where they’ve just begun hearing a divorce action. I want you to bring that jury in here and take this jury to his court."

What did Ness say he would do once Prohibition was repealed?

The studio wanted to hire Bob Hoskins for the part of Al Capone because of budget constraints, but the director said he would not make the movie without De Niro. Since Bob Hoskins had already signed a contract, he was paid even though he didn’t act in the film.

How did Ness convince the judge to change the jury in the movie?

In real life, the judge took the list of bribed jurors very seriously. He received the information before the trial, and after comparing the list with those jurors actually on the list, he made the switch between the two juries.

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