Untouchables: Season 1 Volume Two
DVD | Box Set
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The Untouchables chronicles the campaign of Eliot Ness (Robert Stack), the young U.S. Prohibition Bureau agent, to smash the beer and booze empire of Al Capone in 1920s Chicago.
Prohibition is over. Al Capone is in jail. "Are we gonna be out of work?" one of Eliot Ness's Untouchables asks in "The Unhired Assassin," one of the 14 episodes that completes this vintage series' killer first season. Not to worry; from armored car heists and assassination attempts to bank robberies and extortion rackets, there is plenty to keep Ness (Robert Stack) and his elite mob-busting squad busy. Ness and company are the heroes of this series, but it's the criminals (and the great character actors who portray them) who maintain as tight a grip on our imagination as the mob had on the city of Chicago in the 1930s, when these episodes take place. Bruce Gordon's Frank Nitti, Capone's impulsive enforcer, is a particular piece of work, as witness his ordered hit on incorruptible Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak in the two-part "The Unhired Assassin," and the season-finale, "The Frank Nitti Story," which chronicles Nitti's own finale. A homina-homina Anne Francis guest stars in "The Doreen Maney Story" as Maney, a Tennessee girl gone bad as one half of "The Lovebirds," responsible for a series of deadly armored car heists. We don't get as up close and personal with Ness or his Untouchables, although we do learn that he is 35 and has a son. And the straight-arrow Fed is not above double-crossing a mob goon for information, or, in "Head of Fire, Feet of Clay," refusing to call an ambulance as one lies bleeding ("You got no damn heart!" he screams). Nearly five decades later, these episodes still play like gangbusters, with Walter Winchell's rat-a-tat narration, gritty language, blunt violence, and great hard-boiled dialogue ("Everybody's yellow except Johnny Fortunata"). The Untouchables was produced by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball's Desilu Studios. A fun extra on this four-disc set is "Lucy the Gun Moll," an episode from The Lucy Show, featuring Stack, very much in character, as a federal agent who recruits Lucy to impersonate a gangster's girlfriend. "You know who you look like?" Lucy asks him. "They kid me about it all the time down at headquarters," he replies. --Donald Liebenson
- The final 14 Episodes from the first season on 4 discs
- Untouchables spoof from The Lucy Show: "Lucy the Gun Moll"
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Top customer reviews
This is the second DVD set in the Untouchables series. Despite being in black and white (or maybe because of it) the show has an impact with the viewers as they follow Eliot Ness and his special team of federal agents as they pursue the gangsters who came to power thanks to prohibition. Robert Stack puts on a great performance, as do the supporting cast. Watching the series one show at a time in a short period of time does make it noticeable that they used some of the same stock footage (when flying, for instance) or make use of shots from previous shows. However, for good, old-fashioned police drama you can't beat the Untouchables. I wasn't going to watch the bonus episode of the Lucy Show but it turned out to be an excellent parody of the Untouchables, having Robert Stack and the actor who played Frank Nitti in it.
I definitely look forward to watching more of these soon.
I buy quite a few DVD compilations and the area I think needs to improving is the respect of these production companies for the product inside their flimsy cases. I have never seen more of a lack of interest in not wanting to protect the product inside as I have lately. Don't these companies realize that discs SCRATCH??
After finally opening the case, all the discs are loose, sliding around inside because the cheap ass spindle inside is smaller than the hole in the disc, preventing it from staying in place.
Now that I've told you about the inferior packaging, let me tell you about the actual quality of the show itself. I'd give it a 2 also. The audio is ridiculous. I have a brand new Sony 48" UHD TV and it has a great sound system. So good, I don't use a high quality soundbar I had with my older TV. The player is a new BluRay player. The audio on these discs is cranked to 64 on my volume level. Regular broadcasts are around 40 and many other DVD discs like Perry Mason usually track about 43-45.
The picture quality is grainy, but I understand that. It's circa 1960 and in black and white. That doesn't bother me as much as the volume being so low. It's just a shame one can't purchase these classic shows and know they're going to be quality checked and play at the high caliber they were intended.
Wake up CBS Video. Get your act together. I was tempted to buy the complete series of "The Untouchables" but after watching this, I wouldn't waste my time or money! Neither should you.
Season two of The Untouchables is powerful stuff. It's every bit as intense and dramatic as season one, maybe even more so. Love the season opener with Elizabeth Montgomery ( Samantha Stephens from Bewitched ) as a beautiful nightclub showgirl plotting one mobster against another for her own profit. Even tough guy Elliot Ness seems to melt just a little under her stunning gaze. There's a scene with both of them standing together in the fog at the docks, and with a smile and a look in her eyes that would melt the arctic glaciers she invites him for a weekend alone with her in the mountains. There's a long pause before he answers, and we might be forgiven for thinking that the clean-cut married man, super good-guy Ness, actually pondered it in his head for a moment before saying "Sorry, I can't". Some of the hottest women ever to grace the television screen of any era show up in this series. I have to recommend that you buy this set of disks. Also, I notice some other people have stated that they don't like the editing of the fade-outs where commercials would normally have appeared. Frankly I have no idea what they are talking about. I can't find anything thing wrong with this set. The editing looks fine to me and the stories are presented in full. Everything looks great. The disks are in great condition and the video and audio are sharp and clear. Totally enjoyable.
- Mike S.
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