Dragnet: Season 1, Episode 14

The Big Lamp (19 Jun. 1952)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Crime | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 10 users  
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A burglar has an airtight case against him and the judge tells the jury that found him not guilty it was a travesty of justice... See full synopsis »



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Title: The Big Lamp (19 Jun 1952)

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Episode credited cast:
Barney Phillips ...
Herbert Ellis ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tol Avery
Herbert Butterfield ...
(as Herb Butterfield)
Eddie Firestone
Ralph Moody


A burglar has an airtight case against him and the judge tells the jury that found him not guilty it was a travesty of justice... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Mystery




Release Date:

19 June 1952 (USA)  »

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

So far, the best of the old "Dragnet" episodes I have seen.
16 December 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Big Lamp" is an exceptionally good episode of the 1950s incarnation of "Dragnet". While most of the episodes do not exist (or at least they aren't available at the very least), about 50 do--and this is the best of the ones I've seen so far.

The show is unusual in that it begins in the courtroom. An accused thief is on trial and it seems pretty certain he'll be convicted based on expert testimony. Yet, in spite of scientific evidence and statistical proof that the man MUST have done it, the jury inexplicably acquits the guy. In a very unusual move, the judge lectures the jury on what a rotten job they did in this case--telling them that they are 'either innately dishonest or are complete morons'!

The next 2/3 of the show is about the police investigation of the same suspect once he returns to Los Angeles. Once again, a string of robberies occur that fit his m.o. and the police are determined to get him this time. What follows is an episode that emphasizes police work AND forensics. So, for those who think forensic work is new, they are in for a surprise as the methods employed in "The Big Lamp" seem very modern and surprisingly brilliant. Well worth seeing in every way.

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