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.




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Cast overview:
Vic Perrin ...
Don Negler, alias J. Johnson
Mrs. Eve Kruger
Capt. Hugh Brown
John Roseboro ...
Sgt. Dave Bradford
George Freeman
Tom Williams ...
Melvin Gannon
Jack Ragotzy ...
Carl Rockwell
Roger Til ...
William Smith
Jean-Michel Michenaud ...
Claude LeBorg (as Gerald Michenaud)
Bruce Watson ...
Herbert Ellis ...
Rico 'Ricky' Markell
Max Shelton
Elizabeth Rogers ...
Eve Sorenson


Sgt. Joe Friday is called back from vacation to work with his partner, Off. Bill Gannon, on a missing persons case. Two amateur female models and a young war widow have vanished, having been last seen with one J. Johnson. In the course of tracking down Johnson and the young ladies, the detectives wind up with two different descriptions of the suspect, one of which closely resembles a dead body found in a vacant lot. But the dead man, later identified as Charles LeBorg of France, proves not to be J. Johnson, when a third young model disappears. Written by Michael J. Hayde <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller





Release Date:

27 January 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

World Premiere: Dragnet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Pierce Brooks, the technical advisor on this film, was the Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective who originally solved the actual case on which this film was based. See more »


Early in the film Friday attends a security briefing for a visit by a Soviet dignitary and notes that the meeting included several Russian "NKVD" agents. The NKVD was actually abolished in 1946 and its foreign security duties were eventually reorganized into the KGB in 1954, over a decade before the film is set. See more »


Sergeant Joe Friday: I'm afraid we have bad news for you.
William Smith: My brother he is in jail.
Sergeant Joe Friday: No sir he's dead,someone killed him.
William Smith: Charles dead killed. He was struck by automobile.
Sergeant Joe Friday: He was murdered.
See more »


Followed by Dragnet (2003) See more »


Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
Composed by Walter Schumann
See more »

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User Reviews

This was the beginning of an return classic,and it was the return of Joe Friday
15 September 2004 | by (Durham,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

This TV-Movie hasn't been seen in decades,until recently when cable's AMC brought it back,and to me this was the resurrection of one of the best cop shows of all time,and it also marked the return of the straight-laced tough as nails police sergeant Joe Friday,brilliantly portrayed by the great Jack Webb. On this new version of "Dragnet",it had the same situations and all,but this time around it was shot in gorgeous Technicolor,and it would serve as the format for the new versions to the color version of the "Dragnet" series,which ran for three seasons on NBC-TV from 1967-1970. As for the Made For-TV Movie,this was written by the same writer,Richard Breen,who was the screenwriter for the 1954 theatrical version of "Dragnet"....this was the film antidote to the theatrical production,when starred Jack Webb and Ben Alexander and Richard Boone,but this time around it would be made for television,titled "Dragnet:1966",produced and directed by Jack Webb under his production company,Mark VII Productions and under the powers that be at Universal Television which was made in 1966,but NBC,the network that ran the series,didn't showed it until 1969. In other words,Webb's production shot this TV-Movie around the sights of Los Angeles and around the backlot of Universal Studios in Universal City,California. Trivia: Jack Webb's production offices for Mark VII were on the private lot of Universal Studios where several of Webb's shows were created including "Adam-12",and "Emergency".

This was indeed the best "Dragnet" that Jack Webb ever did,and for those who wants to know why Webb's "Dragnet" was so successful,THIS is the film to see and even after years out of circulation it remains to stake the claim that "Dragnet" remains to be one of the greatest cop shows of all time. This time around,Friday is teamed up with a new partner,Officer Bill Gannon,played by Harry Morgan,and this time around it pits Friday against one of the toughest cases he ever had. Sgt. Friday and Officer Gannon goes after a killer pervert who is a sex deviant who photographs young,inexperienced models before he rapes them and kills them,leaving behind a trail of clues and facts. As they close in on the killer pervert,they got their hands full on another case,instead its another murder;that of a jewelry salesman from France who bears a striking resemblance to their suspect. The plot is so gripping and well-acted,not to mention directed by Webb,the cameras doesn't hold no punches as they deal with the unexpected and closing in on the killer. One of the greatest moments comes when Friday consoles the young son of a murdered jewelry salesmen in one of the most emotional "Dragnet" ever produced. Its a rarely that Webb displays emotion here,and its ONLY in the TV-Movie that you see this with such grace. The dialogue is true-to-life,and so the supporting characters-even the only who provide the comedical support,and since this is highly charged-drama,its no wonder that after all these years,"Dragnet" has stood the test the time.

FACTOID:When NBC Executives saw this,they wanted Jack Webb back on the job,full time as Joe Friday.

Question: When will this be available to the public on DVD or Video? True devoted fans of this landmark series would love to know.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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