Special agent Ness is worried about his childhood pal - a big, successful boxing promoter who's mixed up with a gangster Ness can never get convicted.


(as Walter E. Grauman)


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Episode cast overview:
Johnny Fortunato
Chickie Bernstein
Frank Barber
Pops Gantry
Stella Barber
Adrienne Marden ...
Nurse Vedkoff
John Henry Whitmore (as Norm Alden)
Lawrence Maldonado ...
George Chirello ...
News Vendor
Slapsie Sadie
Narrator (voice)


After many years, Eliot Ness meets up with an old high school friend Frank Barber who now runs the professional boxing matches locally. One of Barber's main customers is mobster Johnny Fortunado who Ness has been pursuing for a long time and only recently got off when the key witness against him supposedly committed suicide. Ness is worried that his old friend is mixed up with the mobster but Barber insists that Fortunado is just a customer. Ness wants his friend to give him information on the mobster. He soon does so when Fortunado starts to gun for him but evidence begins to mount that Barber may be staging the whole thing. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Crime | Drama





Release Date:

21 April 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[last lines]
Johnny Fortunato: You got no heart. No heart. No heart, Mister Ness. You got no damn heart. You got no damn heart.
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User Reviews

An odd episode that hinges on a woman's traumatic brain injury....and not among the better episodes.
15 March 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Head of Fire" is a watchable but confusing and rather muddled episode of "The Untouchables". It begins with an old high school chum of Ness showing up unexpectedly. Jack Barber (Jack Warden) has come to see Ness but the audience can't help but think that Jack is up to something. Soon you learn that Jack isn't altogether honest and bets on fixed boxing matches. Additionally, there's SOMETHING going on between Jack and a nasty hood, Johnny Fortunato (Nehemiah Persoff). How does Ness fit into all this? And, how does a woman with a traumatic brain injury (Madlyn Rhue) end up helping Ness figure out the truth?

So much of this episode doesn't work. The relationship between Jack and Ness is bizarre and makes little sense. Plus, the show is trying to humanize Ness...and very unsuccessfully. Off-duty, Ness is MUCH more rigid and humorless than Joe Friday ("Dragnet") or McGarrett ("Hawaii Five-O")...so seeing him acting (or TRYING) to act casual is strange to say the least.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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