March 1934. Bank robbery is still not a Federal offense but many want to make it one. Among those is the United States Attorney for Chicago, Beecher Asbury. He plans on attending a Senate hearing in Washington to try and get legislation passed so that bank robbery will fall under Federal jurisdiction. To help his case, he wants Eliot Ness to go after the best bank robber in the business--Larry "Ace" Banner. Banner has just pulled off a huge heist in Kansas City and is currently in Chicago staying at a swank hotel. ..Read the full recap
The writer of this episode, William Riley Burnett, also penned the crime novels Little Caesar and The Asphalt Jungle which were both made into classic films.
Locations: Chicago, Miami, Petroleum City, PA
Banner: The smartest man in the end outsmarts himself.
Ness: That's just what I'm counting on.
Banner: I love beautiful women but they're the one luxury I cannot afford.
Ness: (about Banner) Any rookie cop would recognize a master's touch.
Ness: (comparing Banner with gangsters like Capone) Inside you're all the same--thieves.
Ness: (to Asbury about Banner) He's right here in Chicago. The Crestmoor Arms, no less. He can afford it. He has excellent banking connections.
Banner: It's a fool's job.
Ness: Maybe but I wouldn't trade it for the one you'll be doing.
Narrator: Chickie Purcell's interest in Larry Banner lasted only as long as his bank account. When the money ran out so did Chickie.
The character of Larry "Ace" Banner appears to be loosely based on Willie Sutton, a New York bank robber during the 1930s and 40s who frequently used disguises during his robberies and almost never carried a loaded gun.
This episode, written by veteran crime novelist W.R. Burnett, contains a villain who's a bit more sympathetic than your average Untouchables foe. Dan O'Herlihy does a nice job here making Ace Banner one of Eliot Ness's most memorable foes.