The Masterpiece – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2 No Comments

THE MASTERPIECE

Airdates: January 19th, 1961 and August 31, 1961
Written by David Z. Goodman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography
Special Guest Star Rip Torn
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, George Voskovec, Robert Middleton
Featuring Harry Shannon, Joseph Ruskin, Addison Richards, Alexander Lockwood

“With the conviction and jailing of Al Capone, the richest plum of the Capone empire, the operation of the speakeasies and the breweries in the heart of Chicago, was split into two parts. The speakeasies were acquired by Meyer Wartel. Wartel was a Capone lieutenant. Distinguishing characteristics: killer, and hypochondriac. The breweries and distilleries were acquired by Carl Positan. Positan, too, was a Capone lieutenant. Distinguishing characteristic: killer. In a bold effort to take over the entire operation, Positan had withheld the whisky and beer, which Wartel needed to run his speakeasies. As a result, the number of speakeasies flourishing in Illinois’ largest city, dropped to an all-time Prohibition low. The tremendous loss in speakeasy revenue brought Frank Nitti, Capone’s collector, face to face with Meyer Wartel.” 

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Part One of The Big Train – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

PART ONE OF THE BIG TRAIN

Airdate: January 5th, 1961
Written by William Spier
Directed by John Peyser
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Neville Brand
Co-starring Bruce Gordon
Featuring Richard Carlyle, Gavin MacLeod, Lewis Charles, Frank London, Lalo Rios

“On October 17th, 1931, in a federal district courthouse, the trial of Scarface Al Capone, which had lasted eleven days, came to an end. The man responsible for the arrest and conviction of Capone was Eliot Ness. Ironically, the two men, opposing chiefs in a bitter warfare, had never met. And although Capone, as he was taken from the Chicago courtroom on November 24th, 1931, passed within a few yards of Ness, he did not recognize the leader of The Untouchables.”

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The Rusty Heller Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE RUSTY HELLER STORY

Airdates: October 13th, 1960 and March 2nd, 1961
Written by Leonard Kantor
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-Starring Elizabeth Montgomery, Harold J. Stone, David White and introducing Paul Picerni. Featuring Normal Fell, John Duke, Rita Duncan, Linda Watkins, John Close, Betty Garde, Pete Candoli, Allison Hayes, George Di Normand

“In the last weeks of March 1931, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables were hitting hard at the Capone empire. Every day, gunshots rattled the concrete as Ness led his men in raid after raid. While prosperity stayed around the corner for most of us, it came out and licked the hands of mobsters, bootleggers, and hoods. For them, it had been Rome at its height, under Emperor Al Capone, until Eliot Ness moved in to clean up. Each speakeasy knocked out by Ness, each brewery put out of commission, each Capone man lost made it more obvious: Capone’s throne was tottering. It was a first-rate opportunity for someone with brains and cunning to use the battle to set his own table. But who had the guts to move in? There was still a lot of fight left in the old Emperor. Read More

Part One of The Unhired Assassin – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

PART ONE OF THE UNHIRED ASSASSIN

Airdates: February 25th and September 8th, 1960
Teleplay by William Spier
Directed by Howard W. Koch
Produced by Joseph Sbaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Robert Middleton Featuring Joe Mantel, Bruce Gordon, Claude Akins, Lee Van Cleef, Frank de Kova, Richard Deacon, George Neise, John Duke, Eleanor Audley Ray Kellogg, Charles Watts, Robert Anderson, and Argentina Brunetti

”November 9th, 1932. At 15 minutes past midnight, Eastern Standard Time, the Associated Press from Palo Alto, reported this three-word flash: ‘Hoover concedes defeat’. Three years of depression had thrust Herbert Hoover and the Republicans from control of the government and elected New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President of the United States. The Volstead Act was doomed. Repeal of the 18th amendment, prohibition, was inevitable. At 2:15 a.m. Chicago time, the Untouchables led by their chief, Eliot Ness, celebrated the beginning of the end of prohibition by destroying the last of the breweries operated by Al Capone and company. ”
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The Big Squeeze – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Airdates: February 18th, 1960 and July 7th, 1960
Teleplay by W. R. Burnett and Robert C. Dennis
Story by W.R. Burnett
Produced and Directed by Roger Kay
Director of Photography Robert B. Hauser
Special Guest Star Dan O’Herlihy
Co-starring John Hoyt, Dody Heath and Featuring James Mageean, Frank Wilcox, Jean Vaughn, William A. Forester, Steven Coit, Ed Hashim, Pitt Herbert

“Prior to May 1934, robbing state banks was not a federal offense. Bandits had only local police to contend with, and these were frequently understaffed, inefficient or corrupt. With all the odds in favor of the hoods, there was a rash of successful though clumsily executed bank robberies carried out with complete disregard for human life. But, in addition to these rip and tear robbers, there were many experts of an older school, like the men who silently looted the Farmers and Drovers Bank of Kansas City, of $150,000, and left the small change behind for the muscle men. In Chicago, March 7th, 1934, a meeting took place in the office of Beecher Asbury, the federal district attorney.” Read More

Little Egypt – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

LITTLE EGYPT

Airdate: Feb. 11,1960
Written by Joseph Petracca
Directed by John H. Peyser
Produced by Josef Shatlel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Fred Clark
Co-starring Susan Cummings, Anthony George Featuring John Marley, Sam Gilman, Bartlett Robinson, Norm Alden, Miriam Goldina, James McCallion, Frank Bella

“Election night, 1931, in the City of Moraine, the heart of the gangster ­infested area of downstate Illinois, known as Little Egypt. Marcus Stone, the new mayor., was thanking the people for sweeping his entire reform ticket into office.” Read More

The St. Louis Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

THE ST. LOUIS STORY

Airdates: January 28th and June 30th, 1960
Teleplay by Joseph Petracca
Directed by Howard W. Koch
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Robert B. Hauser, A.S.C.
Special Guest Star David Brian
Co-starring Leo Gordon.
Introducing Anthony George as Cam Allison. Featuring Richard Bakalyn, Rita Duncan, Frank Wilcox, George Neise, Bernard Fein, Danny Meehan, Percy Helton, Lillian Bronson

“On a peaceful evening in the Spring of 1931. Gang warfare had broken out with sudden violence on the streets of St. Louis. Tim Harrington, long-entrenched as the undisputed boss of the city, was fighting the challenge to his leadership. And the challenger was an upstart hoodlum: Joe Courtney. The most outraged citizen in St. Louis was Dink Conway, the owner of the swanky Jockey Club, a fashionable club house attached to the old Maxwell Race Tracie, converted into the finest restaurant and nightclub in the State of Missouri.”
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The Dutch Schultz Story – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

The Dutch Schultz Story

Airdate: December 17th, 1959
Teleplay by Jerome Ross and
Robert C. Dennis
Story by Jerome Ross
Directed by Jerry Hopper
Produced by Sidney Marshall
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Lawrence Dobkin
Featuring Mort Mills, Robert Carricart, David White

“The underworld has always lived by one law, the law of the jungle. The strong clawed their way to power, the weak died in a hail of machine gun bullets. In March of 1935, one of the toughest mobsters in New York City, the man who dominated the underworld at the moment, was Arthur Flegenheimer, better known as Dutch Schultz. During his career, Dutch Schultz and his mob were suspected of having committed over 100 murders. He controlled every racket in New York. He had branched out into liquor, narcotics, later shakedowns, the numbers racket. ”
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Vincent “Mad Dog” Coll – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

VINCENT ‘MAD DOG’ COLL

Airdate Nov. 19, 1959
Teleplay by Palmer Thompson
Story by Charles Marion
Directed by Andrew McCollough
Produced by Paul Harrison
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Clu Gulager, Lawrence Dobkin
Featuring Suzanne Storrs, Richard Carlyle, Dick Miller, Ronni Anton, Richard Carlin

“In the month of February in the early thirties, three widely separate events occurred. At Churchill Downs, the entries for the Kentucky Derby were closed. In Tijuana, Mexico, a gambling syndicate accepted a huge bet in the winter book on one of those entries. The bet came from New York City, from a phone in a building on the west side of Manhattan. It was placed for a sallow-faced, tight-fisted man named Arthur Flegenheimer, Jr., better known as ‘The Dutchman.’ Dutch Schultz, beer baron of New York who, with his body guard Benny Bristow and his chief lieutenant Lefty Gallagher, sat in his office figuring the take from his criminal empire, Mile outside three men waited: Fats Finney, Needles Bledsoe and their leader, a man who had a vindictive hatred for Dutch Schultz! A man who was one of the most fantastic gangsters of that era: Vincent Mad Dog’ Coll.” Read More

The Jake Lingle Killing – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 1

THE JAKE LINGLE KILLING

Airdate: October 29th, 1959
Teleplay by Robert C. Dennis
Story by Saul Levitt
Directed by Joe Parker
Produced by Charles Russell
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Jack Lord
Featuring Charles McGraw, Philip Pine, John Beradino, Herb Vigran, H. M. Wynant, Frank Wilcox.

“Geographically, Chicago always had its North and South side. In the early 1930s, these terms had a very special significance. They referred to the territories of rival gangs. The North Side was controlled by Barney Bertsche. Everything south of Madison Street belonged to the Viale Brothers, Augie and Vito. The line of demarcation was never clearly drawn and the territories overlapped and were often in dispute. The result: gang war.”
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