The Untouchables: Season 2 Volume 1

The Untouchables: Season 2 Volume 1 (1960)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: Robert Stack, Paul Picerni

Dishing them out half a season at a time, Paramount Home Entertainment has just released "The Untouchables: Season 2 Volume 1" offering up another 16 episodes from the classic TV show surrounding the incorruptible federal agents.

Robert Stack returns as Eliot Ness to fight crime where he finds it. Together with his group of agents Ness has become quite the celebrity of the time. Every gangster in the US was familiar with his name and few dared to challenge him. But even those knew that Ness was a formidable opponent, someone you would not underestimate.

In the second season, the focus of the show is going away from the prohibition-era alcohol smuggling a little and also puts the spotlight on the emerging narcotics rings. Rackets that sell drugs like heroin all the way to mobster rings controlling the supply of medicine across the country are also on Ness' short list. But it also revisits some of the "traditional" gangster icons, such as Jack "Legs" Diamond and Al Capone in a very cool two-part episode.

Like in the previous season there's plenty of gunplay in the show as well as many of the recurring characters that make up the staple of the show. Femme fatales aplenty, a good dosage of punches and Robert Stack's stoic delivery of the Ness character are the recipe for the show and it still works after all these years. Walter Winchell's overly dramatic narration may feel ridiculous and antiquated these days but at the same time it adds a certain vintage flair to the show that I wouldn't want to miss.

"The Untouchables" has been digitally restored for the DVD release and it looks wonderful to say the least. Like in the previous season sets, the image is mostly clean and without defects, making for a stable presentation with a good level of detail. No excessive grain are registration problems mar the viewing and with its balanced contrast and gray-falloff, the transfer always renders an image the belies its actual age and TV origins.

The fullframe transfer is complemented by the show's original mono audio track that has also cleaned up. As a result it is free of pops, hiss or distortion, though the frequency response is audibly limited, creating a presentation that has a somewhat harsh-sounding quality without much bottom end.

No extras are included in the release but running for over 13 hours, spread over 4 discs, this set should hold you over nicely until the second volume of season 2 will be released.