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The Untouchables: The Tri-State Gang

Ness and the Untouchables are assigned to track down a band of hijackers known as the Tri-State Gang. The gang is led by the vicious and brutal Wally Legenza whose specialty is chaining truck drivers to trees and shooting them down in cold blood. Things get even more urgent and more personal for Ness when he loses one of his agents in a gun battle with the gang.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x9
Airdate: Thursday December 10th, 1959



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Special Guest Stars
William Bendix
As Wally Legenza

Guest Stars
Jay Adler
As Georgie Kaufman
Recurring
Gavin MacLeod
As Artie MacLeod
Recurring
Stanley Adams
As Willie Weinberg
Recurring
Joseph Mell
As Sidney Weinberg
Recurring
Alan Hale, Jr.
As Big Bill Phillips (as Alan Hale)
Florence Halop
As Flora Weinberg
Roxane Berard
As Little Lizzie Dauphine
Peggy Maley
As Amy Randall
John Ward (1)
As Bobby Mais

Uncredited
George Lynn
As Doctor
Recurring
William Fawcett
As Police Officer
Recurring
Dick Wilson (2)
As Sheriff
Main Cast
Robert Stack
As Eliot Ness
Nicholas Georgiade
As Agent Enrico Rossi
Abel Fernández
As Agent William Youngfellow
Steve London
As Agent Jack Rossman
Jerry Paris
As Agent Martin Flaherty
Chuck Hicks
As Agent Lamar Kane (1959)
Walter Winchell
As Narrator

Recap

In the latter part of 1933 and early part of 1934 a series of truck hijackings broke out in the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. The hijackings are the work of six men known as the Tri-State Gang. They are: Big Bill Phillps, strongman; Artie McLeod, a cheap tinhorn gambler; Georgie Kaufman, an ex-boxer and oldest member of the gang; Gentleman Jim Harris, an ever cautious man from the moors of Yorkshire who functions as the fence; Bobby Mais, a three-time loser who serves as the group's second-in-command; and finally, Wally Legenza, the brutal and psychotic leader of the gang. When a truck driver is chained to a tree after a robbery and shot four times by Legenza, Eliot Ness and his entire squad of Untouchables are assigned to the case by the higher-ups in Washington D.C...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This episode marks the first of two times in which an Untouchable gets killed in the line of duty. Interestingly enough, the character of Lamar Kane, killed off in this episode, would return a few episodes later in You Can't Pick the Number. The latter episode was filmed before this one but aired afterwards.

Gavin MacLeod would return in The Big Train, Loophole, and Man in the Middle.

Location: Richmond, VA



Episode Quotes
Narrator: And, oh yes, Little Lizzie Dauphine made it home to Quebec.

Legenza: (about Georgie) Punch drunk monkey! Scrambled eggs for brains!

Truck Driver: What are you gonna do?
McLeod: We're gonna tie a nice, pink ribbon around you. That's all.

Ness: We know so much about them we know nothing.

Ness: A man kills for a reason. This is no man, this is an animal.

Legenza: (to the gang) I don't want you runnin' around with no dames. They're trouble.

Legenza: I don't wany any friends. I got too many friends already.



Episode Goofs
Nitpick: though the location of this episode is Richmond, the Tri-State Gang is reading a Philadelphia newspaper in one scene.

In the ending credits the characters of Willie and Sidney Weinberg are billed as Willie and Sidney Weiss.

In the scene where Wally Legenza shoots Willie Weinberg, the gun is pointed away from Weinberg. This is because in the old days the blanks fired from guns could be almost as dangerous as real bullets.

Historical goof: the real Robert Mais didn't die in a shootout with law enforcement officials as depicted in this episode. He was executed in the electric chair along with Tri-State Gang co-hort Wally Legenza.



Analysis
The show finally hit it's stride in The Tri-State Gang, the ninth episode of the series to air. If you could put an episode of The Untouchables in a time capsule for future generations this is the one you would pick. A classic all the way. No one can ever forget the performance of William Bendix as hijacker Wally Legenza.



Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerQuinn Martin (1)
ProducerJosef Shaftel
CastingKerwin Coughlin
Music SupervisorTed Roberts (2)
HairstylistFrances Sperry
Make-upDavid Newell (2)
Set DecoratorAl Rickerd
Property MasterAlbert M. Joyce
Director of PhotographyJack MacKenzie (1)
Story EditorHarry Fried
Production SupervisorArgyle Nelson
Art DirectorRolland M. Brooks  |  Ralph Berger
Production ManagerLloyd Richards
Sound EditorJosef Von Stroheim
Based On The Works OfOscar Fraley  |  Eliot Ness
Film EditorRobert L. Swanson
CostumerSabine Manela
Assistant DirectorHorace Hough
Sound EngineerJohn Kean
ComposerNelson Riddle
Assistant To The Executive ProducerArthur Fellows
Editorial SupervisorBill Heath
 
Warning: The Untouchables season 1 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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