The character of Big Bill Swinney appears to be based on Big Bill Dwyer, a New York based bootlegger during the Prohibition Era.
The character of Benny Benjamin is based upon Arnold Rothstein the notorious New York mobster alleged to have been the mastermind behind the fix of the 1919 World Series. The real Legs Diamond was once one of Rothstein's bodyguards.
The real life Jack "Legs" Diamond was killed by three bullets on December 18, 1931 near Albany, NY shortly after being acquitted of assault charges. Diamond had survived three previous attempts on his life earning the nickname "Clay Pigeon." His mistress, showgirl Kiki Roberts, was present when he was gunned down.
The character of Dawn Dolan is based on a woman named Marion "Kiki" Roberts, a nightclub dancer who was the real Legs Diamond's mistress. Kiki was present when Diamond was gunned down in an Albany hotel room in 1931 just hours after being acquitted of an assault charge.
The portrayal of Alice Diamond by Norma Crane in this episode is pretty accurate. The real Alice was a slatternly, hard-drinking ex-carnival worker who could reportedly outcuss any man alive. Left penniless by her husband's death, she committed suicide in a cheap New York hotel room in 1933.
Narrator: Hoodlums with money had become knights of the submachine gun.
Diamond: Seems like I was scheduled to take on a little extra weight tonight.
Swinney: You like to get your picture in the paper so much maybe we can get you a back spread on the obituary page.
Swinney: You got a lovely place in the Catskills.
Diamond: My wife lives there!
Swinney: So what? No law against a man livin' with his own wife.
Spiros: It's your neck, Mr. Ness. I hope you realize how far you're sticking it out.
Alice: A girl's gotta keep her spirits up some way.
Diamond: You haven't been a girl in ten years.
Ness: Can you spare us a few minutes of your time, Mr. Diamond?
Diamond: If you could bottle time the way they do cider, a man could get rich.
Diamond: Is this what the government pays you for, Ness? Making up little travel brochures.
Diamond: You're not in Chicago knocking over beer parlors, Ness. This is New York.
Ness: I know I'm just a country boy but I'll soon get the hang of things.
Ness: You like playing these little jokes, Mrs. Diamond?
Alice: I love it. I do it all the time.
Ness: The next time it may not be so funny.
Ness: I'll make you a deal, Diamond. You get out from behind your girlfriend's skirt and I'll get out from behind the badge.
Rico: They say all things come to them who wait.
Ness: Five million dollars worth of narcotics could ruin a great many lives.
Alice: Don't come cryin' to me. I got problems of my own.
Dawn: Honey, do you have to wear the gun?
Diamond: It makes me feel more comfortable.
Diamond: You don't count a million. You heft it.
Narrator: Hell hath no fury like a woman cheated out of a million dollars.
Diamond: You ought to be dressed.
Alice: I am dressed--I've got my earrings on.
This episode was originally entitled Clay Pigeon.
This episode marks the first appearance on the show of Oscar Beregi who would return in seven additional episodes in Seasons Two and Three playing a similar character named Joe Kulak.
Suzanne Storrs becomes the first actress to sing the song "Mean to Me" on The Untouchables. She would be followed by Gale Robbins later in Season Two's The Antidote and Anne Helm in Man Killer and Cathi Merchant in Downfall which both aired in Season Three.
This episode marked Lawrence Dobkin's third and final appearance on the show as Dutch Schultz who was the first mobster to rise from the dead on The Untouchables. The Dutchman would be followed a few episodes later by Frank Nitti. Not even death could keep a good gangster down.
Legs by William Kennedy is a novelized version of the life of Jack "Legs" Diamond focusing on his later years when he shifted his base of operations to the Albany area.