The Untouchables

Season 1 Episode 20

The Unhired Assassin (Pt 1)

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Feb 25, 1960 on ABC
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Episode Summary

The Unhired Assassin (Pt 1)

With Prohibition about to be repealed, Capone starts working his organization into legitimate businesses. Ness and Cermak decide they have to work fast to keep that from happening before the upcoming world's fair.

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  • Nitti's back and he's not happy

    Bruce Gordon returns as Frank Nitti after a hiatus of 19 episodes and veteran heavies Lee Van Cleef and Frank DeKova appear as real life Chicago gangsters Frank "Frank Diamond" Maritote and Louis "Little New York" Campagna respectively. Richard Deacon also appears as Bill Skidmore, a real life underworld figure of that period, but he's miscast and this episode's only real flaw. Also returning from the series pilot is Joe Mantell as Giuseppe Zangara, the deranged Italian immigrant, who was executed in 1933 for the murder of Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak played in this episode by Robert Middleton.

    The first of two two-part episodes that was later released theatrically as Gun of Zangara. Claude Akins steals this episode as fictional hoodlum Jake "Dodo" Ryan whose murder of a dry cleaner leads Ness to discover an underworld plot against the life of the Mayor of Chicago. Ness arrives in time to thwart the attempt on the Mayor's life but as we are informed in the ending narration there would be others as well as an unhired assassin awaiting in Miami.moreless
Joe Mantell

Joe Mantell

Giuseppe "Joe" Zangara

Guest Star

Claude Akins

Claude Akins

Jake "Dodo" Ryan

Guest Star

Robert Middleton

Robert Middleton

Mayor Anton Cermak

Guest Star

Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon

Frank Nitti

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Louis "Little New York" Campagna, Frank Diamond, and Billy Skidmore were all real life Chicago gangsters. Campagna began as a bodyguard for Al Capone and rose to become a major player in the Chicago Mob. He died of a heart attack off the coast of Florida in 1954 while reeling in a fishing catch. Diamond, whose real name was Frank Maritote, had a brother who married Capone's sister, Mafalda. He was killed by a shotgun blast in 1951 reportedly after taking the wrong side in a feud between mobsters. Skidmore was a gambler, bail bondsman, and junk dealer who was affiliated with the North Side mob. His place of business was frequently used as a location where the rival Chicago mobs went to mediate their differences.

    • [recycled stock footage] During the hit at the coffee shop, they blow out Swoboda's window twice.

    • Jake "Dodo" Ryan's identifying characteristic is his droopy left eye; but in the scene where he gets caught right after the explosion, actor Claude Akins forgets to keep his left eye squinted.

  • QUOTES (10)

  • NOTES (7)

    • While the disposal of lawyer Ira Peterson was graphically detailed, it's intreesting that that man who recommended him to the mob, Bill Skidmore, does not appear in Part 2. Perhaps he suffered a similar fate off camera?

    • Frank DeKova would reprise the role of Louis "Little New York" Campagna in the Season One finale The Frank Nitti Story.

    • Sally Todd was Playboy Playmate of the month for February of 1957.

    • In this episode Ness reveals to Mayor Cermak that he has a son. While the real Ness was married by the time this episode took place he and his first wife, Edna, never had any children. Ness and his third wife, Betty, would adopt a boy. In this area, Ness had something in common with arch-enemy Frank Nitti. Nitti and his wife, Anna, adopted an orphan boy in 1934.

    • This two-part episode was edited and released theatrically as The Gun of Zangara.

    • Claude Akins would appear twice more on The Untouchables in Season Three's The Monkey Wrench and Season Four's The Spoiler.

    • Inside joke (Ted Berger's character): it seems the name "Roley Sutton" is a tribute to prolific director "Sutton Roley."