90-Proof Dame – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

90-PROOF DAME

Airdates: June 8th, 1961, April 12th, 1962, March 19th, 1963
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Alan Armer
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Steve Cochran
Co-starring Joanna Barnes, Steven Geray
Featuring Warren Stevens, Harry Dean Stanton, Gilbert Green, Norman Burton

”April 1932. Chicago ruled by its underworld czars. One of the strongest: Nate Kestor, former henchman of Capone and still a very big noise with the mob. He maintained a pretense of legality by owning and running the Odeon Burlesque. Kestor’s shows were notoriously underdressed. His girls wore just enough to cover his real operation.” Read More

The King of Champagne – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE KING OF CHAMPAGNE

Airdates: May 25th and September 14th, 1961
Written by David Z. Goodman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Robert Middleton, Michael Constantine, Barry Morse. Featuring George Kennedy, Jason Wingreen, Grant Richards, Jack Anthony, Jean Harvey, Ben Wright.

”During the third week in November, 1932, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables, acting on the information imparted by an anonymous tip, raided a warehouse on Lorry street on Chicago’s South Side.”

A wealthy restaurateur is talked into entering the lucrative Champagne trade by his brother-in-law, who has long made bottles for the illegal whiskey business.

”Four hours later, the new year of 1933 was ushered in. But for a large portion of Chicago’s Champagne drinking population, it was ushered in dry.”

REVIEW

Portions of this workaday story are rather interesting, and certainly Champagne is a new angle. George Kennedy makes a highly remarkable appearance as Birdie, a deaf-mute in the sympathetic employ of the Edmund Wald bottle plant. In that he lives quietly in Wald’s basement and goes about strangling people upon request, he makes himself rather useful. He even tries to strangle Eliot Ness a couple of times.

Barry Morse, the chap who would earn his living chasing David Janssen all over the country a couple of years later in Quinn Martin’s Fugitive, makes for a colorfully malevolent Frenchman with a good accent, even if it borders on an early Inspector Clouseau. Of the wares imported from the Champagne region of northern Indiana, he remarks, “Nawht bahd … a leetle flaht dew tew theh poohr corhking…”

OBSERVATIONS

• The second episode to take place on New Years Eve.

GALLERY

The Seventh Vote – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE SEVENTH VOTE

Airdates: May 18th and September 21st, 1961
Written by Richard Collins
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Alan A. Armer
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Joseph Ruskin
Special Guest Star Nehemiah Persoff
Featuring George N. Neise and Allen Jaffe

”April 25th, 1932. While Al Capone was in Cook County Jail awaiting transfer to the Atlanta federal penitentiary to serve the remainder of an eleven-year sentence for income tax evasion, his lieutenants were gathered in the office above the cafe Montmartre. The meeting had been called by the heirs apparent to Capone’s underworld throne: Jake ‘Greasy Thumb’ Guzik, bookkeeper for the syndicate’s far-flung criminal empire and Frank ‘the Enforcer’ Nitti whose job it had been to see that Capone’s edicts were carried out. Their purpose: to resolve the chaos created by Capone’s empty chair.

Nevertheless, in the weeks that followed, the empire suffered a succession of savage and unexpected blows. For the first time since the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Chicago was rocked by gangland wars. With increasing regularity, Capone’s speakeasies were raided, his trucks hijacked and his breweries, which represented an investment of $100,000 each, smashed.”

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The Nero Rankin Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE NERO RANKIN STORY

Airdate: May 11th, 1961
Written by Leonard Kantor
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Joanna Moore
Co-starring Will Kaluva, John Dehner
Featuring John Duke, Jean Carson, Richard Karlan, Barry Kelly, Brook Byron, Murvyn Vye, Wolfe Barzell

“September 1933. Although Eliot Ness had successfully destroyed the Underground Court, he had not been able to smash its parent organization, the Big Syndicate, then in control of over fifty percent of the nation’s crime. With the death of Judge Foley, chief of the court and chairman of the Syndicate, it was expected that the power of the Syndicate would wane. But, on September the 16th, at a roadhouse on the outskirts of Chicago, top-ranking members of the national organization had congregated to vote on the man whom Foley had designated as his successor months before he died.

“The heir apparent was an elder chieftain of crime named Nero Rankin, Foley’s teacher, in infamy, and at present, proprietor of Chicago’s most popular roadhouse, the Club Debutante. But before Rankin could assume his role as head of the Syndicate, he had to win a vote of approval by the Syndicate big wigs: Maury Brigger, who controlled the Southwest; Lou Hyndorf, boss of the East Coast from Canada to the Florida Keyes; Hooey Barker, who had been able to dominate the underworld of the Midwest without stepping on Al Capone’s toes; Patty Polofsky of Detroit, who headed the gunman squad, and Cy Brenner of New Orleans, bookkeeper for the Syndicate. Others present were top-ranking subordinates of the Syndicate who had no voting privileges.” Read More

Death for Sale – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

DEATH FOR SALE

Airdate: April 27th, 1961
Written by David Z. Goodman
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star James MacArthur

Co-starring Ned Glass, Carole Eastman, Lou Polan
Featuring Mario Gallo, Jon Lonner, Michael Fox, Neil Rosso. 

“On June 14th, 1930, the establishment of a bureau of narcotics signaled the beginning of an all-out effort by the government against an alarming rise in opium addiction. The bureau’s vigorous action, coupled with the complete cooperation of the Chinese government, sharply reduced the flow of illegal opium into the United States, and by 1932, the smuggling of opium from China to this country had virtually come to an end.

“During the last week in April of 1933, Frank Nitti, who had ascended to Al Capone’s throne following Capone’s conviction, was offered a huge quantity of Chinese opium. And on May the 4th, 1933, Nitti sent Ed Getty, one of his top lieutenants, to rendezvous with agents of the man who claimed he could supply the opium. There were two additional men at the rendezvous; uninvited guests.” Read More

Ring of Terror – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

RING OF TERROR

Airdate: April 13th, 1961
Written by John Mantley
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Viveca Lindfors
Co-starring Harold J. Stone, Featuring Richard Karlan, Vaughn Taylor, Sheldon Allman, John Day, Frank Wilcox, Howard Caine, Walter Burke, Russell Collins, George Garver

“Chicago Sports Arena in July 1931, was like a half-hundred other boxing rings throughout America. A place where tough young animals from reform schools and rotting tenements, were willing to sacrifice their blood for a chance to lick the twin phantoms of poverty and obscurity. It hardly mattered that, in the process, Demarcus of Queensbury got only lip service, and that the men who got the big payoffs fought with machine guns instead of gloves. In the ring, Joey McGrath, a young man on the way up. Twenty-three knockouts in twenty-five fights; a picture fighter with all the moves. A boy that the sportswriters have tagged as the next light heavyweight champion of the world. But tonight, Joey McGrath is on his way out.” Read More

Murder Under Glass – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

MURDER UNDER GLASS

Airdate: March 23th, 1961
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Alan Armer
Special Guest Star Luther Adler
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Carl Milletaire, Dennis Patrick
Featuring Paul Birch, Craig Duncan, James Thayne, Francis MacDonald, Evelyn Scott, Eugene Iglesias, Richard Reeves and George Werier

“The presidential campaign of 1932 was loaded with dynamite for the underworld. Roosevelt has committed himself to end prohibition. The Capone mob, however, was unconcerned. For over a year, it had been shifting its operations away from booze. By November 1932, its empire rested on a new foundation: narcotics. But suddenly, the new foundation was shaken. Suddenly in mid-December, narcotics were in short supply, and one month later, the problem had become acute.”
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The Lily Dallas Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE LILY DALLS STORY

Airdate: March 16th, 1960
Teleplay by Leonard Kantor
Story by Harry Essex
Directed by Don Medford
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Larry Parks
Co-starring Norma Crane, Linda Watkins, Ed Nelson
Featuring Dabbs Greer, Judy Strangis, Joe Lo Presti, Gregg Martell, June Vincent, Vici Raaf.

“In the dark depression days of 1932 a man of wealth was a target for the discontented of all shades from the hungry to the criminal. Millionaire building contractor Thomas B. Randall was no exception. At ten minutes after ten, on the night of April 11th, as he entertained a party of friends at his estate bordering Lake Michigan in Chicago, the guard at the gate outside, Joe Alcott, was about to receive a bonus of death from the gang of George “Blackie” Dallas, ex-society bootlegger, now gang leader, and by reputation, ruthless murderer. With Dallas that night were Pete Appleby, formerly torpedo for the Purple Gang, Marty Stoke, bank heist expert, two months out of jail on a second rap, and Jiggs, ex-heavyweight boxer, strong-arm man. The real power behind the George “Blackie” Dallas gang is his wife, Lily, recently released from prison and now orchestrating kidnapping, murder and bank robbery.”
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My Husband, Eliot Ness – TV Guide

By Feature Articles, Vintage Archives

By Mrs. Elisabeth Ness

His widow tells of the man who was a legend in his lifetime, long before “The Untouchables” took to air

Much has been written about my husband since the great success of the ABC television program, The Untouchables. Because very little of it has been written by those who knew him, TV Gide thought you might be interested in what I could tell you about him.

I recieve many letters and phone calls from fans of the program. The letters from the young fans I enjoy the most. They are sincere, charming. They give me the good feeling that they have found more in the series than entertainment.

The most usual question concerns its truth. Is the program fact or fiction? What was Eliot Ness really like? Was he like Robert Stack?

I am very happy about Mr. Stack’s interpretation of the role. He has the same quietness of voice, the same gentle quality that characterized Eliot. At times, even Stack’s small mannerisms are similar. He smiles less, but Mr. Stack has been given less to laugh at than Eliot found in real life.

It has been explained before in this magazine how the first two-part show on television was based on Eliot’s actual experiences in Chicago soon after he graduated from the University of Chicago. The excitement of that true story, the excellence of the production, the superb casting brought us the well-deserved Emmy Awards and the weekly show.

I like the program and I wouldn’t miss it, even though I no longer know what it will be about. It is fiction, the stories are not of what Eliot was doing at that time. But since they are, in spirit, the same – the enforcement of law and order, the fights against exploitation of the law-abiding members of society, the hunting down of criminals – Eliot’s admirers should not feel let down. Read More

The Nick Moses Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE NICK MOSES STORY

Airdates: February 23rd, 1961 and August 10th, 1961
Written by John Mantley
Directed by Herman Hoffman
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer 
Special Guest Star Harry Guardino
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Michael Constantine, and Joe DeSantis
Featuring Richard Bakalyan, Herman Rudin, Peter Mamakos, and Rick Marcelli

“Three weeks after the conviction of Al Capone on the ironic charge of income tax evasion, the Justice Department of the United States had called its leading law enforcers from every major city to fly to Washington to testify on behalf of an anti-racketeering bill, which would widen the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement officers, and put teeth in their fight against the underworld.” Read More