Chicago isn’t that close to England. The gruff nature of the Windy City has little in common with polite England. Which is probably why a place outside London would be the perfect location for a notorious prohibition era mobster to hide his loot. The Capone Investment was a six part series that aired on ITV in 1974. It suggested that the reason Geraldo Rivera never found anything in Al Capone’s safe was the money had gone international.
A quaint country village finds itself the crime scene of several brutal homicides. The prime victim doesn’t appear like an innocent bystander as the police investigate his background. His son Tom (John Thaw) knew his father was involved in something illicit. The old man had a day job. But he spent more money than he earned and never worried about bill collectors. Tom grills his dad’s secretary (Isobel Black) about the secrets she might have kept. How could he live so large? She keeps claiming she didn’t get that intimate with the old guy. A detective (Glyn Owen) and an MI5 agent (Peter Sallis) beat around the bushes. They discover Midwestern American tourists are in the area. They aren’t intent on merely collecting spoons. They’re dishing out lead. The body count keeps things hoping. Nobody seems too safe on the screen.
There’s plenty of great ‘70s fashions on display. Check out the wide open blue flowery shirt on Bunty (Roland Curram). He puffs away with a hug cigarette holder. The ladies also push the best of that era’s style and flair. This isn’t a fast paced mystery. This mini-series contains more talk than chase. There’s time to soak in the atmosphere. If you get a little confused, an announcer sums up the previous episode before the opening credits. The mixture of a dead gangster, murdering mobsters, sleuthing son and deducing detectives makes The Capone Investment an entertaining British thriller.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. Like most British productions of this era, the studio action is captured on video while the location footage was shot on 16mm film. The different visual textures are quite evident in the transfer. The video is without any disruptive glitches.
The Capone Investment plays like a really good novel for reading on a trip. The event at the core seems very plausible since Capone certainly didn’t leave his illegal booze money in that safe. There are just the right number of people looking to expose the truth about the cash. It’s only odd that Eliot Ness never uncovered this on The Untouchables.
VCI Entertainment presents The Capone Investment. Starring: Peter Sallis, Glyn Owen, Isobel Black, John Thaw and Roland Curram. Boxset Contents: 6 episodes on 1 DVDs. Released on DVD: August 31, 2010.