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"The Untouchables" A Historical View Of The Motion Picture.

904 words - 4 pages

"The Untouchables" was mind-boggling movie that matched good versus evil, government versus organized crime, and virtue versus corruption. The motion picture appropriately displayed the clashing social lifestyles of the people living in the 1920s. The Progressive movement was in full swing attempting to bring social justice to economic and political life. Prohibition laws established in America in 1919 preventing the manufacturing and sale of alcohol fueled an entire illegal industry. It seemed that there were two major societies with opposing views living in the same country yet going down different roads of life; one road ethical and decent and the other immoral and dishonest.The movie, "The Untouchables", takes place in 1930 in the city of Chicago that is over-run by crime and corruption. Mob kingpin Al "Scarface" Capone played by Robert DeNiro rules the city. He attempts to buy off police and city government and kills anyone who opposes him and his illegal alcohol industry. Eliot Ness played by Kevin Costner is a young federal agent called into the city to stem the flow illegal booze and the violence it creates. Ness teams up with a veteran beat cop Malone played by Sean Connery, a uncorrupted rookie cop George Stone played by Andy Garcia, and Oscar Wallace an accountant played by Charles Martin Smith. These four men were given the name, the Untouchables by a newspaper writer because of their inner strength to resist the briberies of Capone. (De Palma, 1987)The Untouchables began raiding Capone's breweries, stopping shipments from Canada, and seizing stockpiles of beer and alcohol in warehouses around the city. The war was on! Capone became enraged and demanded that Ness and his family killed and his house burnt to the ground. In one meeting with his gangsters, Capone became so angry he beat one of his men to death with a baseball bat. An action to prove he was serious and in control. Although Ness ran into obstacles such as corrupt policemen, biased newspapers, and the death of his assistants he never gave up. Capone was eventually brought to trial and convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. (De Palma, 1987)The movie was a dramatic representation of what was taking place in cities throughout America in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Prohibition and other Progressive movements had divided the country. Some people believed alcohol was the root of all America's social problems where others could see no wrong in a little drink. Alcohol sales, transportation, and breweries were a multi-million dollar business that gave Al Capone and other organized crime leaders the incentive to manipulate, bribe, and terrorize. Some people in all levels of government, city officials, and policemen were involved through bribes in keeping this illegal business afloat. Alcohol was illegal but even the...

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