The Untouchables Script Screenplay Pdf
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The Untouchables Script Screenplay Pdf
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Ned Tanen spent years trying to obtain the rights to Eliot Ness's life story while working as an executive at Universal Pictures in the 1970s and the 1980s. After becoming head of motion picture productions at Paramount Pictures, which owned the film and television rights to Ness's memoir The Untouchables, Tanen immediately hired Art Linson to begin producing a film adaptation. Linson was not interested in adapting the ABC television series based on Ness's book, and sought to create a more "serious, authentic" depiction of Ness's career in Chicago. Linson hired playwright David Mamet to compose an original script for the film. Most of Mamet's screenplay was used, but director Brian De Palma slightly rewrote some scenes during production in order to incorporate new locations. For instance, the scene paying homage to the Potemkin Stairs from Battleship Potemkin (1925) was moved from a hospital to Chicago Union Station. A month after the film was released, De Palma downplayed his own role on the script:
Vincent Canby of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, calling it "a smashing work" and saying it was "vulgar, violent, funny and sometimes breathtakingly beautiful". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film for its action sequences and locations, but disapproved of David Mamet's script and Brian De Palma's direction. Ebert singled out the film's depiction of Al Capone as arrogant and childish, to the point of misbehaving in public and in court, as the biggest disappointment of the film, while giving praise to Sean Connery's work. Hal Hinson, in his review for The Washington Post, also criticized De Palma's direction, saying "somehow we're put off here by the spectacular stuff he throws up onto the screen. De Palma's storytelling instincts have given way completely to his interest in film as a visual medium. His only real concern is his own style."
Definitely. But it's not necessary. It should be left to theorists. Filmmakers should not be obsessed with breaking it down on a frame by frame basis as the frames we see in the final edit are pieced together in the cutting room. Rather there's lots of things we skip such as appropriate pacing and shot type relative to scene and script requirements. The story beat which should drive blocking and most importantly blocking which is missing from lots of indies/beginners. These are practical filmmaking techniques that separate indies from the majors. It doesn't matter if you watch transformers or a Michael haneke film, these elements are there. Indies often focus on looking and sounding "professional" and hence resort to focusing a lot on story board approach than understanding blocking as it relates to your set There's nothing wrong with analysis such as these but they belong more on the theory section of a film theory curriculum than a dedicated cinematography section of an afi
Original screenplay by David Mamet of The Untouchables, 125 pages plus 25 rewrite pages. Mamet's holograph additions, deletions, and corrections are evident throughout as he advances the storyline to an interim stage that would be reworked further into the film form.
Major changes made include the naming of Al Capone's chief killer as the real-life Frank Nitti. In the typed draft, he is referred to only as the man wearing a bowtie. In this draft, the police sharpshooter is of Polish descent. In the movie, he is an Italian. The screenplay has the gunned-down Malone dying not in his apartment but in a Chicago hospital. Finally, the climactic scence in which Elliot Ness seizes Capone's bookkeeper takes place in this draft on a moving train. The movie, of course, plays out this crucial event in the Chicago train station and features the celebrated cinematic homage to Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin -- an abandoned baby in his carriage rolls slowly down a steep marble staircase to apparent doom while a shootout is taking place between Ness and Capone's men, who are holding the bookkeeper hostage. The last page bears Mamet's handwritten epigraph, "Do it the Chicago way." Housed in a specially designed cloth clamshell box and matching chemise.
The Columbo of the late 90s and early 2000s was a far cry from the Lieutenant we first encountered from 1968-78. The characterisation seemed laboured at times, even veering towards pastiche. Even if the script was a belter, I think the networks made a good call.