By the summer of 1931, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables had shut down many of the large breweries and distilleries in Chicago. But the nimble minds of the underworld were not long in coming up with other means to produce illicit hooch. Taking advantage of the poverty and desperation of many immigrants, the gangsters devised small, makeshift stills which could be used to produce whiskey in their homes. In charge of this operation was Augie "the Banker" Ciamino, the absolute boss of Chicago's Little Italy. Ciamino's illicit operation was fast canceling out the gains made by the Untouchables...Read the full recap
The scenario of gangsters forcing poor Italian immigrants to make whiskey for them would be repeated in Season Three's The Genna Brothers.
In an ironic bit of casting, Keenan Wynn played an Untouchable in the pilot for the series.
Ciamino: (pointing a pistol at Ness) I'll kill ya, Ness!
Ness: It only holds six.
Ciamino: Ciamino takes care of his friends.
Ciamino; (to Rainieri) Come on, baker, you know everything. You go to night school.
Ness: (to the nightschool class) Remember, I'm working for you. You're paying me. You ought to get your money's worth.
Fair episode but a long way from a classic. Still, it does demonstrate that the show wasn't as anti-Italian as it critics claimed as it does rightly point out that Italians themselves were often the biggest victims of the criminal activities of their fellow ethnics.