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The Monkey Wrench - Recap

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In March of 1933, the Chicago Mob headed by Frank Nitti is smuggling in master brewers from Germany to improve the quality of their beer. Their point of entry into the country is a place located 180 miles northeast of Chicago called Chippewa Landing, Michigan. Barney Kova is in charge of the operation. Max Koerner and his widowed sister-in-law, Madie, run the entry point (a hunting lodge) in Chippewa Landing.

Back in Chicago, Eliot Ness and the Untouchables are up to their usual tricks of smashing the syndicate's bootlegging operations. There's another raid on the night of March 22. All of the brewery workers surrender peacefully but someone shoots the brewmaster in the back. He had just recently entered the country through Chippewa Landing a few weeks before and mentions those words to Ness with his dying breath.

The news of the latest raid brings Frank Nitti back to Chicago from his vacation in Miami Beach. Nitti ain't happy. Chicago is no Miami Beach. When Barney Kova, in charge of the operation, complains about shooting the brewmasters Nitti replies that any of the illegal brewmasters about to be caught by the Feds has to be shot to keep him from blowing the whistle on the entire operation. Kova then says that it's getting harder and harder to convince brewmasters to come over from Germany. Nitti replies that if the job's too tough for Kova they'll find him another one--looking for the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Ness drives up to the village of Chippewa Landing and drops in on Madie. Madie is attracted to Ness but she tells him nothing. Mainly because brother-in-law Maxt Koerner is in the next room with a gun pointed at Ness.

The scene then shifts to New York City where rackets boss Joe Kulak is having a conference with his boys including Dutch Schultz. It seems as though Nitti's superior brew has been hitting the New York markets hard. They can't even sell their slop to the local winos. Dutch wants to know what Kulak is going to do about it. Kulak brings in Karl Hansa, a psychopath who has been in hiding for nearly a year after killing a Federal agent. Kulak plans to send Hansa to Chicago to throw a monkey wrench into Nitti's scheme. He promises him $250 grand for his efforts. Some of the boys don't trust Hansa because he's so volatile but Kulak points out that if you want an explosion the best thing to use is dynamite.

Hansa knows Max Koerner and he knows how and where Nitti and company are smuggling in the alien brewmasters. When a new group of immigrants arrives at Chippewa Landing he's one of them. Max Koerner recognizes him and gets a knife in the chest for his efforts. Hansa cleverly plants the offending weapon in the coat pocket of another alien and it's disovered there. The unfortunate alien is disposed of by Kova.

Hansa, who's using the alias of Karl Schmidt, is given Max's old job by Kova. He's attracted to Madie but she's scared of him. Nevertheless, she gives Ness another tip about another group of aliens heading into Chicago from Chippewa Landing. Ness and local law enforcement officers intercept the carload of aliens but when one of the locals shoots the tire out of the car it crashes into a tree and explodes. All its occupants are killed.

Nitti's plenty sore at this and he tears Kova a new one. There's a leak in the operation and he wants it plugged. Hansa offers his services to find the leak. Kova says that Schmidt?Hansa doesn't know anything. "Whadda you know, Kova?" asks Nitti and Hansa has the job.

Hansa discovers that Madie is the leak only he doesn't go running to Nitti. He has his own little game to play. He threatens Madie and tells her exactly what to say to Ness. She calls Ness and tells him to meet her at the lodge. Then Hansa steals the immigration records from Kova. He then has Kova killed by his own torpedoes, whom he'd paid off, at the lodge. Hansa tells Madie his plan: with Ness killed off and the immigration record in his possession he figures he can make a deal with Nitti. Much more lucrative than the one he has now with Kulak.

The Untouchables arrive at the lodge. Ness smelled a rat talking to Madie on the phone so he's ready for the ambush. Hansa and his boys get gunned down. Madie's nightmare was over and Nitti's latest racket was smashed.