The Untouchables: Season 1, Episode 1

The Empty Chair (15 Oct. 1959)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama
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With Capone in prison, Frank Nitti tries to grab the open top spot in the empire. But Capone's bookkeeper is giving him a run for his money.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Brandy La France
Bruce Gordon ...
Betty Garde ...
Norma Guzik
Nicholas Georgiade ...
Abel Fernandez ...
Peter Mamakos ...
Gus Raddi
Herman Rudin ...
Tony Volpe
Richard Benedict ...
'Fur' Sammons
Wally Cassell ...
Walter Winchell ...
Narrator (voice)


After 18 months of hard work by Eliot Ness and the Untouchables, Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison. It's only the start however for the law enforcement officers as Capone has left a fully functioning mob empire intact. Soon however, Capone's top enforcer, Frank Nitti, is eliminating some of his competition for control of that empire. In the process of fighting Nitti, Ness recruits a new member of the squad, one-time barber Enrico Rossi who had volunteered to testify against the crime boss after witnessing a shooting. Nitti's main competitor for Al Capone's empty chair is the mob's bookkeeper, Jake Guzik. Ness' plan is to create a rift between the two by focusing on Nitti's personal holdings and leaving the others alone. Guzik proves to be a far more intelligent opponent than Ness may have given him credit for so he tries to get a dead mobsters wife, Guzik's niece, to inform on the bookkeeper. Written by garykmcd

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Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

15 October 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Norma Louise Guzik: I didn't know he had an Italian Brother-in-law.
Agent Enrico Rossi: Happens to the best of us, lady.
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User Reviews

"EXTRA! EXTRA! Al Capone Sentenced To Federal Prison!" So Who's Gonna Supply our Booze?
12 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With the great success of the two part Untouchables presentation on the CBS Network's Desilu Playhouse, the world cried for more "G-Men" on TV. And, Presto, THE UNTOUCHABLES was born! The main problem with launching the new series lied with the fact that the Desilu Playhouse presentation dealt with the long and tedious investigation leading up to the Trial & Sentencing of Al Capone on an Income Tax evasion charge. What would the series do to continue the story? Well, a lot of embellishing goes into a Hollywood version of occurrences, but one thing for sure is true. Life goes on and so does crime. The ABC TV Network welcomed series with open arms.

THE EMPTY CHAIR is a neatly done hour episode that starts with Capone being sent off to prison. Elliot Ness observes Capone being taken from the Court House to his transportation to prison. Was this now the end of lawlessness in Chicago, the U.S.A. and the world? Well of course not.The UNTOUCHABLES Series would be all about Gangland's transformation after the Capone verdict. Who would run things in the organization (in Chicasgo Lingo we call it "The Outfit").

In the initial installment, THE EMPTY CHAIR, we have a lot of the characters from the Desilu Playhouse 2 Parter*, including Barbara Nichols as a former Strip Tease Artist, now long on morning her lost husband. Bruce Gordon reprised his role as Capone Lieutennant, Frank Nitti, who was known as "The Enforcer". Only now, Nitti's ambition leads him to start making a power grab for the Top Spot in the Syndicate.

Opposition comes West Side Gangster, Jake Guzik (Neamiah Piersoff). Instead of guns and muscle, he uses a pencil as he is and has been the bookkeeper for the Capone mob. He convinces Nitti that he should call off the war and use brains and the protection of hiding behind legitimate business.

The episode goes on to continue this unending war to keep America dry, a temporary platitude at best, for in a couple of years, The Volstead Act would be repealed and National Prohibition would be a memory.

The Series brought us adventures in fighting the underworld in Chicago. THE EMPTY CHAIR was a top rate episode and had everything that one could want to inaugurate this series.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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