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The Untouchables: The Unhired Assassin (1)

When Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak begins cracking down on gangsters activities in the city, the Capone Mob, now led by Frank "the Enforcer" Nitti, decides that he must die. Ness and the Untouchables are assigned to protect Mayor Cermak from any potential assassin's bullet. Meanwhile, in Miami, a man named Giuseppe Zangara begins getting homicidal urges to kill an important man.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x20
Airdate: Thursday February 25th, 1960

Director: Howard W. Koch
Writer: William Speir


  • Currently 10/10
10/10 (1 Vote cast)
Special Guest Stars
Robert MiddletonRobert Middleton
As Mayor Anton Cermak
Recurring

Guest Stars
Bruce Gordon (1)Bruce Gordon (1)
As Frank Nitti
Recurring
Joe MantellJoe Mantell
As Giuseppe Zangara
Recurring
Claude AkinsClaude Akins
As Jake "Dodo" Ryan
Recurring
Frank DeKovaFrank DeKova
As Louis "Little New York" Campagna
Recurring
Lee Van CleefLee Van Cleef
As Frank Diamond
Recurring
George N. NeiseGeorge N. Neise
As Ira Peterson
Recurring
John DaheimJohn Daheim
As Tom Jansen
Recurring
Barry RussoBarry Russo
As Milwaukee Minnelli
Recurring
Ted BergerTed Berger
As Roley Sutton
Recurring
Argentina BrunettiArgentina Brunetti
As Mrs. Swoboda
Recurring
Richard DeaconRichard Deacon
As Bill Skidmore
Sallie ToddSallie Todd
As Sally Jansen
Frankie DarroFrankie Darro
As Newspaper Vendor
Main Cast
Robert StackRobert Stack
As Eliot Ness
Nicholas GeorgiadeNicholas Georgiade
As Agent Enrico Rossi
Abel FernándezAbel Fernández
As Agent William Youngfellow
Steve LondonSteve London
As Agent Jack Rossman
Anthony GeorgeAnthony George
As Agent Cam Allison (1960)
Walter WinchellWalter Winchell
As Narrator

Recap

November 9, 1932. FDR has just been elected President. Repeal of Prohibition seems imminent. To celebrate, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables raid another of the Capone Mob's breweries. Youngfellow wonders if they'll be out of a job with the end of Prohibition. Ness replies that the Mob has plenty of other rackets they can get into such as muscling into legitimate operations like the upcoming World's Fair for which Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak wants to clean up the city...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Though Nitti continually refers to him as a Bulgarian, the real Mayor Anton Cermak was of Czech descent in real life.

Claude Akins would return in The Monkey Wrench and The Spoiler.

Robert Middleton would return in The Masterpiece and King of Champagne.

This two-part episode was edited and released theatrically as Gun of Zangara.

Frank DeKova would portray real-life Chicago mobster Louis "Little New York" Campagna once again in the Season One finale The Frank Nitti Story.

Locations: Chicago, Miami



Episode Quotes
Nitti: That fat, stinkin' Bulgarian coal miner!
Skidmore: Bohemian.
Nitti: Shaddup! Quit givin' me corrections. I wanna know something, I ask.

Ryan: (to Tom Jansen) You'll see me again, buddy.

Skidmore: I've got a feeling this might work.
Nitti: Well, I don't. The only thing that's gonna shut that Bulgarian up is something that talks louder than he does. Namely one of these. [pulls out a gun]

Cermak: (after the assassination attempt): Mr. Ness, I don't know what to say.
Ness: You were lucky.

Ness: It's first degree, Ryan. You'll get the chair. (to the beat cop) Take him downtown. I'll sign the ticket. No bail, no nothing.
Ryan: No, wait! A deal! Let's make a deal!

Ryan: Hey wait. What happens to me?
Ness: You go up for murder just like I said.
Ryan: But we made a deal.
Ness: Did I?
Ryan: Why you lousy, stinkin' cop! It's a doublecross! It's a stinkin' doublecross!
Ness:: That's what it is. How does it feel?

Allison: You're a dead man, Ryan.



Episode Goofs
In a line of dialogue in this episode, Ness mentions to Mayor Cermak that he has a son. Not true in real life. Ness had no children until the 1950's when he and third wife, Betty, adopted a young orphan boy.

Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak is portrayed as a reformer in this episode but in reality his administration was extremely corrupt and was the forerunner for the notorious political machine that still controls things in the Windy City to this very day.



Analysis
Some would call this two-parter the magnum opus of Season One. Frank Nitti returns for his first appearance since the premiere episode and he's at his nastiest in this episode as he and his underlings plot to assassinate the Mayor of Chicago. Veteran heavy Robert Middleton is cast against type as the reform mayor Cermak and pulls it off well.Throw in nice turns from veteran heavies Claude Akins, Lee Van Cleef, and Frank De Kova and you get a memorable episode.



Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerQuinn Martin (1)
ProducerJosef Shaftel
Associate ProducerArthur Fellows
CastingKerwin Coughlin
Story EditorHarry Fried
Sound EditorJosef Von Stroheim
ComposerNelson Riddle
 
Warning: The Untouchables season 1 episode 20 guide may contain spoilers
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