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Dragnet (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime | 26 June 1987 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Kirkpatrick
Jerry Caesar
Enid Borden
Mayor Parvin
Lenka Peterson ...
Granny Mundy
Julia Jennings ...
Sylvia Wiss
Joe Altmark ...
Nina Arvesen ...
Lady Motor Cop


Friday and Streebek are assigned to some very strange robberies, like i.e. the stealing of one bat, a 30 foot long snake and the mane of a lion from a zoo. All the latest BAIT magazines were also recently stolen, and some chemicals that when are mixed correctly develops a very deadly gas. All these thefts have one thing in common; visit cards with the word "PAGAN" left at the crime scenes. Solving these crimes, including why plenty of police vehicles have been stolen lately, involves the usual; to drink coffee at strip tease bars, rescue kidnapped virgins from drowning and lose their jobs. Written by Lars J. Aas <larsa@colargol.edb.tih.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bat | lion | snake | robbery | rescue | See All (153) »


Just The Facts. See more »


Comedy | Crime


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dragnet 1987  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$57,387,516 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Reverend Whirley escapes in a Learjet 24A, S/N 24A-096, owned by Clay Lacy Aviation. It is the same plane supposedly flown by Charlton Heston flew the same plane to catch the 747 in Airport 75. I doubt it is the same plane flown in Airport 75, as its date of manufacture is December 17th 1975. It wasn't built at the time of filming Airport 75. See more »


The placement of Jerry's left arm when he's talking to Jonathan in the cemetery. See more »


Captain Gannon: Frank won't be coming into work today Joe.
Friday: 24 hour virus?
Captain Gannon: Or tomorrow.
Friday: 48 hour?
Captain Gannon: Frank quit, moved to Ukiah, bought a goat farm...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Towards the end of the film, when Streebeck arrests Muzz, he raps him his rights. In the closing credits there is an extended version of this, with Friday and Streebeck rapping about rights, as well as about the PAGAN ritual they witnessed. See more »


Featured in Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) See more »


Danger Ahead
Written by Walter Schumann and Miklós Rózsa
See more »

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User Reviews

One Of My Guilty Pleasures
2 September 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although Tom Hanks and Christopher Plummer and Dan Ackroyd have certainly done better work than Dragnet, I can't think of a movie where any of them would have had better fun making it. Dragnet is one of the guilty pleasures I have, a film that will never be rated as one of the greatest of all time, but a film that I split a gut laughing at even though I know all the jokes coming.

Dragnet is a satirical version of the famous documentary style police show from the Fifties and the later color version from the sixties. Dan Ackroyd's dead-on impersonation of the no-nonsense monotone Jack Webb that a generation of Americans grew up remembering is excellent. Like Webb he plays it completely straight or maybe I should say straight man.

Because he's got a new partner fresh from undercover narcotics in Tom Hanks. Ackroyd's not quite used to the girl chasing, motorcycle loving partner that he's been assigned to. He's been brought up in the strict traditions of his Uncle Joe and he has a photograph of Jack Webb on his desk. He's even got Harry Morgan as his captain and we well remember that Harry Morgan was Jack Webb's partner in the sixties version of Dragnet.

Anyway the two of them are assigned to investigate an assortment of crimes that a motorcycle gang called the PAGANS are responsible for. I can't explain any more because the plot gets positively surreal from here. All I can say is the laughs never stop.

Look for some good supporting performances in addition to those mentioned from Elizabeth Ashley as the new police commissioner, Alexandra Paul as 'the virgin Connie Swale', Jack O'Halloran as a Pagan member, Kathleen Freeman as a foulmouthed landlady, and Dabney Coleman as a Hugh Hefner type publisher.

But most of all this film belongs to Christopher Plummer in every scene he's in. He plays the whole thing with a twinkle in his eye when he's being the most sanctimonious as the Reverend Jonathan Whirley. I can't think of a film where Plummer is funnier in or one where it looks like he's having such a good time.

The good time is positively infectious. The most hidebound stuffed shirt will love this film as I did.

18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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