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




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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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 »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Original Dragnet  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Richard Boone played the real life head of the LAPD Intelligence Division, Captain James Hamilton. See more »


The update about the streets not intersecting in real life comes under the heading of "names were changed to protect the innocent". Webb did this many times in the TV series as well as in this picture. See more »


Max Troy: This gonna take long?
Sgt. Joe Friday: You've got the time.
Max Troy: Mine's worth money, yours isn't!
Sgt. Joe Friday: Send in a bill.
Max Troy: I asked you a question!
Sgt. Joe Friday: You're here to answer 'em, not ask 'em!
Max Troy: Now, listen to me, Cop. I pay your salary.
Sgt. Joe Friday: All right, sit down. I'm gonna earn it.
Max Troy: You already have, the kind of money you make. What do they pay you to carry that badge around, 40 cents an hour?
Sgt. Joe Friday: You sit down! That badge pays 464 dollars a month. That's what the job's worth. I knew that when I hired on. $67.40 comes out with withholding. I ...
See more »


Follows Dragnet (1951) See more »


Foggy Night in San Francisco
Music by Herman S. Saunders (as Herman Saunders)
Lyrics by Sidney Miller
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User Reviews

Failure as a movie but great fun
6 May 2005 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

It's nice to be among my fellow Dragnet fans. There is an important point to be made about the fifties and that is that it was an age of excess. It was big brass, big dance number, and big build up to every stupid little deal to the point that it was obnoxious and oppressive, especially to a kid. The landmarks in pop culture of the era were things that stood in opposition to that and provided blessed relief with a sense of brevity and minimalism. In westerns it was the emotionally and geographically beak landscape of Kansas in Gunsmoke. In comedy there was a show called The Honeymooners with a set that consisted of a table, one or two chairs, and a door that Ed Norton kept bursting through. In jazz it was the three, four, and five piece combos as opposed to big band. In popular music, it was Elvis with lead, rhythm, bass, and drums. (Actually not even drums at first). But the Daddy of them all was Dragnet. Terse is not the word. It's minimalism was blatantly self conscious to the point of absurdity. The public was stunned. It had the effect of being stripped of all nonsense so that you thought you were seeing the real thing. You weren't but you sure thought you were. When Joe Friday came on with his tired monotone and said " the has has has parks.......", we thought it was so cool we could hardly stand it. But the biggest quote was "just the facts, ma'am". We used to repeat that all over the playground. Every time somebody was going too far it was "hey there, just the facts". And that's why the movie is a failure. That incredibly stylish brevity can't be stretched out. It has to be a half hour, otherwise it just looks like they're going around in circles. However the movie is still very enjoyable and a worthy addition to your collection (or mine anyway). The reason for that is that the movie has plenty of this other thing that the TV show was famous for which a vast array of delightfully god awful two bit loser punk criminals. Dragnet never dealt with Mr. Big, it was always these awful little two bit people, con men, purse snatchers, etc. There was even one incredible child molester episode (The Big Crime Sept 9, 1954). Jack Webb could really get the creepy feel going with these characters. I don't know if it's my imagination but does LA have a creepier underworld than other cities? Maybe the authors and screenwriters have made it seem so. But I recently read a biographical sketch of Barbara Graham (I Want To Live) and I honestly wish I hadn't, it was too creepy. So anyway in the movie you lose the terseness but keep the criminals. As for the color, of course it's not Dragnet but it's still fun if only for the sake of contrast. So check it out. Tell them Groucho sent you.

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