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

Stranglehold – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

STRANGLEHOLD

Airdate: May 4th, 1961
Written by Harry Kronman
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Alan Armer
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Ricardo Montalban.
Co-starring Philip Pine, Kevin Hagen.
Featuring Trevor Bardette, Robert J. Wilke, Oscar Beregi, Burt Miller,
Adrienne Marden, Gene Roth, Frank Puglia.

“The Prohibition years wrote a dark page in our history. Americans who had once defied a king, refusing to pay a tax on tea, now paid a tax to the underworld on everything they drank or ate. From booze to bacon, from medicine to milk, racketeers poked their greedy fingers into every corner of the nation’s business. One little pig was going to market: The Fulton Fish Market in New York. A wholesale market, serving the entire east, shipping as far as Mississippi; a business of fantastic totals turning over $200 million a year, weighing out 700 million pounds of fish and one man’s thumb resting heavy on the scale.” 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

Mr. Moon – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

MR. MOON

Airdates: April 20th, 1961 and  August 24, 1961
Written by Charles O’Neal and John Mantley
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Josef Shanel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Co-starring Victor Buono, Bruce Gordon, Karl Svenson.
Featuring Ellen Madison, Robert Osterloh, Russ Conway, Tommy Nello, Stewart Bradley, Byron Morrow

“On a dark night in the fall of 1934, an armored truck carrying the special paper used in the printing of United States currency was speeding towards Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its ultimate destination was the Bureau of Engraving in Washington, D. C. Waiting at a crossroads a mile ahead was a group of men about to make the first overt move in the greatest counterfeiting swindle in the history of the world. The execution of this ingenious plan had been in preparation for over two years.

In less than two minutes, the first step in a plan to defraud the people of the United States of $100 million dollars was completed and three men lay dead. Within 48 hours, Eliot Ness and five other top crime experts of the federal government had been flown to Washington, and were in conference with the men whose job it was to protect the nation against the economic cancer of counterfeiting.”
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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

Testimony of Evil – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

TESTIMONY OF EVIL

Airdates: March 30th, and August 17th, 1961, February 12th, 1963
Written by Joseph Petracca
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Produced by Joseph Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star David Brian.
Co-starring Fay Spain, Jack Elam, John Marley.
Featuring Johnny Seven, Robert Brubaker, K. L. Smith, Robert Comthwaite, Ross Elliott, Paul Genge.

“On the night of October 11th, 1932, less than a month before the people of Chicago went to the polls to elect a state’s attorney, David Mantley, heading the reform ticket to dissolve the marriage of gangsters and politicians, addressed a small crowd from the back of his campaign truck.” 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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The Antidote – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2

THE ANTIDOTE

Airdates: March 9, 1961 and Dec. 24, 1962
Written by David Z. Goodman
Directed by Walter E. Grauman
Produced by Lloyd Richards
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Joseph Wiseman
Co-starring Bruce Gordon, Telly Savalas. Featuring Gale Robbins, Jeff Lorey, John Mitchum, Ben Wright, Jason Wingreen, Loma Thayer, Byron Morrow.

“In mid-October of 1932, two events had the nation’s capitol buzzing with excitement. The first was the election campaign between the incumbent president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was climaxing his great personal triumph over polio, as the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party. The second event was a special meeting of the most important federal agents from the leading cities in the country.” 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