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Dragnet (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  4 September 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 594 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stacy Harris ...
Vic Perrin ...
Deputy D.A. Adolph Alexander (as Victor Perrin)
Georgia Ellis ...
Dick Cathcart ...
Willard Sage ...
Olan Soule ...
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


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?


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 »


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 »


[an eyewitness is afraid to testify]
Jesse Quinn: Mr. Friday, I'd like to ask you a question. If you was me, would you do it?
Sgt. Joe Friday: Can I wait awhile?
Jesse Quinn: Huh?
Sgt. Joe Friday: Before I'm you.
See more »


Referenced in NCIS: Nature of the Beast (2011) See more »


Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
Music by Miklós Rózsa and Walter Schumann
See more »

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User Reviews

Great 1950's period crime drama
23 January 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is so true to the atmosphere of the 1950's that you could show it in a history class, but it's a lot of fun. Jack Webb is fantastically straight as Joe Friday; he never had a better role. He speaks every word with a cement-like conviction; he's always got a snappy answer for every sarcastic criminal. Everyone in the movie is great, but the standouts are Virginia Gregg as the murdered man's alcoholic and handicapped wife, Stacy Harris as Max Troy, insincere head of the crime syndicate, and Richard Boone as the police captain, who says to his men with angry authority "all right, bumper to bumper tail; get up with em in the morning and put em to bed at night".

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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