Two homicide detectives investigate the brutal shotgun murder of a crime syndicate member.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Vic Perrin ...
Deputy D.A. Adolph Alexander (as Victor Perrin)
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Dick Cathcart ...
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Ray Pinker (as Olan Soulé)
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Monte Masters ...
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Storyline

Saturday, April 9: A known bookie named Miller Starkie has been "cut in half" by a sawed-off, double-barrel shotgun. Working out of Intelligence Division, Sgt. Joe Friday and Off. Frank Smith piece together what little evidence they have, interview acquaintances, intimidate witnesses, interrogate suspects to the point of harassment, utilize a Minifon and a wiretap, and testify before the Grand Jury in a tireless effort to catch and convict Starkie's killers. Written by Michael J. Hayde <mmeajv@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

7:55 P.M. All days off were cancelled. All officers placed on standby. This was the hottest case to hit the department. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Original Dragnet  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie followed the then current tendency of radio and TV shows to work in the sponsor's products wherever possible. Liggett & Meyers Tobacco was the TV/radio series' main sponsor, and though it is doubtful they had any financial involvement with the movie, packs of their Chesterfield cigarettes can be seen throughout the movie. Every public place in the movie also featured a Chesterfield vending machine. See more »

Goofs

The murder scene is an open lot bounded by Loma Vista, 3rd, Wentworth and Rachel. These are actual streets in the LA area but do not intersect or form a block. See more »

Quotes

Max Troy: You got nothing to take to court! You got a phone number, it don't prove up. I could write down Eisenhower and it don't prove up for twenty cents. That's all the evidence you got, you take it downtown and they won't let you in the washroom with it! Now get off my back and hand me that ashtray!
Sgt. Joe Friday: You've got the Cadillac - drive over and get it!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Rocket Squad (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa and Walter Schumann
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User Reviews

 
No wonder LAPD loved him it's like their PR folks wrote this script.
8 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jack Webb made a very good living starring and directing in various TV versions of Dragnet in the 1950s and again in the late 1960s. His continued support for the hard work that the brave city police did for their communities built him a strong audience base among law enforcement members and their supporters.

In Dragnet (1954) Webb, who starred in his familiar role of Sgt. Joe Friday, also produced this one sided propaganda film. He shows a world where innocent witnesses, to organized crime murderers, are to be scorned for not risking their lives to testify in proceedings; A judicial system, that should stand back and allow police to determine where and when to wire tap citizens.

In addition, the residents of L.A. should feel their safety is almost assured when Friday's captain (Richard Boone) authorized non-stop surveillance of four suspected syndicate members; I guess the dozen or more officers, involved here, can be spared for this detail since things must be fine elsewhere in the city.

At one point, Friday and his portly detective partner Officer Frank Ryan, played in almost obscurity by actor Ben Alexander, beat up younger, larger thugs in an unintentionally funny brawl in a private club.

Webb certainly had the right to create a film stock full of glowing praise for the law enforcement agency that helped make him a very wealthy man. However, unlike the hour long television versions of this same material, Dragnet (1954) is a feature length sanitized, political piece of propaganda better left to a law enforcement recruitment video.


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