Mr. Moon – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2


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


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


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


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


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 Antidote – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2


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


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

The Underground Court – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2


Airdates: February 16th, 1961, July 6th, 1961
Written by Leonard Kantor
Directed by Don Medford
Produced by Josef Shaftel
Director of Photography Charles Straumer 
Special Guest Star Joan Blondell
Co-starring Richard Devon, Frank De Kova
Featuring Eddie Firestone, Vic Perrin, John Duke, William Fawcett, Arthur Kendall

“September 8th, 1934, 5:15 a.m. The Morrow Castle, an American cruise liner returning from Cuba with 318 passengers and a crew of 231, was ablaze off Spring Lake, New Jersey. All efforts to curb the fire were in vain. At the same time, Eliot Ness, acting on reports from Cuban agents, was racing down the Jersey coast to the scene of the disaster, where passengers and crew were being pulled out of the sea. Ness was on his way to arrest passenger Valentine Ferrar, racketeer, gambler, disbarred lawyer and founder of the Big Syndicate. It was reported that Ferrar had collected for the Syndicate, then in control of most of the U. S. criminal world, over a million dollars from their interests in Havana.” Read More

Augie “The Banker” Ciamino – Episode Review

By Episode Review, Season 2


Airdates: February 9th and June 29th, 1961
Written by Adrian Spies
Directed by Stuart Rosenberg
Produced by Herman Hoffman
Director of Photography Charles Straumer
Special Guest Star Keenan Wynn
Co-starring Will Kaluva, Sam Jaffe, Lee Phillips
Featuring Harry Dean Stanton, Bernard Kates, Rebecca Welles, Bernie Fein

“More than anything else the war between Eliot Ness and the ganglords was a war over the Prohibition era’s most prized liquid asset: alcohol. By 1931, with a series of slashing raids on secret distilleries, it looked as though the Untouchables were actually managing to dry up the arrogant, illegal, multi-million-dollar racket. But the nimble minds of the underworld kingpins were to regroup their angry forces. With shocking speed, the underworld bosses found another way to get their whisky made. Taking advantage of the poverty and the desperation of many immigrant families during those depression days, the racketeers had devised a home still that could be put together for less than three dollars. The man picked to run this new illicit empire was Augie Ciamino, absolute boss of Chicago’s Little Italy. In a short time, his home-cooker operation was canceling out the Untouchables’ gains. Whisky flowed from a thousand tenement kitchens. Ciamino spent most of his time counting profits—until the night of August 16th, the night of a street festival on Haver Street.”
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