re: Prohibition Films

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Writes TB:

For me, [your post on Prohibition movies] brought up memories of The Untouchables. When I was a kid, I loved the film, mostly because of the action and gun play, having never even noticed or understood the motivations of the characters. I recently tried to watch it again and couldn’t even get through the first 30 minutes, turning it off in disgust. What a load of propagandistic swill! The revenuers were just as criminal as Capone’s gang, yet they’re portrayed as heroes of law and order. I couldn’t stomach it, especially given the fact that the particular agency depicted has become what it is today in the BATFE…

I might note that I’m surprised David Mamet was the writer on The Untouchables. Mamet’s films often have a good dose of libertarianism in them (or at least individualism), but that doesn’t seem to come through in The Untouchables, if I remember it rightly. On the other hand, Mamet may have wanted the audience to be disgusted by Ness’s antics. But that’s just speculation.

I seem to remember that George C. Scott once said that in Patton, he tried to portray the General as an over-the-top crazy person, and he was surprised when the movie made people like Patton. Maybe Mamet was being too subtle.

2:29 pm on May 15, 2013