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Federal Police

The Untouchables - The name of the submachine gun-totting squad of federal Treasury agents headed by Eliot Ness (Robert Stack) on the police crime drama THE UNTOUCHABLES/ABC/1959-63. The series is based on the memoirs of real-life federal agent Eliot Ness (co-written by Oscar Fraley).

Cast of THE UNTOUCHABLES
Eliot Ness and his squad of Untouchable Agents

According to the program Ness says "What if you have a special squad, small, operating on its own; every man thoroughly investigated; brought in from all parts of the country. Men who'll spit on Capone's graft; just a few he can't buy." These men were dubbed "The Untouchables" by Chicago newspapers because they were so incorruptible, so above taking a bribe.

The Untouchables squad of  Treasury Agents included:

  • Jerry Paris as Marvin Flaherty
  • Nicholas Georgiade as Enrico Rossi
  • Abel Fernandez as Bill Youngfellow
  • Paul Picerni as Lee Hobson
  • Steve London as Rossman.

The TV pilot movie The Scarface Mob introduced the series to television and the likes of such criminal adversaries as Frank Nitti (Bruce Gordon), aka "the Enforcer", the heir to Al Capone.

In 1987, Brian De Palma directed the feature film The Untouchables with Kevin Kostner as Federal Agent Eliot Ness and Robert De Niro as mobster Al Capone.

Robert Stack reprised his role as Chicago crime buster in the CBS made-for-TV movie The Return of Eliot Ness that aired 11/10/91.

In 1993, THE UNTOUCHABLES resurfaced in a first-run syndicated crime drama with Tom Amandes as Eliot Ness; William Forsythe as mobster Al Capone; and Paul Regina as Frank Nitti.

The agents on hand in the remake included:
  • John Rhys-Davies as Agent Michael Malone
  • David James Elliott as Agent Paul Robbins
  • John Haymes Newton as Agent Tony Pigano
  • Michael Horse as Agent George Steelman
  • Shea Farrell as Agent Sean Quinlan

TRIVIA NOTE: The term "Untouchables" also describes those indigent people of India who belonged to none of the main cast systems (social levels). It was believed that if a high-ranking Hindu stepped into their shadows or was touched by them they would be made unclean. This system was abolished in 1947. The "Untouchables" are now referred to as the "Scheduled Classes" or "Depressed Classes."


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