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The Untouchables

In The Untouchables (1987), actor Billy Drago plays Al Capone’s henchman Frank Nitti. From this bird’s-eye-view angle, Nitti has just met his fate, falling 5 stories onto the first parked car below.

Today’s screenshot is also a point-of-view (POV) shot from the perspective of Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner). Looking down after killing Nitti, Ness stands triumphant on the roof of the Chicago Cultural Center (the U.S. District Courthouse in the movie).

Based on several interviews, Billy Drago quite enjoyed his time playing Frank Nitti. He talked with members of the Nitti family, studied the mob outfit’s history, and interviewed remaining members of “the real Untouchables” (Omaha World-Herald, 26 Jul 1987).

But what really surprised Drago during filming was how down-to-earth the Nittis were.

During production, Drago received this message at his Chicago hotel: “the Nitti family will be by to pick you up at 7 o’clock.” Understandably, the actor was concerned.

But, as Drago tells it, “they couldn’t have been nicer—and they had all of these legitimate businesses!” Furthermore, the family loved the way he portrayed Nitti in the movie (The Boston Globe, 24 Aug 1990).

The Untouchables was nominated for 4 Oscars: best actor in a supporting role, best art/set direction, best costume design, and best music original score. Sean Connery won the award for best supporting actor.



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