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The Untouchables - Season 1, Vol. 1
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Produced by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's Desilu Studios, this groundbreaking series is based on the book The Untouchables: The Real Story by Ness and Oscar Fraley. Real? Not quite. Despite Walter Winchell's signature rat-a-tat narration that gives the proceedings a documentary-like tone, liberties were taken in retelling the sagas of Capone, Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, "Bugs" Moran, "Mad Dog" Coll, and others. But the episodes are so pulpishly good that even if Ness was never really involved in a shootout with Barker (and he wasn't), more forgiving viewers will be of the opinion that he should have been. --Donald Liebenson
- 14 episodes from the the 1959-1960 season on 4 discs
- Feature length version of the 2-part original pilot
Top Customer Reviews
The Untouchables succeeded for a number of reasons. First, the veil that had been on the Mafia for a number of years was slowly but surely being peeled off due to gangland killings and the fame of gangsters such as Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Dutch Schultz, Lucky Luciano, and others. Even before the Godfather and its outstanding first sequel, the public had a fascination and curiosity with the mob. So take some true events, ture characters, heavily fictionalize them with Hollywood gloss and pathos, and you get a very successful show that made a star out of Robert Stack and brought new fame to a Treasury agent named Eliot Ness.
The Untouchables' First Season collection should not have been split up into multiple sections. That's greed, pure and simple. But the lure of this show - its great characters, performances, grit and intelligence will draw buyers even though they know they're being ripped off. Stack's Ness is one of the best alltime detectives - fearless, relentless, and absolutely ruthless with the bad guys. His politically correct team had everything but a black guy (which would have really stretched believability too far), including a white guy (Hobson), Italian (Rossi), Native American (Youngfellow), and Jew (Rossman). The supporting casts were always excellent, and Bruce Gordon brough the right amount of humor and menace to Frank Nitti, Capone's chief lieutenant.
The Untouchables - Season One, Volume 1 is not untouchable, but it is irresistable.
Paramount's new releases are something to be proud of. While the DVD sets do not as of yet boast any bonus features (with the exception of the Desilu/Westinghouse intros for The Scarface Mob), one can surmise that a continued success of the series on DVD may inspire some additions in later releases.
The prints and sound are astoundingly clear; gone are those muddy prints from syndicated 16mm films dubbed to VHS. The DVD menus are replete with decent (but static) artwork with only a few questionable arrangements. It seems they took anything they could out of the vault to put these things together.
No chapter menus, but each commercial break becomes a new chapter, quick and easy to jump to.
The only drawback is the extended WAIT for the next installment of Season 1. We have to wait until DECEMBER 18th for the rest of the season and it's stellar episodes, where the production value heightened and writers finally found their mark (see "The Frank Nitti Story," "One Armed Bandits," or "The Unhired Assassin for proof of a show hitting its stride.)
Bring on Seasons 2 and 3, and yes, even the maligned Season 4. Get Bruce Gordon and the others together for interviews, dig through those archives for the teasers, commercicals, keep Ness and his men coming, tommy guns and brewery-smashing trucks a'blazin!
This is cinematic television worthy of study and enjoyment.
1) they are stunning transfers...crisp beautiful black and white noirish masterpieces every one!
2) The intros from Desi Arnaz and Walter Winchell on the pilot episode are nice touches
3) the packaging is sensational! All four DVDs (no flippers!) in a case the size of a normal DVD case that holds one film...so this is a fabulously small shelf space hog!
4) while the whole season would be preferred ....13 hours for about $30...is pretty good value for my money...
5) Robert Stack is and was a very unique talent and the guest stars are a who's who of great character actors and budding stars!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best thing about this faux history of organized crime is to get you to look up the real history of the characters and events. Read morePublished 1 month ago by LD
Loved every moment of these discs, so refreshing to have a good show to watch! I'm so very pleased with the clarity, the editing (no commercials); Great job!!!!!! Read morePublished 5 months ago by LadyNutt
Great Police TV. Robert Stack is awesome. Black and White adds to the yesteryear police dramas. Awesome narationPublished 7 months ago by E. L. Kemp
As I have reviewed before. Exellent vintage series, stunning sories, way ahead of its time, good cast, cleverly filmed. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Pjotr Kirillitsch
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|The Untouchables Season 1, Volume 1||
One reason I can see for their having done this is that when the series first ran, seasons were much longer -- contained more episodes -- than seasons today do. Back then, there were nearly twice the number of episodes in a season than there are today. Consider the price of one of the volumes... Read More
Mar 21, 2012 by Karen P. Rhodes | See all 3 posts
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