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Dragnet (1954)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 September 1954 (USA)
Two homicide detectives investigate the brutal shotgun murder of a crime syndicate member.

Director:

Jack Webb

Writer:

Richard L. Breen (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Vic Perrin ... Deputy D.A. Adolph Alexander (as Victor Perrin)
Georgia Ellis ... Belle Davitt
James Griffith ... Jesse Quinn
Dick Cathcart 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 Monte Masters ... Fabian Gerard
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Storyline

Saturday, April 9: A known bookie named Miller Starkie has been "cut in half" by a sawed-off, double-barrel shotgun. Working out of Intelligence Division, Sgt. Joe Friday and Off. Frank Smith piece together what little evidence they have, interview acquaintances, intimidate witnesses, interrogate suspects to the point of harassment, utilize a Minifon and a wiretap, and testify before the Grand Jury in a tireless effort to catch and convict Starkie's killers. Written by Michael J. Hayde <mmeajv@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This was the hottest case to hit the department! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Original Dragnet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mark VII Ltd. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie goes to great lengths to demonstrate a broad-ranging approach to solving the crime and catching the villain - which occupies a large number of policemen and a serious expenditure of taxpayer's dollars. In the end, it reflects a ridiculous investment with no payoff whatsoever. The impact was that it impressed viewers with the skills, knowledge, tactics, and dedication of the the police, as well as cause people to question the apparent squandering of money and resources. See more »

Goofs

The update about the streets not intersecting in real life comes under the heading of "names were changed to protect the innocent". Webb did this many times in the TV series as well as in this picture. See more »

Quotes

Captain R.A. Lohrman: What about the victim, you think Starkey was in trouble?
Sgt. Joe Friday: He was at 4 o'clock this afternoon.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Dragnet 1966 (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Foggy Night in San Francisco
Music by Herman S. Saunders (as Herman Saunders)
Lyrics by Sidney Miller
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The story you are about to see is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent"
5 October 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

So popular was Dragnet proving to be on the small screen that producer and star Jack Webb decided to expand it into a feature film. So what we got here is a television episode of Dragnet expanded to 90 minutes and in color.

Webb and partner Ben Alexander are assigned to the homicide of Dub Taylor whose familiar face and voice are hardly seen on the screen before he gets cut down with both barrels of a shotgun. The killer gave him two more while he was down to make sure. Altogether quite grisly and gruesome.

So the rest of the film under the command of their captain in gang intelligence Richard Boone, Webb and Alexander try to gather the evidence to nail the bad guys. Not that Taylor was any kind of solid citizen, he was a collector of bad debts for the mob and he was skimming on his collections. Still he was due justice.

Watching this film should make one realize how far we've come post the Miranda decision in protecting rights of the accused. One thing that Boone orders is something called a 'bumper tail' where the cops are assigned to tail up close and personal and to frisk at will. No way that would happen today except in some real right wing heaven.

Interesting film, nicely done in Dragnet's famous crisp, staccato style and be happy if you're a criminal you weren't operating back then.


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