The Untouchables

Factual error: In the warehouse scene with the wooden crates with maple leaves, even though a correction has been submitted saying a maple leaf was valid, the real mistake is the type of maple leaf used. The film shows a modern graphic style of leaf that did not come into use until the 1960s and appeared on the new Canadian flag in 1965. In the time of Capone, the maple leaves used to depict things Canadian looked like actual maple leaves and not like a stylized graphic.

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Factual error: The film shows government agent Eliot Ness throwing Al Capone's right-hand man, gangster Frank Nitti, to his death from the roof of the Chicago courthouse in 1929. It never happened. Frank Nitti died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1943.

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Suggested correction: The movie was not meant to be exactly like real events. The movie was loosely based on the events (aka "inspired by actual events"). There are a lot of differences between the movie and the real events, these were done on purpose, to make an exciting movie.

Bruce Minnick
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That's a lame excuse. There are lots of opportunities to embelish on the truth when dealing with a historic topic. The station scene with the baby is an excellent example of that. But, you can't go changing the relationships of main characters or the time and methods of their deaths. Especially ones so well documented like Capone and Nitti. Why even bother using real names? The character they called "Nitti" was just a completely made up character. Nothing about him resembled the actual Nitti. Nitti wasn't skinny and he didn't wear white suits. He wasn't a loner, often scene hanging with his crew. Nitti was an exceptionally short man with a Chaplinesque moustache. Always jovial for the cameras.

It's simply your opinion that it's a "lame" excuse. The fact is the film is highly fictionalized. It's not a documentary, it's a drama. They combine and eliminate characters, give them different names and characteristics, and show events that never happened. These are not mistakes, they're known as creative license. They would only be mistakes if they film claimed everything in the film was true and accurate to history.

While calling something a "lame excuse" isn't acceptable, the mistake is still valid. The film isn't set in an alternate timeline, so historical inaccuracies regarding real life people are considered valid mistakes. Artistic license extends to adding things that could have happened that didn't impact historical events for dramatic purposes (love interests, made up characters, etc). Historical inaccuracies regarding real life figures would be the same as pointing out anachronisms in a film set in the past, like have a car from the 40's in a film set in the 30's. And just because a screenwriter or film maker wants to change facts to make the film more exciting doesn't mean the mistake is no longer valid.

Bishop73

Factual error: We see a British double decker bus on the streets of Chicago. The first Routemaster double decker bus was first introduced in 1956 so the existence of such a bus in the 1920's is impossible. Also, given its UK layout, designed for travel on the left side of the road, any passengers getting off would do so into the middle of the traffic.

tw_stuart

Continuity mistake: When Eliot Ness is at Jim Malone's house for the first time, Malone's collar is opened, then buttoned, then open again.

More mistakes in The Untouchables

Jimmy Malone: He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way!

More quotes from The Untouchables

Trivia: Andy Garcia was originally brought in to read for Frank Nitti, but he asked if he could play George Stone instead.

Cubs Fan
More trivia for The Untouchables

Question: How accurate is the portrayal of the Untouchables, when it comes to names and numbers? Were there actually only four of them? Do Garcia, Connery and Smith play actual people or fictive ones?

Answer: It's about 50% truth and 50% fiction. Ness, Al Capone, and Frank Nitty are real, of course, but the characters played by Connery, Garcia, and Smith are fictional. Ness started out with 50 candidates for his 'Untouchables' force. This was whittled down to 15 finalists and from that he selected 9 agents (none of which has the same name as the characters played by Connery, Garcia, and Smith). It's true that Capone was convicted for tax evasion. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison, but received an early release because he was in the last stages of syphilis. He died shortly after being released from prison.

raywest Premium member
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