|Index||4 reviews in total|
A totally out-of-control gangster? That's apparently the case here, or
at least it is shown as such in Clu Gulager's performance as Vincent
"Mad Dog" Coll.
"Mad Dog Coll's hatred for former boss "Dutch" Schultz will lead him to do anything to hurt the latter. When a kidnapping scheme with Schultz' bookkeeper "Lefty Gallagher" goes wrong, Coll schemes to rob Schultz out of money he had bet on a horse running in the Kentucky Derby. Coll actually kidnaps the horse and later tries to shoot him at the Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.
This is a wilder-than-normal episode. I'm not sure if Gulager overrated in his role or Coll was really that volatile, but at least he made this episode interesting. Elliott Ness (Robert Stack) and the boys spend most of this case in New York City where the two gangster antagonists were battling each other. Schultz was shown as low-key.
The ending to this had a nice twist to it, but beforehand I was sorry to see the typically- stupid (for movies and TV shows) scene where the bad guy shoots from five feet away and misses the good guy. Come on!
Anyway, it still was a good show, better than average so far in this first season. It also had a quick scene where Stack actually smiled or laughed. You don't see that often on this program!
As we all well know The Untouchables episodes were like the old B
westerns where all kinds of personalities of the old West got involved
with people that they never met. Eliot Ness and his elite squad never
got involved with the legendary gangsters and outlaws of areas other
than Chicago. But in the series they were an omnipresent law
enforcement group covering the country.
In this episode they were concerned with a couple guys known for not having a lot of self control. Lawrence Dobkin plays Dutch Schultz and he would meet a grisly end later on when he would not get in line with the national crime syndicate. But Schultz was a model of decorum next to Vincent 'Mad Dog' Coll. This guy was so named 'Mad Dog' by Schultz when he worked for him and Schultz cut him loose because he was such a loose cannon. After that Coll becomes obsessed with hurting the Dutchman.
Clu Gulagher was an actor who always played many bug eyed loose cannons very well. His portrait of Mad Dog Coll here is something of a dress rehearsal for the part he did next to Lee Marvin in The Killers. Gulagher is so good in the part, you wonder how the two guys who do work with him can stand it.
The episode is in two halves, one where Robert Stack try to rescue an associate of Schultz's who call is holding for ransom. When that scheme fails, Coll first kidnaps a horse that Schultz is known to have placed a hundred grand bet on for the Kentucky Derby.
Gulagher is at his bug eyed best in The Untouchables.
"The Untouchables" often used the names of real gangsters but highly
fictionalized their exploits. Such is the case of 'Mad Dog' Coll,
though at least in this case they got Coll's nutty personality right!!!
He was never apprehended by Elliott Ness, he never kidnapped a horse
and he never kidnapped and then murdered one of Dutch Schultz's
friends...though he did kidnap folks and in one case did this to one of
Schultz's men--though he was released unharmed. This episode takes
place all over the place--as the TV version of Elliott Ness was NOT
confined to Chicago. Here, he's in Chicago, New York and even
Louisville at the Kentucky Derby!
Despite playing fast and easy with the facts, this is a fun episode because Clu Gulager's performance as Mad Dog was nutty and over-the- top--sort of like Richard Widmark's florid performance in his breakout film, "Kiss of Death". So wacky you can't stop watching!
I wish I could give this a negative numerical rating. Stack is always bad, but Gulager has him beat by light years in this one: unspeakably, indescribably bad; so over the top it's a wonder he can find air to breathe. Stupidly, impossibly awful. One would need to invent a new language to find words to describe how gruesomely, painfully terrible Gulager's performance is in this episode. No one can imagine how far out of bounds this acting job is. It's from an alternative universe. Completely insane. An hour of technical difficulties would be infinitely preferable to this monumental dreck. It would give Satan diarrhea, it's so bad.
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