DVD Review: THE UNTOUCHABLES Season 4, Volumes 1 & 2

Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: July 24th, 2012

The 1962-1963 season was the final season for this noteworthy show, though the network was hoping for a fifth season (Robert Stack wanted to get back to movies). In truth it was probably bout time for it to come to a close. The book by Elliot Ness of the same name was a starting point for the show but they ran out of actual real stories back in the first season.

The show is entertaining and in the early sixties was pretty edgy and violent. The opening episode, The Night They Shot Santa Claus pretty much says it all just with it’s title. A friend of Ness is killed while playing Santa at an orphanage. AN ORPHANGE!! Not fear from the show of being a bit heavy handed with the morality! Watching in 2012 it is impossible not to compare to what has come since then. The best part of the show was Robert Stack playing Elliot Ness in a usually underscored way. All business and no nonsense. The action is also high volume, lots of shoot outs and chasing around.

The really fun part about watching this was the people who guest starred in it. Harvey Korman, James Caan, Roy Thinnes, Dorothy Malone, Lee Marvin, Walter Koenig, Edward Asner, Frank Gorshin, Elizabeth MacRae, Carroll O’Conner, Barbara Stanwyck, , Joe Campanella, Telly Savalas, Ted Knight, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Robert Hanson, , Barry Morse, Harold Gould, Roy Engel, Jack Klugman, Roy Thinnes, Cliff Osmand, Joe Turkel. It was almost like a rite of passage to be on the show.

The show used the top end production available at the time and that is probably why it actually looks damn good compared to other shows from that period. It was also one of the first TV shows to really show the mob as a real entity. There were even rumors that Desi Arnez, producer and part owner of Desilu Studios, had a contract put out on him. Al Capone’s estate actually was upset that they were making money from the Capone name.

This is a time capsule into TV at the time and while fictionalized, and interesting look at our history. Thirty episodes of TV altogether and never a dull moment.

Jon