Dragnet (1951–1959)
8.1/10
42
5 user 1 critic

The Big Little Jesus 

It's Christmas Eve when Father Rojas at the Old Mission Plaza Church in Los Angeles discovers that the statue of the Infant Jesus is stolen from the crib. The statue's worth is only a few ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Harry Bartell ...
Joe Carioca Jr. ...
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Desk Clerk
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Capt. Barnard
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Joseph Heffernan
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Storyline

It's Christmas Eve when Father Rojas at the Old Mission Plaza Church in Los Angeles discovers that the statue of the Infant Jesus is stolen from the crib. The statue's worth is only a few dollars, but it is of great sentimental value for the parish. Friday and Smith promise to try to get it back before mass on Christmas Day, but this means that they have less than 24 hours to catch the thief. Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson@bredband.net}

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Genres:

Drama | Crime | Mystery

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Release Date:

24 December 1953 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Remade for the series sequel Dragnet 1966 (1969), Season 2, Episode 15 entitled "The Christmas Story,." with Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan) as Friday's partner replacing Frank Smith (Ben Alexander). See more »

Connections

Remade as Dragnet 1967: The Christmas Story (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very schmaltzy yet highly enjoyable...and it's so good, they did it twice!
23 November 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am very familiar with the remake of this episode. It seems that Jack Webb liked it so much, it was repeated. And, when his second "Dragnet" series came out in the 1960s, he even remade it as "The Christmas Story" for season two. This is one of two Christmas episodes I know of for the original series. As I mentioned above, they repeated these shows each year.

The show begins with a VERY strange phone call. It's from a local priest who's called to say Jesus is missing--or, more correctly, the statue of baby Jesus from his church's manger scene. Friday and Smith investigate but the question they all have to ask is who would steal a cheap statue? It has very little intrinsic value, plus what sort of evil scum-bag would do such a thing? While the case isn't that important when it comes to the value of the item, it is important to the parish and the officers take it very seriously. The ending is a bit of a surprise--and quite adorable.

Technically speaking, this is not among the best episodes. It's very schmaltzy, the music at the end is way overdone, the child isn't the best actor and it's dripping with sentimentality. However, despite all this, it works! The more cynical viewers will probably laugh at it, but it tugged at my heart. Also, it was very nice to see Jack Webb actually smiling in the show!! At heart, despite his outer demeanor, you could tell from the various episodes that in real life, he was a real softy.


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