The Untouchables (De Palma, 1987): Somerset House, 9pm
This Brian De Palma, one of the director's more successful forays into the strictly commercial sector, screens as part of the Somerset House Film 4 Summer Screen season. More details here.
Time Out review:
Time-honoured mayhem in the Windy City, and if there are few set-ups you
haven't seen in previous Prohibition movies, it's perhaps because De
Palma and scriptwriter David Mamet
have settled for the bankability of enduring myth. And boy, it works
like the 12-bar blues. The director's pyrotechnical urge is held in
check and trusts the tale; the script doesn't dally overmuch on deep
psychology; the acting is a treat. Connery's world-weary and pragmatic
cop, Malone, steals the show because he's the only point of human
identification between the monstrously evil Al Capone (De Niro) and the
unloveably upright Eliot Ness (Costner), and when he dies the film has a
rocky time recovering. Costner looks like the kid who got a briefcase
for Xmas and was pleased, but painfully learns under Malone's tutelage
how to fight dirty. De Niro establishes his corner courtesy of a bloody
finger in close-up, and unleashes uncontrollable rage to electrifying
effect, most notably at the blood-boltered baseball-bat board meeting.
The Odessa Steps set piece at the railway station could maybe do with
one more angle to shuffle, and the battle at the border bridge
diminishes the claustrophobic grip of the corrupt city, but the
narrative thunders to its conclusion like a locomotive.
Here's the famous stairway shootout sequence.