Review

  • This episode has some chilling scenes that add up to a fine episode, but countering that is a beauty and the beast kind of story that seems ham fisted and forced.

    Frank Halloway (Cliff Robertson) is aided in his attempt to break out of prison by his attorney, Daniel Oates. Halloway has 250 thousand dollars of the loot from a robbery waiting for him in California. Oates wants half of that for helping in the prison breakout and bankrolling his trip to get the money. Oates sends Mona Valentine with him to make sure he doesn't go get the cash and just run out on him, plus you are not going to pull off the beauty and the beast angle with some male henchman accompanying him, at least not in 1960.

    Why do I keep saying beauty and the beast? Because Frank Halloway has the ugliest mug that ever cracked a mirror. He has teeth that are too big for his mouth that look like he borrowed them from Goofy Grape, a bulbous nose, and wild goofy hair. Mona takes one look and is repulsed. She tries to be nice about it, but Frank recognizes the reaction he has gotten from people his entire life. And now for the ham fisted part. In spite of them being on a bit of a timetable with the feds looking everywhere for Frank, Mona and Frank have time on this cross country excursion to stop off to get his teeth filed, his nose fixed, and his hairline repaired. The result is that Frank now looks like the Cliff Robertson we all recognize. The other result is that Mona, a mild mannered girl whose highest ambition was to go to secretarial school so she could work sitting down for the rest of her life before all of this happened, is now entering into an affair with a man who has already hit her and shown his explosive temper earlier in Oates' office. Color me incredulous.

    Frank is a person with an ugly soul that no surgery will fix, but the episode does make the tie in that perhaps him being scorned his whole life because of his looks did happen to precipitate his criminal behavior even if it doesn't forgive it, and that just undoing that physical ugliness is not going to repair his humanity.

    This is a worthy episode of The Untouchables, and I would recommend it.