The Untouchables

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
What are you prepared to do?
Jim Malone

The Untouchables is a 1987 film, set during Prohibition, in which Treasury agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and assembles a small, incorruptible team to help him.

Directed by Brian DePalma. Written by David Mamet.
Never stop fighting till the fight is done. taglines

Eliot Ness

  • I have foresworn myself. I have broken every law I have sworn to uphold, I have become what I beheld and I am content that I have done right!

Jim Malone

  • [to Ness] Welcome to Chicago. This town stinks like a whorehouse at low tide.
  • You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: Make sure when your shift is over, you go home alive.
  • That's the second rule of police work. If you want to keep a secret, don't tell the boss.
  • [about finding a team member not under Capone's influence] If you're afraid of getting a rotten apple, don't go to the barrel. Get it off the tree.
  • [When asked about if a cop is trustworthy] Well, he'd better be - he's my cousin.
  • [to Ness, preparing for the liquor raid at the border] Take it easy...take it easy! It'll all happen in time. This is the job. Don't wait for it to happen. Don't even want it to happen. Just watch what does happen.
  • [chasing a knife-armed thug out of his house with a shotgun] Isn't that just like a Wop? Brings a knife to a gunfight! Get outta here, you Dago bastard! Go on, get your ass outta here!

Al Capone

  • [to reporters] I'm gonna tell you something. Somebody messes with me? I'm gonna mess with him. Somebody steals from me? I'm gonna say you stole, not talk to him for spittin' on the sidewalk. Y'understand? Now, I have done nothing to hurt these people, but they're angered at me, so what do they do? Doctor up some "income tax", for which they got no case. To annoy me. To speak to me like men? No. To harass a peaceful man. I pray to God if I ever had a grievance I would have just a little more self respect. I'll tell you one more thing. You got an all-out prizefight? You wait until the fight is over, one guy's left standing, and that's how you know who won.
  • I grew up in a tough neighborhood. We used to say, "You can get further with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word." And in that neighborhood, it might've been true. And sometimes your reputation follows you. Yes! There is violence in Chicago. But not by me, and not by anybody who works for me, and I'll tell you why: because it's bad for business.
  • People are gonna drink - you know that, I know that, we all know that, and all I do is act on that. And all this talk of bootlegging - what is bootlegging? On a boat, it's bootlegging. On Lake Shore Drive, it's hospitality. I'm a businessman!
  • Life goes on. A man becomes preeminent, he's expected to have enthusiasms. Enthusiasms... Enthusiasms... What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which gives me joy? [grabs a baseball bat] Baseball! A man stands alone at the plate. This is the time for what? For individual achievement. There he stands alone. But in the field, what? Part of a team. Teamwork.... Looks, throws, catches, hustles - part of one big team. Bats himself the live-long day, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on. If his team don't field... what is he? You follow me? No one! Sunny day, the stands are full of fans. What does he have to say? "I'm goin' out there for myself. But... I get nowhere unless the team wins." [Beats his henchman to death with his bat]
  • I want you to get this fuck where he breathes! I want you to find this Nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna piss on his ashes!
  • [to Ness] You got nothing. You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge! You hear me? Cause you got nothing! You got nothing in court, you don't got the bookkeeper, you got NOTHING! NOTHING! And if you were a man, you would've done it now! You don't got a thing, you punk!


Reporter: An article, which I believe appeared in a newspaper, asked why, since you are, or it would seem that you are, in effect, the mayor of Chicago, you've not simply been appointed to that position.
[other reporters laugh]
Capone: Well, I'll tell ya, you know, it's touching. Like a lot of things in life, we laugh because it's funny and we laugh because it's true. Now, some people will say - reformers, they'll say, 'Put that man in jail! What does he think he is doing?' Well, what I hope I'm doing, and here's where your English paper's got a point, is - I'm responding to the will of the people.

Ness: We have several operations in the works, so we're rather busy, Alderman. What can we do for you?
Alderman: I came up to congratulate you on a job well done. Share your good fortune on such a lovely day.
[Drops bribe envelope on the desk]
Ness: What's that?
[shrugs and giggles]
Ness: What is that?
Alderman: Mr. Ness, you're an educated man. Let me pay you the compliment of being blunt. There's a large, a large and popular business that you are causing dismay. Why don't you just cross the street and let things take their course?
Ness: [Summoning the team] Would you come in here please? [as the team enters] In Roman times, when a fellow was convicted of trying to bribe a public official, they would cut off his nose, and sew him in a bag with a wild animal, and throw that bag in the river. [picking up the bribe and throwing it at the Alderman] You tell your master that we must agree to disagree!
Alderman: You're making a mistake.
Ness: Yeah I know, well I've made them before I'm beginning to enjoy them.
Alderman: You fellows are untouchable, is that the thing? No one can get to you? Hey, everyone can be gotten to.
Ness: You tell Capone, that I'll see him in hell.

[Malone and Ness talking about how to bring down Capone.]
Malone: You said you wanted to know how to get Capone. [Ness nods] Do you really want to get him? [pause] You see what I'm saying? What are you prepared to do?
Ness: Everything within the law.
Malone: And then what are you prepared to do? If you open the ball on these people, Mr. Ness, you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they won't give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone. I don't know how to get him.
Malone: You want to get Capone? Here's how you get him. 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, and that's how you get Capone! Now, do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm making you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to put this man away with any and all legal means at my disposal, and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward. [shakes Ness' hand] Do you know what a blood oath is, Mr. Ness?
Ness: Yes.
Malone: Good, because you just took one.

[First meeting of Ness and Malone with George Stone, at the police academy firing range.]
Malone: [piercingly] Where are you from, Stone?
Stone: [smiling] From the South Side.
Malone: "Stone?" "George Stone?" That's your name? What's your real name?
Stone: That is my real name.
Malone: Nah, what was it before you changed it?
Stone: [his smile fading] Giuseppe Petri.
Malone: Geez, I knew it! That's all you need, one thievin' Wop on the team!
Stone: [offended] What's that you say?
Malone: I said that you're a lyin' member of a no-good race!
[Stone knocks Malone's clipboard aside, then quickly draws a revolver and puts it to his neck as Malone grabs a baton.]
Stone: [coldly] It's much better than you, you stinkin' Irish pig.
Malone: [to Ness] Oh, I like him.
Ness: Yeah, I like him too.
[Malone shakes hands with Stone]
Malone: You just joined the Treasury Department, son.
Stone: [smiles] Yeah, okay.

Malone: [at the post office] Well, here we are.
Ness: What are we doing here?
Malone: Liquor raid.
Ness: [looking at the police station across the street] Here?
Malone: Mr. Ness, everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn't finding it, the problem is who wants to cross Capone.

Malone: [Enters and fires into the air] Federal officers!
Ness: Get your hands in the air! Nobody move!
Malone: This is a raid!
Ness: Everybody into the center of the room!
Hood: What are you doing here?
Malone: All this stuff is impounded! You're all under arrest!
Hood: Hey, this isn't right! Hey, this is no good! You got a warrant?
Malone: Sure, here's my warrant! [Punches him twice in the stomach. He collapses] How do you think he feels now? Better? Or worse?

[Ness sees Malone toying with a St. Jude medallion.]
Ness: What is that?
Malone: [surprised] "What is that?"
Ness: Yes, what is it?
Malone: God, I'm with the heathen. [shows medallion, with a key on the chain] That is my call box key, and that is St. Jude.
Stone: Santo Jude. He's the patron saint of the lost causes.
Malone: And policemen.
Ness: Patron saint of policemen?
Malone: Everybody needs a friend.

[Ness has just shot a gangster during the raid at the Canadian border.]
Ness: I had to kill him.
Malone: Oh, yeah. He's as dead as Julius Caesar.
[sees Ness is still not at ease]
Malone: Would you rather it was you?
Ness: No, I would not.
Malone: Well, then, you've done your duty. Go home and sleep well tonight.

[After the border raid, Malone has scared George into agreeing to testify against Capone by 'executing' an already-dead gangster for refusing to talk.]
Mountie Captain: Mr. Ness! I do not approve of your methods.
Ness: Yeah? Well, you're not from Chicago.

[Ness confronts Capone, along with his son and several thugs]
Thug: Something you want here?
Ness: My friend was killed today.
Thug: I don't care.
Ness: You don't care?
[Ness punches the thug out, and gets restrained by two others]
Ness: Now he does. [to Capone] Come on here, Capone! You want to fight? You and me, right here?! That's it, come on! What's the matter? You afraid to come out from behind your men, you afraid to stand up for yourself?!
Capone: You want to do it now?! You want to do it right now?!
Ness: Yeah! Come on, you Guinea son-of-a-bitch!
Capone: What?!
Thug: Easy!
Capone: You talk to me like that in front of my son?! Fuck you and your family!
Ness: Fu--
[Ness goes for his gun, while all of Capone's thugs pull out their guns and point them at Ness]

Ness: [referring to Malone] I'm going to see you burn, you son of a bitch, because you killed my friend!
Nitti: He died like a pig.
Ness: What did you say?
Nitti: I said that your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig! Now you think about that when I beat the rap. [Walks off, combing his hair. Ness, enraged, grabs him and pushes him off the roof] Hey! HEY! [he falls, screaming]

[Ness confronts Capone after he is found guilty]
Ness: Never stop-- Never stop fighting till the fight is done.
Capone: What'd he say? What'd you say?
Ness: I said, "Never stop fighting till the fight is done"!
Capone: What?
Ness: You heard me, Capone. It's over!
Capone: C'mon! You're nothing but a lot of talk and a badge!
Ness: Here endeth the lesson.
[Ness walks away and shakes Stone's hand, while Capone continues to yell at Ness and tries to attack him, while the people hold him back.]

Reporter: They say they're going to repeal Prohibition. What will you do then?
Ness: I think I'll have a drink.


  • Never stop fighting till the fight is done
  • AL CAPONE. He ruled Chicago with absolute power. No one could touch him. No one could stop him. - Until Eliot Ness and a small force of men swore they'd bring him down.
  • The Chicago Dream is that big.
  • What are you prepared to do?