From the Latin (machiavellian wisdom perhaps too):
Oderint dum metuant
"Let them hate! - (as long as they fear)"
This is the movie about the prohibition era wars between "law enforcement" and gangland mobs as it were.
Elliott Ness (Kevin Costner) is a crusader. having a drink may not be harmful to you he says, however its "the law of the land" and that brings out his iron resolve to destroy all in his path to glory having won against the perceived evil in his midst, anyone who would dare to challenge it (the law, that is - and that ultimately is Elliott Ness of course). That is what is pure, he says to his team of Chicago police storm troopers.
This is one of the worst pieces of movie making bits in history, as the producers are so anxious to promote this idea of law and order, they are so determined to paint as ultimate villains those that defy any law at all, that they go so far as to blow up an Irish kid (a right Christianly little girl) at the start of the movie to make their point - if you can break the law even a little, you might just go all the way and kill someone too.
I am horrified at such callousness and the desensitization of this form of violent sort of disposition in our communities coming to us from Hollywood types that were able to even convince Sean Connery to play a major role in the movie as a crusader on the team with Costner in fact.
Other than that it would have been a fun sort of movie, all in the same sort of spirit as other movies of this genre. As it is, it smacks of an industry in need of reform and even regulation perhaps in that sometimes you just gotta say "that ain't fit to do, cause there ain't no good reason for it".
Michael Rizzo Chessman