Eliot Ness and the Untouchables set their sights shutting down the numbers racket. The numbers are like a lottery where anyone can place a bet of up to one dollar on a three digit number. ... See full summary »
Eliot Ness and the Untouchables set their sights shutting down the numbers racket. The numbers are like a lottery where anyone can place a bet of up to one dollar on a three digit number. The payout for a full dollar bet is $600 so the profit for the mob, who run the racket, is the remaining 40%. Ness wants to shut down that cash flow which can be used for more heinous crimes. They think they may have an in when one of Al Morrissey's collectors is stabbed. Ness pressures Agent Marty Flaherty to make contact with Morrissey, an old friend who once saved his life. Before he can do anything, the Chicago police arrest Morrissey for gambling violations and Marty focuses on Al's son, Phil Morrissey but with little luck until his father pays the price for being connected to the mob. Written by
The time is Oct. 19, 1932: the depth of the Depression in the U.S., which was a perfect time for gangsters to offer "the numbers." For desperate people, looking for any kind of unforeseen hope, a little financial break even for a day or two, this lure to put money down on a number from 0 to 999 was tough to resist. The mob made an absolute fortune on this. Their take was 40 percent, so the profit had to be big.
Elliot Ness' objective, of course, is to break this number's game. He's hoping a friend of fellow agent "Martn Flaherty" (Jerry Paris) will help him do so, but Marty is not happy about leaning on an old friend. Nonetheless, when an old man kills a racketeer in a rage over a wrong number, Ness knows more than ever that something has to be done about this new crime gimmick That, and the fact that many people spent their family's bread money to gamble it away on "numbers."
Jay C. Flippen and Darryl Hickman play "Al" and "Phil" Morrisey, respectively. They are father-and-son numbers runners and they are the key to the story
It's a decent episode but like a lot of these that I am re-visiting 40 years later, a lot slower than I remembered. It's just that times have changed and movie and TV shows are faster- paced than they were in the 1950s and '60s
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