The Lawless Years

The Lawless Years is an American crime drama series that aired on NBC from April 16, 1959, to September 22, 1961. The series is the first of its kind, set during the Roaring 20s, having pre-dated ABC's far more successful The Untouchables by six months. The series stars James Gregory and Robert Karnes.

The Lawless Years
GenreCrime drama
Directed byAllen H. Miner
James Neilson
StarringJames Gregory
Robert Karnes
John Vivyan
Theme music composerRaoul Kraushaar
William Loose
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes47
Production
Producer(s)Jack Chertok
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production company(s)Jack Chertok Television Productions
California National Productions
DistributorNBC Films
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseApril 16, 1959 (1959-04-16) 
September 22, 1961 (1961-09-22)

Synopsis

James Gregory stars as real-life NYPD Detective Barney Ruditsky, with Robert Karnes as Max, his associate. Ruditsky, who had become a private investigator in Hollywood after retiring from law enforcement, served as the show's technical advisor. Jack Chertok was the producer.[1]

Cast

Guest stars

Episodes

Season 1: Spring/Summer 1959

Ep Title Original air date
11"The Nick Joseph Story (pilot)"April 16, 1959 (1959-04-16)
22"The Immigrant"April 23, 1959 (1959-04-23)
33"The Jane Cooper Story"April 30, 1959 (1959-04-30)
44"The Cutie Jaffe Story"May 7, 1959 (1959-05-07)
55"The Dutch Schultz Story"May 14, 1959 (1959-05-14)
66"The Lion and the Mouse"May 21, 1959 (1959-05-21)
77"No Fare"May 28, 1959 (1959-05-28)
88"The Payoff"June 11, 1959 (1959-06-11)
99"The Marie Walters Story"June 18, 1959 (1959-06-18)
1010"The Maxie Gorman Story"June 25, 1959 (1959-06-25)
1111"The Muddy Kasoff Story"July 2, 1959 (1959-07-02)
1212"Framed"July 16, 1959 (1959-07-16)
1313"Four the Hard Way"July 23, 1959 (1959-07-23)
1414"The Tony Morelli Story"July 30, 1959 (1959-07-30)
1515"The Ray Baker Story"August 6, 1959 (1959-08-06)
1616"Lucky Silva"August 13, 1959 (1959-08-13)
1717"The Morrison Story"August 20, 1959 (1959-08-20)
1818"The Poison Ivy Story"August 27, 1959 (1959-08-27)
1919"The Prantera Story"September 3, 1959 (1959-09-03)

Season 2: Fall 1959

Ep Title Original air date
201"The Al Brown Story"October 1, 1959 (1959-10-01)
212"The Big Greeny Story"October 8, 1959 (1959-10-08)
223"The Art Harris Story"October 15, 1959 (1959-10-15)
234"The Billy Boy 'Rockabye' Creel Story"November 5, 1959 (1959-11-05)
245"The Big Man"November 12, 1959 (1959-11-12)
256"The Joe Angelo Story"November 19, 1959 (1959-11-19)
267"The Billy Grimes Story"December 3, 1959 (1959-12-03)
278"The Sonny Rosen Story"December 17, 1959 (1959-12-17)

Season 3: Spring/Summer 1961

Ep Title Original air date
281"The Jack 'Legs' Diamond Story"May 12, 1961 (1961-05-12)
292"The Sonny Rosen Story II"May 19, 1961 (1961-05-19)
303"Louy K, part one"May 26, 1961 (1961-05-26)
314"Louy K, part two: 'Sing Sing'"June 2, 1961 (1961-06-02)
325"Louy K, part three: 'Birth of the Organization'"June 9, 1961 (1961-06-09)
336"Louy K, part four: 'Heyday of the Organization'"June 16, 1961 (1961-06-16)
347"Louy K, part five: 'The Disintegration'"June 23, 1961 (1961-06-23)
358"The Miles Miller Story"June 30, 1961 (1961-06-30)
369"The Kid Dropper Story"July 7, 1961 (1961-07-07)
3710"Ginny"July 14, 1961 (1961-07-14)
3811"Little Augie"July 21, 1961 (1961-07-21)
3912"The 'Mad Dog' Coll Story, part one"July 28, 1961 (1961-07-28)
4013"The 'Mad Dog' Coll Story, part two"August 4, 1961 (1961-08-04)
4114"Blood Brothers"August 11, 1961 (1961-08-11)
4215"The Vincent Gorida Story"August 18, 1961 (1961-08-18)
4316"Artie Moon"August 25, 1961 (1961-08-25)
4417"Triple Cross"September 1, 1961 (1961-09-01)
4518"The Jonathan Wills Story"September 8, 1961 (1961-09-08)
4619"Romeo and Rose"September 15, 1961 (1961-09-15)
4720"Ike, the Novelty King"September 22, 1961 (1961-09-22)

Broadcast history

The program debuted at the 10:30 p.m. Eastern slot on Thursday after Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life. The last third of Playhouse 90 ran on CBS at the same time. In the 1961 run, the series aired on Friday.[2]

Home media

On September 25, 2012, Timeless Media Group released The Lawless Years - The Complete Series on Region 1 DVD. The 6-disc set features all 47 episodes of the series.[3] Alpha Video has released two individual volumes on DVD-R, each containing four episodes from the series.[4][5] A third was released on February 25, 2014[6]

References

  1. Alex McNeil, Total Television, New York: Penguin Books, 1996, 4th ed., p. 472
  2. 1959-1960 American network television schedule
  3. Lambert, David (July 13, 2012). "The Lawless Years - 'The Complete Series' of the '59 Show on Timeless DVDs". tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  4. "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 1". Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  5. "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 2". Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  6. "Alpha Video - Lawless Years, Volume 3". Retrieved 2014-01-30.
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