4 September 2006 | Cheyenne-Bodie
Ray Danton might have livened up this "Untouchables" clone
Mark Richman ("Friendly Persuasion", "The Strange One") played a highly successful mob lawyer who decides to go straight after becoming engaged. When his fiancée (Carol Rossen) is murdered by the mob, Nicholas Cain offers his services to the feds, dedicating himself to bringing to justice 100 top criminals as penance for his earlier work for the underworld.
This show suffered from having a less charismatic hero than "The Untouchables". Mark Richman is a fine actor, but his Cain was just too righteous, unbending and humorless to be very sympathetic (although Robert Stack was fascinating with a similar act). Ray Danton ("Legs Diamond", "Tarawa Beachhead") might have been a more interesting choice for Nicholas Cain. Danton was insanely handsome and self assured, but with a touch of neurotic self loathing. He could be a very compelling actor. Danton's Nick Cain could have been a man who still loved fast women, fast cars, fast horses, and the good life. Maybe Cain is still a showboating shyster, but the feds are blackmailing him to cooperate.
"Cain's Hundred" didn't quite have the great black and white noir feel that "The Untouchables" often generated. And of course it didn't have Walter Winchell's superb narration. It was also more reticent in depicting sex and violence.
But "Cain's Hundred" was a quality effort in many ways. Producer Paul Monash ("Peyton Place", "Judd for the Defense") had written the sexy, violent, absorbing two part pilot episode of "The Untouchables". Monash hired top writers and directors for "Cain's Hundred". And the guest stars were interesting: Ed Nelson, Everett Sloane, Ed Begley, Larry Blyden, Martin Gabel, David Brian, Herschel Bernardi, Jack Lord, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson, Robert Culp, David Janssen, Telly Savalas, Robert Blake, Barbara Eden, Susan Oliver and Dorothy Dandridge.
If Monash had made Nicholas Cain a little quirkier or given him more of a pulse, this show might have been more fun.
Paul Monash went on to be executive producer of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and producer of "Carrie" and "Slaugherhouse 5". Monash also wrote the HBO movies "Stalin" with Robert Duvall and "George Wallace" with Gary Sinise. Quite a talent.