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Chicago, 1930, time of the prohibition. And it is the great time for the organized crime, the so called Mafia. One of the big bosses is Al Capone. He is the best know but at least, he was only one in a dirty game of sex, crime and corruption. People are willing to pay any price to drink alcohol, and sometimes it is their life they have to pay with. Special agent Eliot Ness and his team are trying to defeat the alcohol Mafia, but in this job, you don't have any friends.Written by
Florian Baumann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I must differ only slightly from the praise of one who precedes me, but yes, it was a cracking good show! When a local station ran the series in syndication at midnight in 1967, I turned into an insomniac.
Part of it was my youth; part was/is the b&w presentation giving it a brooding, "gritty" (pardon the cliche) flavour; part was the musical score. Frankly, I found it much superior to the colour and more mature (?) series recently under the same title. Possibly the early '60s series had the elements of a morality play that move some part of me that the more ambiguous -- and in places historically accurate -- new UNTOUCHABLES can not.
One thing bothers me, however, although I fully understand that in the television productions of forty years ago one had to be discrete. It concerns the depictions of violence. I do not object (within reason) to violence per se, but THE UNTOUCHABLES showed a lot of it without the horror. With a more jaundiced eye of the 1990s, when on very rare occasions I have been able to see an old time episode, I am struck by the trivialisation of violent scenes. Even the point-blank firearms shots are comically muted, and there is never a hint of flying blood.
That said, however, I consider the advent of THE UNTOUCHABLES and BONANZA in the 1959-60 season as the beginning of the REAL "golden age of television" in the United States.
Post scriptum: I am sure there were a couple of spin-off "made for TV" movies in the 1960s from the series. Of that I know nothing more save the title of one of them: THE GUN OF ZANGARA.
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