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Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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(Oct 09, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Eliot Ness - the real-life gangbuster who brought down Al Capone! From Robert Stack to Kevin Costner, Hollywood's even more exciting, and has never been told...until now. Max Allan Collins, whose graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION became the Academy Award-winning Tom Hanks film, has brought his Edgar-nominated one-man show to the screen, in a stylish, stylistic fashion. TV stalwart Michael Cornelison (REMINGTON STEELE, HUNTER) presents a riveting portrait of a heroic yet human Ness. From crashing through stills to bringing down crooked cops, from taking on numbers racketeers to nabbing the nation's first serial killer, it's all here - thrilling and true. Bonus Features: Award-winning short film that inspired the play and feature, Extended excerpts from live performance of the play, Commentary with director/writer Max Allan Collins and director of photography/editor Phillip W. Dingeldein, Deleted scenes, BEHIND THE SCENES slide show BONUS short noir film, "An Inconvenient Matter," starring Michael Cornelison, directed by Max Allan Collins, written by Chuck Hughes ("Ed and His Dead Mother"), Photo Gallery Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital; 104 minutes; Color; 16x9 Widescreen; MPAA -NR; Year - 2005; SRP - $14.99

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Cornelison
  • Directors: Max Allan Collins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000TV1SWO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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I've become fascinated with Eliot Ness. He intrigues me. "Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life" is a well-done look at his life. I have seen reviews which panned this effort, but my impression is that the reviewers have been disappointed that the production is not visually exciting. It's a play, for Pete's sake! Plays never film well. You have to accept that at the outset.

There is at least one continuity glitch, when "Ness" leaves his office without his overcoat, and in the next scene has it on. No big deal. One reviewer moaned that there was too much talk. It's a one-man show. Have these reviewers never seen "Mark Twain Tonight?" Hal Holbrook does a LOT of talking in that one! It is not the "action" (which people want too much of these days) or the continuity blips that matter. What matters is what is said.

There is a great deal of factual information presented, and the one disappoinment I have with this production is that they did not give their sources in the credits. I have documentary corroboration for a lot of what is said, and a few documents which contradict some of the facts presented (as, for instance, when "Ness" says he got a master's degree; his service record shows that he took one graduate course, but did not get a degree). I like the interspersing of photographs from Ness's life (and where did they get those?) during the production.

What is presented as fact is not the heart of the play. How Ness may have felt about it all is the really important part. There may be documents that back up the feelings and opinions presented as being his, and if there are, I want to see those documents! It's this part -- the presentation of the character, the insights and feelings -- that is the heart of the production.
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VCI Entertainment presents "ELIOT NESS: AN UNTOUCHABLE LIFE" --- (Dolby digitally remastered) --- Michael Cornelison stars as Eliot Ness, in this one hour, forty minute film is much akin to Hal Holbrook's classic "Mark Twain Tonight" production, but is enlivened by a shifting background of settings and assorted props --- The snappy, evocative music score adds to the experience --- Witness the man who created the stylish "Nathan Heller" Detective series and "The Road To Perdition" (amongst other notable works); Max Allan Collins knows how to bring a true "Period" feel to life for his audience --- Eliot P. Ness (April 19, 1903 - May 16, 1957) was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, as the leader of a legendary team nicknamed The Untouchables.

Covered are the pertinent details of the life of Eliot Ness, from his beginnings to his untimely death. From Chicago to Cleveland... Capone, The Mad Butcher Of Kingsbury Run, Moonshiners, Labor Racketeers, and Numbers Runners -- Ness went after them all -- The Truth is here --- The real Eliot Ness has sadly been overshadowed for decades by the erroneous depiction's of TV series, movie portrayals and assorted misguided "experts" --- In this excellent effort, Max Allan Collins comes as close as one can to allowing Ness Himself to relate his True Detective adventures --- An considerable undertaking is carried out by proxy in the form of a talented actor passionately addressing the audience as Ness --- Noted Author/Historian (and Film-maker) Max Allan Collins insightfully addresses the life and times of crime fighter Eliot Ness in this absorbing filmed stage play.
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