IMDb > Dragnet (1954)
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Dragnet (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.8/10   629 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Richard L. Breen (screenplay)
View company contact information for Dragnet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 September 1954 (USA) See more »
This was the hottest case to hit the department! See more »
Two homicide detectives investigate the brutal shotgun murder of a crime syndicate member. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Dennis Weaver Dies in Colorado
 (From WENN. 28 February 2006)

User Reviews:
Hard-hitting crime drama bearing little relation to TV series See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jack Webb ... Sergeant Joe Friday

Ben Alexander ... Officer Frank Smith

Richard Boone ... Capt. James E. Hamilton

Ann Robinson ... Officer Grace Downey

Stacy Harris ... Max Troy

Virginia Gregg ... Ethel Starkie
Vic Perrin ... Deputy D.A. Adolph Alexander (as Victor Perrin)

Georgia Ellis ... Belle Davitt

James Griffith ... Jesse Quinn
Dick Cathcart ... Roy Cleaver

Malcolm Atterbury ... Lee Reinhard

Willard Sage ... Chester Davitt

Olan Soule ... Ray Pinker (as Olan Soulé)

Dennis Weaver ... Police Capt. R.A. Lohrman
Monte Masters ... Fabian Gerard

Herb Vigran ... Mr. Archer

Virginia Christine ... Mrs. Caldwell
Guy Hamilton ... Walker Scott
Ramsay Williams ... Wesley Cannon (as Ramsey Williams)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joan Bradshaw

James Anderson ... Fred Kemp (uncredited)
Art Aragon ... Art Aragon (uncredited)
Cliff Arquette ... Charley Weaver (uncredited)
Harry Bartell ... Lt. 'Tex' Stevens (uncredited)
William Boyett ... Grand Jury Bailiff (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Detective (uncredited)
Thad Brown ... Himself - Chief of Detectives (uncredited)
Bill Brundige ... Sgt. Hank Wilde (uncredited)
Clarence Cassell ... Walter Lewis (uncredited)
Dick Crockett ... Balding Card Player (uncredited)
Aubrey Lee Dale ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Fred Dale ... Sgt. William Tilden (uncredited)
Jean Dean ... Telephone Company Secretary (uncredited)

Sayre Dearing ... Deputy D.A.'s Aide (uncredited)

Ross Elliott ... Intelligence Div. Sergeant at Desk (uncredited)
Herbert Ellis ... Booking Sergeant (uncredited)
Mel Ford ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)

Art Gilmore ... Doctor (uncredited)
Harper Goff ... Bridge Club Manager (uncredited)
Robert Griffin ... Chief Special Agent (uncredited)
James E. Hamilton ... Intelligence Division Sergeant (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Passerby (uncredited)
Charles Hibbs ... Ken the Stenotypist (uncredited)

Bert Holland ... Opening Narrator (voice) (uncredited)

Mauritz Hugo ... Jailer (uncredited)
Gayle Kellogg ... Sgt. Keeler (uncredited)

Fred Kelsey ... Passerby (uncredited)
Eddy King ... Eddy King (uncredited)

Harry Lauter ... Officer Greeley (uncredited)
Patrick Miller ... Policeman (uncredited)

Meg Myles ... Singer at Talent Agency (uncredited)
Robert North ... Floorman (uncredited)
Ken Osborne ... Thief (uncredited)
W.H. Parker ... Himself (uncredited)
Dick Paxton ... Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Detective (uncredited)
Ken Peters ... Detective Gene (uncredited)
S. Ernest Roll ... Himself - District Attorney of Los Angeles County (uncredited)
Ray Saunders ... Card Player with Max and Carl (uncredited)
George Sawaya ... Detective Mac (uncredited)
Hazel Shermet ... Talent Agency Receptionist (uncredited)
Leonard Shoemaker ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jack Sterling ... Card Player Carl (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... District Attorney S. Ernest Roll (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Belle's Escort - Solid Color Tie (uncredited)

Dub Taylor ... Miller Starkie (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Doctor (uncredited)
Roy Whaley ... Sgt. Jack McCready (uncredited)

Directed by
Jack Webb 
Writing credits
Richard L. Breen (screenplay)

Harry Essex  screenplay (uncredited)
Jack Webb  screenplay (uncredited)
Jack Webb  television series (uncredited)

Produced by
Stanley D. Meyer .... producer (as Stanley Meyer)
Original Music by
Walter Schumann 
Cinematography by
Edward Colman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert M. Leeds 
Art Direction by
Feild M. Gray  (as Feild Gray)
Set Decoration by
William L. Kuehl 
Makeup Department
Stanley E. Campbell .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Oren Haglund .... assistant director
Lee White .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Gene Delaney .... props (uncredited)
Gil Kissel .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Leslie G. Hewitt .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard L. Wilson .... chief set electrician
Louis Jennings .... camera operator (uncredited)
Burt Jones .... best boy (uncredited)
Bert Lynch .... still photographer (uncredited)
Dudie Maschmeyer .... grip (uncredited)
Wally Meinardus .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ted Kring .... wardrobe
Music Department
Walter Schumann .... music conductor
Nathan Scott .... scorer
Other crew
James E. Hamilton .... police technical advisor
Frank Kowalski .... script supervisor (uncredited)
W.H. Parker .... police technical advisor (uncredited)
George Sawaya .... stand-in: Jack Webb (uncredited)
Marty Wynn .... technical advisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • RCA  sound system

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Original Dragnet" - USA (reissue title)
See more »
88 min
Color (WarnerColor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:12 | USA:Approved (PCA #17096, General Audience) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: The calendar on the wall of the police detective's office is an actual April 1954 calendar that shows the first day of the month falling on a Thursday and the last day of the month falling on a Friday. This wall calendar can be seen out of focus during a time when Webb's monologue voice over claims was "Saturday, April 23" and again in focus on "Monday, April 25." However, the authentic calendar on the wall is a day off from Webb's claims with Saturday being April 24 and Monday falling on April 26.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)See more »
Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Hard-hitting crime drama bearing little relation to TV series, 28 June 1999
Author: Michael J. Hayde from Manassas VA

"Dragnet" was the first theatrical feature to be based on a successful television series. Too bad its script bears little relation to the elements of that show.

In the 1952-59 series, viewers never saw the crime being committed. "Dragnet" was a mystery program; Sgt. Friday and Officer Smith would be called in to solve a crime, then locate and arrest the guilty party/parties. (As Webb put it, "This makes YOU a cop, and you unwind the story.") "Dragnet" (1954) begins with the actual crime, so that we KNOW who's guilty even before the titles appear. The movie is no mystery, merely the depiction of a murder investigation, in toto.

Worse, the Sgt. Friday in this film is not the quiet, dedicated cop of the radio and TV original. The feature marks the beginning of Friday the Supercop, the holier-than-thou sergeant never without a wisecrack for the criminal ("Unless you're growin', sit down!") or a put-down for the recalcitrant citizen ("Mr. Friday, if you was me, would you [testify]?" "Can I wait awhile... before I'm you?").

The film was a huge box office success, the most profitable of Webb's five theatrical productions. It cost a hair over $500,000 to make, and took in nearly six million. It was Warner's second-highest grossing film of 1954, after "The High and the Mighty." And, of course, it opened the door for the TV crossovers that continue to this day. It's just a shame that the "real" Sgt. Friday didn't appear, and an even bigger shame that this 'evil twin' eventually eclipsed the original.

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