Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Untouchables is the name of a 1957 book by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley , and also of two television series and a motion picture that it inspired. They deal with the experiences of Eliot Ness, a United States Treasury agent, as he fought crime in Chicago in the 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their incorruptibility, nicknamed the Untouchables. The stories often revolved around his enmity with reputed mob boss Al Capone, and many focused on crimes related to Prohibition.
The original television series aired from 1959 to 1963 on CBS, starred Robert Stack as Eliot Ness and Neville Brand as Al Capone, and was narrated by Walter Winchell. The show drew harsh criticism from some Italian-Americans, who felt it promoted negative stereotypes of them as mobsters and gangsters.
A movie based on the television series was released in 1987, directed by Brian de Palma and starring Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Sean Connery as Irish beat cop Jim Malone, and Robert de Niro as Al Capone. Sean Connery received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
A short-lived revival television series aired in 1993-94, starring Tom Amandes as Eliot Ness and William Forsythe as Al Capone.
The series had 118 episodes of 50 minutes.
Other recurrent actors were Jerry Paris as Agent Martin Flaherty, Abel Fernandez as Ag. William Youngfellow, Nick Georgiade as Ag. Enrico Rossi, Anthony George as Ag. Cam Allison, Paul Picerni as Ag. Lee Hobson, Steve London as Ag. Rossman and Bruce Gordon as Frank Nitti.
Famous guest-stars in selected episodes:
- Lee Marvin, James Caan and Roy Thinnes in episode 4.10 A Fist of Five,
- Mike Connors in episode 4.7 The Eddie O'Gara Story,
- Martin Balsam in episodes 3.3 Tunnel of Horrors and 3.21 Man in the middle,
- Peter Falk in episodes 1.26 The underworld bank and 3.1 The Troubleshooter,
- Telly Savalas in episodes 2.20 The antidote, 3.5 The Matt Bass Scheme and 4.14 The speculator,
- Lee Van Cleef in episode 1.20 The Unhired Assassin,
- Fred MacMurray in episode The obstacle,
- Charles Bronson in episode 3.16 The Death Tree,
- Barbara Stanwyck in episodes 4.8 Elegy and 4.13 Search for a Dead Man,
- Robert Redford in episode 4.15 Snowball.
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