|Index||4 reviews in total|
Justice "is finally about to catch up to racketeer Theordore Newberry,
the owner of gambling parlors, speakeasies, and houses of
prostitution." However, the key witness against Newberry, despite
police protection, vanishes when the crooks come and capture him.
When I look at these old shows, any crime story from movies or TV from the "classic era," I just shake my head at some of the things I see. I wonder if they really were like that back then. For example, everyone handles evidence, messing up fingerprints, etc. Doors are left open everywhere, police beat up all the suspects. In here, "police protection for a key witness against a big mobsters consists of ONE guy outside the door and one inside. When the policeman outside the door is duped and slugged over the head, the witness is abducted. It's that easy! Oh, well.
In good twist, however, it turns out Newberry didn't kidnap the witness and doesn't know who did, but figures "the city hall boys ran him out of town." He doesn't Ness to find him. What to do? Get Ness out of the city so he can find the witness and kill him. He starts with a smear tactic.
Most of the show is centered in Mexico and what happens there with Ness, his partner "Nick Delgado" (played by Vince Edwards of Dr. Ben Casey" fame) ,and the bad guys.
The most interesting character in this episode, by far, was "Jerry Fanning," Newberry's hit man, who is played by well-known screen actor Martin Landau. He was intense all the way.
Despite all of the above, this was too talky and just plain boring in much of it. I only mentioned the high spots and the most intriguing actor (Landau). Some of these shows are a lot slower-moving than I remembered as a kid. Back then, however, most TV shows and movie were that way so we were used to a more leisurely pace. Now, it looks slow compared to what we are used to seeing the last few decades.
"Mexican Stake-Out" is the worst episode of "The Untouchables" so far.
While I am sure there are worse, this is the first big disappointment
of season 1 and the other episodes were by and large extremely well
made. The biggest problem about this one is that it simply makes little
sense. And, with Martin Landau as the guest villain, it reminds me of a
few episodes of "Mission: Impossible" in that the plan is ridiculously
overly complicated and convoluted.
When the show begins, some weasel named Embry is supposed to testify against some mob boss named Newberry. However, the night before the trial, Embry is kidnapped from the Feds protecting him and most folks just assume he'd been murdered...but not Ness. Now here is where the story runs amok--Newberry wants his favorite henchmen (Landau) to pretend to help Ness and tells him that Embry is in Mexico. Now Ness, a Federal agent, has no authority in Mexico so he does what any intelligent lawman would do--he sneaks into the country with only one assistant (Vince Edwards). To make this brilliant plan even better, Ness doesn't know Spanish!! Duh. Yet, unbelievably, this ridiculous plan somehow is supposed to work and Newberry will be brought to justice!
Too many stupid story angles make this one a chore to watch. Even with a great character actor like Landau, it's just dumb.
This episode of The Untouchables takes Robert Stack to Mexico on the
trail of witness Byron Foulger who was set to testify against racketeer
Ken Lynch. He gets a one way ticket south of the border and then
Lynch's top triggerman Martin Landau after him and Eliot Ness after all
Not the best story The Untouchables ever had. Why Foulger couldn't just disappear as many potential informers did is beyond me. Stack has a partner the future Ben Casey of television Vincent Edwards who gets himself captured, but proves resourceful in captivity.
He has the meatiest part, but Martin Landau as the hit-man is the best one in the story. It's the kind of part that calls for scenery chewing and Landau really chows down.
He's worth watching in this story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Gangster Theodore Newberry, strongly portrayed by actor Ken Lynch, is
suave, confident, wealthy, and well-connected. His vicious chief
assistant, Jerry Fanning, is played by a young Martin Landau. Fanning
is a hopped-up, nervous drug addict with a stutter.
A federal inquiry into Newberry's empire of alcohol, gambling, prostitution and bribery depends on a single witness, the meek accountant Julius Imbry. Newberry sends Fanning to kill him, but instead, "the city hall boys," unwilling to be fingered for accepting bribes, but less murderous than Newberry, kidnap Imbry from protective custody and get him out of town.
Newberry develops a plan to get Imbry and Ness, and ruin the Untouchables. He uses a confederate and his own newspaper to create and publicize a fake bribery scheme to embarrass Ness. Learning that Imbry is in Mexico, he has his Mexican contacts seize Imbry, then lures Ness to Mexico to rescue him. Ness brings Spanish speaking agent Nick Delgado (actor Vince Edwards, who later played Ben Casey). Newberry sends Jerry Fanning down to make sure that Ness and Imbry are killed and their corpses put out to sea, so that it looks like Ness has taken a payoff and disappeared.
Ness falls into a trap laid by Newberry's confederate in Mexico, Achilles Guzman (actor Rodolfo Hoyos), but his wariness saves him. Delgado gets to Imbry, who was being held by Guzman's man Max Charcas, and Fanning traps them both, but is disturbed that he has not caught Ness. Working separately, Ness and Delgado save Imbry and return him to testify against Newberry. Newberry, having received a telegram proclaiming success, arrives confidently at the hearing, only to learn that it was Ness, not Fanning, who sent him the message.
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