The Gun Of Zangara

Roosevelt Assassination attempt

THE GUN OF ZANGARA  was the last of three two-parters from The Untouchables that were spliced together for brief releases in 1962 as the series was coming to a close.  The episodes here were filmed in 1960, and titled The Unhired Assassin.   The tense plot has Eliot Ness (Robert Stack) and his squad trying to head off the Capone mob plan to bump off Chicago mayor Anton Cermak (Robert Middleton, as a nice guy for a change), which runs concurrent with disgruntled Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Zangara’s obsession to assassinate newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt.

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The same good dialog, fast action, period atmosphere and neat production design that graced the series, with a cast of pros at home in their 30s duds and packin’ heat.  Joe Mantell does a fine turn as the tormented Zangara.  Others hurling insults and/or lead include Bruce Gordon, Robert Gist, Able Fernandez, Nick Georgiade, Claude Akins, Steve London, Lee Van Cleef, Anthony George, Percy Helton, Addison Richards, Richard Deacon, Frank De Kova and Sterling Holloway.  Direction was by Howard W. Koch, music by Nelson Riddle, camera work from Charles Stradner. Narration by Walter Winchell.  90 minutes of vintage gangland kicks.

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