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Dragnet (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 September 1954 (USA)
Two homicide detectives investigate the brutal shotgun murder of a crime syndicate member.

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Writer:

(screenplay)
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Initially intended as a pilot for the Dragnet 1967 TV series, featuring L.A. police detective Joe Friday and his partners, but not aired until 1969.

Director: Jack Webb
Stars: Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Vic Perrin
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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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herbert Ellis, who appears uncredited as The Booking Sergeant, was one of several actors who played Officer Frank Smith during the first year of the Dragnet (1951) TV series before Ben Alexander got the role full time. 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

[Hamilton and Friday read the Dead Body, or DB, Report on Miller Starkey]
Captain James E. Hamilton, Intelligence: Shotgun, extreme close range, double-O. Starkey was hit four times, first two cut him in half.
Sgt. Joe Friday: The second two turned him into a crowd.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Foggy Night in San Francisco
Music by Herman S. Saunders (as Herman Saunders)
Lyrics by Sidney Miller
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Chrome
29 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Check out the Chrome on the shiny 1950's automobiles. Look carefully and you will see the clear plastic air-conditioning tubes inside the rear window of the Cadillac. Wood furniture (not fiberboard), non-filter cigarettes by the ton, neon signs, 8-miles per gallon autos. This is authentic 1950's retro (and wastefulness) at its best.

Expensive color film and fine film editing. First-class musical scoring is seamlessly blended into the movie.

"Dragnet" is a meticulously planned movie project. Looks like every scene was thought out well in advance of the actual production. Webb must have been a very hard-working movie craftsman.

Stylistically, Webb's brisk handling of actors and clipped, monotonous dialog is not appealing to my tastes, but directing style is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. His style is OK for television shows but less so in a full-length movie. However, this is a good crime movie and Webb at least gives it a kind of watchable uniqueness.

Modern TV's "Law and Order" breaks no new ground. This "Dragnet" movie has the cops and detectives, then the District Attorney, then some sort of judicial hearing, etc. And of course "Law and Order" doesn't have those big chrome dinosaurs.


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