The Untouchables: Season 1, Episode 19

The Big Squeeze (18 Feb. 1960)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Crime | Drama
7.5
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For Ness, a master bank robber proves a worthy opponent. But robbing banks is not a federal offense, so Ness must get him on another charge.

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Title: The Big Squeeze (18 Feb 1960)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
James Havens
Dodie Heath ...
Chicky Purcell (as Dody Heath)
...
Ace Banner
Anthony George ...
Agent Cam Allison (credit only)
Nicholas Georgiade ...
Abel Fernandez ...
Jimmy Mageean ...
Jamie 'The Knife' Hennigan (as James Mageean)
...
...
Jeanne Vaughn ...
Miss Downes
William A. Forester ...
Stu Mill
Stephen Coit ...
Lynch
Edmund Hashim ...
Matty Church (as Ed Hashim)
Pitt Herbert ...
Cashier
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Storyline

Larry 'Ace' Banner is considered to be the creme de la creme of bank robbers. He plans his robberies meticulously, never uses a gun himself and the result is usually a large haul and little for the police to go on. With a huge increase in bank robberies throughout the Midwest, the Federal District Attorney, Beecher Ashbury, is just itching to do something about it. Unfortunately, he can't since bank robbery isn't a Federal offense. That doesn't stop him from asking Eliot Ness to see what he can find on Banner. The master thief has just completed a $450,000 haul - in part because he managed to blackmail the manager into giving him security information - and has now decided to retire to the good life of a wealthy bachelor. When the government finally makes bank robberies a federal offense, Ness waits patiently knowing that it is only a matter of time before Ace will strike again. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

18 February 1960 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Series regular Anthony George is fifth-billed in the on-screen closing credits but does not appear in the episode. See more »

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User Reviews

 
J. Edgar Hoover's jurisdiction
26 September 2013 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Despite some good performances, especially out of Dan O'Herlihy as a gentleman bank robber, this episode of The Untouchables was far from accurate as to how bank robbery became a federal crime.

When the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was formed to insure that banks would not be subject to the boom and bust cycle, those banks who joined it came under federal jurisdiction. If you remember the classic Don Siegel film Charley Varrick Walter Matthau and his gang targeted a specific small southwestern bank because it did not carry insurance and hence it would not be a federal crime. Treasury agents were not involved in this area of law enforcement at all. Bank robbery became the jurisdiction of J. Edgar Hoover and his agency. That's who Federal Attorney Frank Wilcox would have called on to gather evidence to make bank robbery a crime, not Eliot Ness.

Still Wilcox does call on Robert Stack and his team and investigate they do. O'Herlihy is one smooth operator and he doesn't make mistakes. And to take care of mistakes he has James Mageean as his enforcer.

Mageean also stands out in this story. His brogue is unmistakable and although it's never brought up he probably learned his trade in the old country fighting in the Rebellion and later the Irish Civil War.

Untouchable episodes take a lot of liberties, but this one was too much.


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