Line of Fire - Recap

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Chicago. 1933. Danceland has a sign that says "30 girls, open until 2 a.m." Hoofer Ellie Haskell says goodbye to her boss, Marty Pulaski, and walks outside the joint only to be gunned down by a rooftop sniper. The sniper happens to be Herbie Pulaski, Marty's mentally disturbed younger brother. Lt. Roy Gunther of the Chicago PD is immediately on the case. Marty says Ellie was a nice girl and says he has no idea who would want to kill her. But that's only what he tells the police. In reality, Marty thinks that competitor Vince Bogan is responsible for the killing. He calls up his rival on the phone and threatens to bump him off.

Meanwhile, Gunther discusses the case with Eliot Ness. Ness has to travel to New York to testify in front of a grand jury so he leaves Lee Hobson in charge. Cut back to Marty who has his brother Herbie drive him over to Bogan's place. Once inside, Marty shoots Bogan. Outside, Herbie panics and drives away. Gunther and Hobson later question Marty. Fran, another dancer at the club, gets sweet on Herbie.

At Bogan's funeral, Janos "Jake" Szabo", the gang overlord in charge of the dance hall rackets, is upset at Marty because of the killing. Szabo had divided up the racket giving 80% to Bogan and 20% to Marty but Marty says that Bogan crossed the line by killing Ellie Haskell. Szabo buys that explanation--for a time. Back at Danceland, Herbie has a flashback to the killing after seeing Fran talking to Marty. He goes up on the roof again with his rifle only to be surprised by a woman coming to get her laundry. Herbie shoots her dead. With this fresh killing, Szabo begins to doubt that Bogan was responsible for the previous sniper killing. He gives Marty 24 hours to prove that Bogan did it or it's cement overcoat time.

Herbie continues to come unglued. He tells Marty that Ellie was a nice girl but that he made her dirty by making her have sex with customers. Now she's better off dead. Ness returns from New York and is informed by Hobson about the second sniper killing. They decide to dig deeper into the backgrounds of the Pulaski brothers since their paths seem to intersect with the killings.

Marty needs a scapegoat to get Szabo off his back. He finds one in club manager Cully who used to work for Bogan. He puts a gun to Cully's head and forces him to write a note outlinining the set-up of the dance hall racket operation. Then Marty shoots Cully and shows Szabo the note. Cully was playing both sides against each other. Szabo accepts that explanation and Marty thinks he's finally in the clear.

Not for long though. Marty later sends Fran out on a "job" and Herbie shoots and kills her. Now Szabo is after Marty's ass again and he has no choice but to offer up the real killer--brother Herbie.

Meanwhile, Ness gets a report from a sanitarium where Herbie once spent six months. He rightly deduces that Herbie Pulaski is the rooftop sniper. They tail Marty and Herbie to Szabo's aviary where all hell breaks loose. At the last minute, Marty tries to save his brother and gets shot down by Szabo's enforcer. The Untouchables plus Lt. Gunther come bursting in through the door. One of Szabo's hoods gets killed while Szabo and another get taken into custody.

Szabo would later be executed for the killing of Marty Pulaski. As for Herbie, he spent eight years in a mental institution in Elgin, IL before being released back into society. When last heard of in 1957 he was leading a normal, productive life.