La-La Land Records LLLCD1236
Disc 1/27 Tracks - Disc Time: 55:25
Disc 2/19 Tracks - Disc Time: 56:47
The 80's were a decade filled with films that have really transcended their box office gloss or lack thereof and become real classics like Blade Runner, The Thing, Die Hard, Big and many, many more. The Untouchables was a major hit when it was released in the Summer of 1987 earning respectable reviews by critics that enjoyed Director Brian DePalma's visual style to compliment David Mamet's biting script and backed with determined performances by Kevin Costner, Robert DeNiro and Sean Connery, who would go on to win a Best Supporting Actor and revive his career. The film of course takes place during prohibition where legendary gangster Al Capone (DeNiro), has his bullet riddled grip on the city of Chicago. Enter the young and fearless U.S. Treasury Agent Elliot Ness (Costner), who's arrived in Chicago with one agenda in mind: to bring Capone to justice one way or another. Embarassed by his first failed attempt to capture Capone at a bootlegging sting, Ness soon employs the help of Malone (Connery), a wiry Irish police officer who has been through the ropes and seen many things through his experiences working the beat for so long and is soon joined by Stone (Andy Garcia), a brash hotheaded Italian officer and an accountant of sorts in Wallace (Charles Martin Smith) to find hard evidence to finally bring down Capone's empire once and for all no matter where the evidence leads.
Last year was the films' 25 Anniversary and one that well was celebrated mostly by the films' fans, but still remains a very popular movie in all circles. At the time of the film's release, composer Ennio Morricone, had amassed a very lengthy and storied career up to that point with about 200 credits which included the memorable Dollars Trilogy starring Clint Eastwood, Once Upon A Time In The West, The Island and Once Upon A Time In America, which was the final film of legendary director and best friend, Sergio Leone. After securing what many feel was a robbery by the voting Academy for his popular and memorable score for The Mission, he took on this plumb assignment and scored in major spades. Morricone's style perfectly suited the film and DePalma's style which gives the film the feel of that both a gangster movie as well as a Western, which the film essentially is at times. From the opening strains of the "Strength of the Righteous", which opens the films over a stylish main title sequence of shadows and letters, Morricone's main theme is established for percussion, chopping strings and a solo meolodica, which is the Western flavored touch of the score itself which shows up in various guises throughout the score more approprietly to represent Capone and his associates. Morricone also establishes a tender and soulful theme for "The Untouchables", (Four Friends) played for strings and saxophone which almost has a tragic quality to it unlike Capone's theme which practically signifies the hint of death. Morricone faithfully uses this theme for Ness and his family (Ness And His Family Part 1 and Ness And His Family Part 2) and uses it to cleverly to play off each other in "Murderous/Goodnights" as a counterpoint to both themes. The third theme is a rousing piece of work in both "Victorious" and "The Untouchables", which represent the grand and noble theme for the exploits of Ness and company as they battle many of Capone's goons and used to full effect in the film's "End Credits" and the finale at the Courthouse scene. Morricone also infuses some exceptional suspense and action set pieces that include "Waiting At Border", "Machine Gun Lullaby" and "On The Rooftop/Nitti's Fall" which are very memorable and filled with Morricone's trademark action riffs.
La-La Land Records expanded album features a solid version of the music as it was featured within the film itself and adding extra material that was left off the original Grammy winning A&M Records soundtrack album, which also been remastered and reproduced for this 2 disc set along with an interesting and now unearthed vocal of the "Love Theme From The Untouchables" sung by composer Randy Edelman (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Ghostbusters 2) that is very unique. The Untouchables is still indeed a special film and one that really does hold up remarkably well all these years and Ennio Morricone's memorable score is still as rousing and energetic as any film score recorded today. Definitely recommended!