Billy Drago as Frank Nitti, ruthless Chicago Outfit enforcer
Chicago, Fall 1930 to Spring 1931
Film: The Untouchables
Release Date: June 3, 1987
Director: Brian De Palma
Costume Designer: Marilyn Vance
Wardrobe: Giorgio Armani
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Eighty years ago today on the morning of March 19, 1943, 57-year-old Chicago resident Frank Nitti enjoyed breakfast with Toni, his third wife whom he had married the previous May. He began drinking heavily and, after Toni left for church, Nitti walked five blocks to a local railroad yard in North Riverside, where he attempted to shoot himself in the head. The first shot merely perforated his hat and the second wounded him in the jaw, but the third shot hit its mark as the inebriated mob boss slumped to his death.
Loosely based on the end of Al Capone’s infamous reign of the Chicago underworld (and more directly based on the 1950s TV show of the same name), Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables retains a few basic details of Capone’s fall from power, including real figures on both sides of the law like self-aggrandizing Prohibition agent Eliot Ness and the vicious mobster who would ultimately succeed Capone as leader of the Chicago Outfit: Frank Nitti, chillingly portrayed by the late, great Billy Drago. Continue reading