Chicago in the 30's was seething with all kinds of illegal activity. Prohibition was the rule of law and Great money was to be made if you could provide the right people with this verboten beverage. Alphonse Capone recognized the opportunity for enormous riches and in addition to his already full plate of prostitution, drug dealing, shy larking and protection rackets added liquor running. Machivelli once said that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts, absolutely". Never was a truer phrase spoken. It seems that everyone was on Capone's payroll. From politicians to policemen, the all dipped their beaks in to Capones' multimillion dollar a year industry. As such, no one wanted to rock the boat. That is until Elliot Ness and the Treasury Department got involved. Elliot's desire to take the battle to Capone began a deadly tit for tat that found Capone serving a prison sentence that would prove to be his swan song. Luckily for us, Paramount Pictures captured all of these events and presents them her in their exquisitely beautiful tale of Elliot Ness and his Untouchables.
Let's start with the good portion of the disc. The video is in a word…amazing. The colors are rich, deep and true. The fleshtones are accurate and only two instances of flecking appeared in the whole of the print. Other than those fleckings, I found the transfer to be pretty stunning to say the least. After all, with an Armani clad cast coupled with William Elliott's Art Direction and Stephen Burum's photography, it's next to impossible to screw up the film's incredible visual presence.
The audio on the other hand is another story. Touting a 5.1 platform, it came across as more of a 2-channel surround platform with a couple of moments of surround presence (Rain & birds chirping) and a few scattered LFE instances to kick start the aural aspect of the experience. If that wasn't bad enough, when Ness and Malone meet in Chapter 6 Malone's dialogue is clearly muffled and detracts from the presentation. While the film's visual presentation is stellar, the audio definitely leaves you wanting more.
The only extra on the disc is the film's trailer.
Paramount is notorious for skimping on their discs and The Untouchables is no different. While the television series of the 50's that bore the same name will forever be the benchmark regarding Ness and Capone, DePalma's version is very well done to say the least. It's a great gangster era film that really deserved a far better treatment than it received. De Niro is great as Capone however; he could have used a great deal more screen time. The Untouchables is a modern classic that should be in every collection. Even if it is a film only non-SE. Recommended