Judge P.S. Colbert will never forget the St. Valentine's Day massacres of 1985, 1986, and 1987.
Our reviews of Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Contemporary (Blu-ray) (published May 31st, 2013), The Untouchables (published March 2nd, 2001), The Untouchables: Special Edition (published October 18th, 2004), The Untouchables: Season 1, Volume 1 (published June 13th, 2007), The Untouchables: Season 4, Volume 1 (published August 2nd, 2012), The Untouchables: Season 1, Volume 2 (published October 17th, 2007), The Untouchables: Season 2, Volume 2 (published August 26th, 2008), and The Untouchables (HD DVD) (published September 13th, 2007) are also available.
"The Gangland's All Here."
Before they were stars:
* Robert Redford (Sneakers) was Jackson Emmit Parker, a cheeky young Ivy Leaguer, fresh out of college, and ready to school Frank Nitti (Bruce Gordon) on the finer points of bootlegging. Nitti was not amused.
* Robert Duvall (Apocalypse Now) was Eddie Moon, a cornet blower whose hot jazz proves irresistible to the wife of a murderous gangster. The wife in question was played by Kathleen Nolan (The Real McCoys), who certainly knew a thing or two about proving irresistible.
* Rip Torn (Men in Black) was Johnny Mizo, a psychotic hood holding his own family hostage, while the Feds vie with mobsters to find him first. The Feds prefer to take him alive.
* Jack Klugman (Quincy, M.E.) was Solly Girsch, a self-deprecating schlemiel that ends up becoming this biggest bootleg booze distributor in the crime capital of America. But how? Klugman's Jekyll and Hyde performance is a thing of extraordinary beauty.
These are but a fraction of the characters making trouble for The Untouchables during the last sixteen episodes of the series' fourth and final season.
• "The Snowball"
Paramount's quality control department deserves a twenty one gun salute for the near pristine look of these standard definition 1.33:1 full frame transfers, all in glorious black and white. Kudos for the Dolby 2.0 Mono mix, necessitating precious little work on my part with the remote; amazing for episodes creeping up on their 50th anniversary. English SDH subtitles are available and always much appreciated. There is the ever-present "Previews" option (standard issue for Paramount TV series releases), but still no extras. Then again, who needs extras when you've got a set of stories this well told?
My personal favorite is the one where Eliot Ness (Robert Stack, 1941) assumes the identity of a junkie jazz bassist, in order to trace the source of a huge opiates shipment coming into Chicago from out of state. Our boy goes whole hog, dressing for the part (Spats, Bow Tie, Straw Boater) and accepting a gig at the Purple Elephant club in New Orleans, all without so much as a single lesson on the big four string fiddle!
In related news, I just may have traced the original source of inspiration for Milli Vanilli.
Eliot, Lee, Rico, Youngfellow, Rossman. Much love. Much respect.
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