Barney Ruditsky is a New York City police officer in the Roaring '20s who fights organized crime. The show was loosely based on the real life Rudisky who was a New York police officer ... See full summary »
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3   2   1  
1961   1960   1959  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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 Barney Ruditsky 47 episodes, 1959-1961
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Barney Ruditsky is a New York City police officer in the Roaring '20s who fights organized crime. The show was loosely based on the real life Rudisky who was a New York police officer during the period. Written by J.E. McKillop <jmckillo@notes.cc.bellcore.com>

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police | new york city | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

16 April 1959 (USA)  »

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Runtime:

| (47 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Almost a prototype
22 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

"The Lawless Years" was a mid-season replacement in the 1958-59 TV season, predating the better known "Untouchables" by about six months. As other reviews have stated, the similarities between "Lawless Years" and "Untouchables" are striking: a stubborn detective who gathers a team of unstoppable agents to fight crime during the Prohibition era.

The setting for this show, however, was New York City, which here seemed to lack some of the color of Chicago. The criminals, unlike the flamboyant bad guys that populated the Second City, seemed almost interchangeable from episode to episode. Barney Ruditsky's squad was likewise void of any strong personality.

The dry subtleties in "The Lawless Years" make their episodes appear like a possible pilot for "The Untouchables". (The pilot for the Eliot Ness show originally aired on Desilu Playhouse.) The reason the latter is remembered, in my opinion, is due to the stronger characterizations and better scripts on "The Untouchables".

"The Lawless Years" works as an enjoyable fill-in-the-blank crime procedural, but if the viewer wants a better taste of the flavor of the Prohibition era, best to stick with "The Untouchables"


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