Eliot Ness and the Untouchables

The Historical Reality and the Film and Television Depictions, 2d ed.


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About the Book

Lawman Eliot Ness has been transformed into legend by the films and television programs that depicted the war he and his “Untouchables” waged against Al Capone and the mobsters of Prohibition-era Chicago. Published by McFarland in 2000, the first edition of this volume analyzed both Ness the person and Ness the myth. This updated and expanded second edition is enhanced by information gathered through interviews with members of the original casts of the television and film versions of The Untouchables. Also included is new material on the historical Frank Nitti and “The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run,” along with several gangsters whom Ness never actually encountered except in his media portrayals, among them Mad Dog Coll and Dutch Schultz. The author concludes by evaluating the life and accomplishments of Eliot Ness, and his impact as a cultural icon.

About the Author(s)

Kenneth Tucker is professor emeritus of English at Murray State University. He has written previously on a variety of literary figures and on the performing arts. He lives in Murray, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Kenneth Tucker

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 290
Bibliographic Info: 25 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4996-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8877-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition      1
Introduction      7

1. The Real Eliot Ness      11
2. The Real Al Capone and Frank Nitti      46
3. The Real Dutch Schultz and Other Prohibition Plug- Uglies of New York      79
4. The Untouchables on Desilu Playhouse      98
5. The Untouchables—Original Series Episode Guide      105
6. The Untouchables—The 1987 Movie      192
7. The Return of Eliot Ness      202
8. The Untouchables—The Series Redux      206
9. Ness and a Decade of Documentaries      246
10. The Need for a Hero      256

Bibliography      267
Index      271

Book Reviews & Awards

“[the author] separates fact and fiction in a study of the crime fighting federal agent”—Burlington County Times.