Review

  • Aired about three years before JFK's assassination, this one is rather eery now.

    It's a tale of two killers seeking two victims that wind up in the same place at the same time, neither knowing about the other. The hired assassin is very nondescript and does not even have a parking ticket on his record. And you would expect a hired assassin to be those things. Somebody with a record a mile long who is flamboyant and walks around in loud suits is going to get noticed. He is hired by Frank Nitti to kill Chicago mayor Anton Cervak after Cervak rebuffs Nitti's attempts to get him to ease up on his crackdown on mob activity.

    The unhired assassin is a bricklayer turned derelict from bad stomach pain that from the narration is psychosomatic. He is bitter towards all leadership business and political, but the election of Roosevelt has him weirdly turn his hatred towards him. He decides to start a movement that will kill all "bosses", and intends to start with the president elect. He feels it is destiny when Roosevelt is planning to speak where he is living in Florida so that he won't have to take a trip to kill him. He buys a revolver for eight bucks out of the last 43 bucks he has in the world and waits. What's odd is that this derelict looks a lot like Lee Harvey Oswald.

    In the meantime, Ness and the Untouchables have been guarding the mayor. As a result, Ness gets to know Cervak and a genuine friendship grows between them. Robert Middleton is a character actor with whom I was not familiar until I began to binge on Untouchable episodes, and I am quite impressed. Here, as Cervak, he plays a generally cuddly admirable guy in the tradition of Edward Arnold, where in another episode he plays a cutthroat gangster also quite believably.

    There is lots of irony in this two parter as well as good acting and a great script. I'd recommend it.