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Desperado Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll is involved in a nasty feud with ganglord Dutch Schultz. First he kidnaps and murders one of Schultz's lieutenants and then he kidnaps a prized racehorse on which the Dutchman has bet a huge sum to win the Kentucky Derby.
In February of 1931 the normally tight-fisted gangster Dutch Schultz places a $100,000 bet with the Tijuana gambling syndicate on a horse named Enchantment to win the upcoming Kentucky Derby. He gets 7 to 1 odds. Unfortunately for the Dutchman, he had made himself a dangerous enemy. Former employee Vincent Coll, whom Schultz has dubbed "Mad Dog", is out to get him. Coll has rounded up two sidekicks in Needles Bledsoe and Fats Finney...Read the full recap
This episode marked the first of three appearances by Lawrence Dobkin as Dutch Schultz. Dobkin would return as the Dutchman in Dutch Schultz Story and Jack "Legs" Diamond. The character of Schultz would also be portrayed by Robert J. Wilke in Stranglehold and by Warren Kemmerling in The Monkey Wrench.
This marks the first of two times where Dutch Schultz will successfully conceal something from Eliot Ness. Here it's ransom money. A few episodes later in The Dutch Schultz Story it would be incriminating photographs.
Bern Hoffman was the original Jake Guzik in the pilot episode for the series.
Location: New York Area, Chicago, Louisville
Needles: We give it another half hour?
Coll: If we have to, we give it another year.
Coll: (about Schultz) I wanna make him bleed where it hurts the most. You know, his pocketbook.
Coll: (to Lefty) You should be worth at least as much as a horse.
Coll: I know the Dutchman. You gotta squeeze him. You gotta squeeze to get a buck outta him.
Historical goof: this episode begins in February of 1931. In the scene where the young boy identifies Coll as the man who pulled a gun on him the boy recognizes Ness as the man who got Capone. In reality, Capone was not "gotten" until October of 1931 when he was convicted of income tax evasion.
There's way too much method acting by Clu Gulager as lead villain Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll for my taste in this episode. Gulager's Coll is basically Stanley Kowalski on a bad acid trip. Lawrence Dobkin does a good job as Dutch Schultz but his screen time is too limited. Also, the premise of Coll kidnapping and later trying to shoot a racehorse at the Kentucky Derby is a bit too over the top.