The Mark of Cain – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE MARK OF CAIN

Airdates: November 17th, 1960
Written by David Z. Goodman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Will Kaluva, Conrad Janis, Eduardo Cianelli. Special Guest Star Henry Silva. Featuring Joyce Taylor, Vic Perrin, and Paula Raymond.

“In the late Spring of 1932, it became evident through the protest of irate citizens whose families had become victimized that drug addiction in Chicago was reaching alarming proportions. Prior to the Spring of 1932,  the distribution of narcotics had been a haphazard affair, a small-time business, in the hands of unorganized, small-time thugs. But under the cunning leadership of Little Charlie Sabastino, the narcotics racket had been amalgamated into one organized empire, with Little Charlie as its emperor.”

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The Waxey Gordon Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE WAXEY GORDON STORY

Airdates: November 10th, 1960 and June 22nd, 1961
Written by Joseph Petracca
Directed by John Peyser
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Frank De Kova. Special Guest Star Nehemiah Persoff. Featuring Elizabeth Hush, Terry Huntington, Sam Gilman, Adam Becker, Walter Reed, Edgar Stehli.

“On the night of April 16th, 1931, Waxey Gordon, public enemy number one, the unchallenged beer boss of New York, began his campaign to take over the illegal beer traffic in the entire State of New Jersey. It was controlled by Frankie Dunn, Bugs Donovan, and Roger Wyden.”

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Nicky – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

NICKY

Airdates: November 3rd, 1960 and January 25th, 1962
Story by Joseph Petracca
Teleplay by Joseph Petracca and Harry Essex
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Costarring Micheal Ansara, Philip Pine, Joe DeSantis. Special Guest Star Luther Adler. Featuring Mario Roccuzzo, Malcolm Atterbury, A.G. Vitanza, Renata Vanni, Vincent Barbi, George Greco, Ronnie Haran.

“By the middle of 1933, Eliot Ness and his squad of Untouchables had almost checked the manufacture and sale of Illicit whiskey in Chicago. Yet, despite their success, one of the biggest and shrewdest operators continued to elude them. Through elaborate schemes and machinations, he continued to procure alcohol and process it. His name was Gus Marco, alias Guiseppe Marconi. On the surface, running a respectable taxi garage, but below the surface, under the cement floor of the garage, Gus Marco operated the largest illegal bottling and cutting plant in the country. A former gambler, he had been ruled off several race tracks for attempting a fix, Gus Marco had carried his habits into his current business. He believed in the payoff, the schmear, Gus was always one to put out a buck to make two.”

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Jack “Legs” Diamond – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

JACK “LEGS” DIAMOND

Airdates: October 20th, 1960 and May 15th, 1961
Story by Harry Essex
Teleplay by Charles O’Neal
Directed by John Peyser
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-Starring Steven Hill, Norman Crane and Suzanne Storrs.  Featuring Lawrence Dobkin, Robert Carricart, Peter Whitney, Oscar Beregi, Ted Berger, Lee Patrick, Tony Carbone.

“By 1931, the country’s era of wonderful nonsense was over. The Great Depression was steadily sinking its fangs deeper into the nation’s economic life with each passing day. Unaffected by the growing unemployment, gangster owned and operated speakeasies and nightclubs continued to flourish. Prohibition had spawned a new mobster aristocracy. Hoodlums with money had become knights of the submachine gun. One such prominent mobster was Jack “Legs” Diamond, known to the mobs as the Clay Pigeon, because of the great number of times he had been shot at and survived. Legs had a wife, but most of his time now was spent in the company of Dawn Dolan, young and glamorous nightclub canary.” Read More

I Call On “Mr. Untouchable” – The Saturday Evening Post

By Vintage Archives

Handsome Bob Stack tells why even PTA groups approve of the violence in his sensational cops-and-robber show. He also discloses some of his pet TV hates.

By Pete Martin

Robert Stack is a thinking man’s thinking man – with sex appeal. He can also act. But he doesn’t make with the one-liners, the stand-up comedy bits, the cute anecdotes. He is not a cutup. His thought processes travel through his mind with all the immediacy of a 1920-1930 gangster’s automobile screeching around a Chicago corner on two wheels, just as the ancient crates in his television show, The Untouchables, reel round the corners they turn.

I’d gone to see Stack because The Untouch­ables is now rated the No. 2 TV show in the country, close on the heels of Gunsmoke. It’s a phenomenal thing for a TV show to become No. 2 during its first year. I Love Lucy did it, but the normal pattern is a build-up of two or three years before a show reaches such heights of popularity. 

To anyone interested in peeling back the layers of outer covering to get at the core of what makes a smash TV success, Stack is the right man. As he and I talked, it seemed to me that we came close to doping the answer as to what made The Untouch­ables the biggest hit among the new TV series of the 1959-60 season. Stack was concerned with the reasons behind the resounding success with which he happened to be connected. “Maybe,” he told me, “if I know the whys, I can help keep them that way.”  Read More

The Frank Nitti Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

THE FRANK NITTI STORY

Airdate: April 28th and September 22nd, 1960
Story by Harry Essex
Written by Lee Blair Scott
Directed by Howard W. Koch
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer and Robert B. Hauser
Co-starring Richard Anderson, Myron McCormick, Dick Foran
Special Guest Star Bruce Gordon
Featuring Frank de Kova, Phyllis Coates, Alex Gerry, Frank Wilcox,
Frank Albertson, Harry Harvey, Sr.

“In 1934, Prohibition had been repealed, and the Capone mob, without its leader, serving tune at Alcatraz Prison, was desperate for new sources of revenue. With the instincts of jackals for an easy kill, they picked the nation’s small theater owners for their prey. The type of operation used, was one they knew best: extortion.

“On a quiet street in Oak Park, Illinois, suburb of Chicago, Harold Coldman was closing his theater. Coldman was the owner and operator of two small motion picture houses. He thought he hadn’t an enemy in the world. But he was soon to learn that he was mistaken. To put their extortion plan into operation, the Capone mob had chosen Frank Nitti, long-time enforcer for Scarface Al Capone, and Nitti’s shadow and triggerman, Louis Campangna.” Read More

Head of Fire – Feet of Clay – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

HEAD OF FIRE – FEET OF CLAY

Airdate: April 21st and September 29th, 1960 
Written by Ben Maddow 
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Charles Russell
Director of Photography Charles Straumer 
Special Guest Star Jack Warden
Co-starring Nehemiah Persoff, Madeline Rhue
Featuring Leo Gordon, Virginia Christine, Adrienne Marden, Norm Alden, Lawrence Maldonado, George Chirello, Patsy Kelly

“Eliot Ness, chief of the special unit known as the Untouchables, had not eaten in twelve hours. These were the twelve hours that the jury had been out deciding the case that Ness had prepared so carefully against a mobster named Johnny Fortunato. At 9 p.m., the jury came back and delivered its verdict: not guilty.” Read More

Desiluland – How Desi Arnaz Saved Desilu Productions

By Podcast
Against mounting financial pressure, Desi Arnaz gambles on a Prohibition-era cops-and-robbers drama for his struggling Desilu Playhouse program. After facing down Al Capone’s son, he gathers a talented assortment of Hollywood creatives to produce The Untouchables, but with principal photography only hours away, Arnaz still has yet to secure an actor for the role of Eliot Ness.

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The Underworld Bank – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

THE UNDERWORLD BANK

Airdate: April 14th and August 18th, 1960
Written by Aben Kandel
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Josef Sbaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Thomas Mitchell
Co-starring Virginia Vincent, Peter Falk
Featuring Val Avery, Ernest Sanacino, Penny Santon, Raymond Bailey, Frank Gerstle, Bernard Kates, Vince Barbi, Lennie Bremen

“On the afternoon of September 23rd, 1933, at a fashionable midtown hotel in New York City, a secret meeting of financial giants was scheduled to take place. The six men gathering at this secret meet were modest in their speech and very circumspect in their behavior, but a sharp-eyed detective with a memory for mug shots could have named them all: Harold Vishman, behind the scenes operator and political power in the State of Louisiana; Ralph Louchey, old-time rum-runner, once a leader of Detroit’s Purple Gang; Big Augie Epstein, Kansas kingpin of Miami gambling; Dino Matero, pinball and slot machines, Kansas City; Art Martin, jukeboxes, numbers, prostitution, Seattle and the northwest. And Milo Sullivan, retired hoodlum. His shrewd manipulations had made him business consultant for the nation’s underworld. These six men were meeting to organize the underworld bank. At their control were the lush profits acquired during the Prohibition days. Now with Prohibition and its illicit offspring, bootlegging, nearing their dismal finish, they sought other profitable fields of investment for their illegal millions.”
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Portrait Of A Thief – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

PORTRAIT OF A THIEF

Airdate: April 7th, 1960
Written by Herbert Abbott Spiro
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Joseph Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Featuring Henry Jones, Charles McGraw, Edward Andrews

“1931 found America and the world hitting the depths of Depression. Men begged for jobs when there were none to be had. In the larger cities, bread lines formed and soup kitchens fed the hungry and the homeless. Apples were sold on street corners. But 1931 also saw man soaring to the heights: the Empire State Building was rising fourteen hundred feet to tower above the island of Manhattan. In Chicago, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables had cracked the bootleg empire of Al Capone, only to learn that thousands of gallons of illegal alcohol were flowing into the city from some mysterious source. Ness took his problem to Beecher Asbury, the federal district attorney.” Read More