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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sergeant Joe Friday
... Officer Frank Smith
... Capt. James E. Hamilton
... Officer Grace Downey
... Max Troy
... Ethel Starkie
Vic Perrin ... Deputy D.A. Adolph Alexander (as Victor Perrin)
... Belle Davitt
... Jesse Quinn
Dick Cathcart ... Roy Cleaver
... Lee Reinhard
... Chester Davitt
... Ray Pinker (as Olan Soulé)
... Police Capt. R.A. Lohrman
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:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Original Dragnet  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Boone and Dennis Weaver, who portray police captains, would win fame as peace officers in the two long-running TV western series, Have Gun - Will Travel (1957) (Boone as Paladin) and Gunsmoke (1955) (Weaver as Matt Dillon's deputy, Chester). See more »

Goofs

The murder scene is an open lot bounded by Loma Vista, 3rd, Wentworth and Rachel. These are actual streets in the LA area but do not intersect or form a block. See more »

Quotes

Max Troy: You got nothing to take to court! You got a phone number, it don't prove up. I could write down Eisenhower and it don't prove up for twenty cents. That's all the evidence you got, you take it downtown and they won't let you in the washroom with it! Now get off my back and hand me that ashtray!
Sgt. Joe Friday: You've got the Cadillac - drive over and get it!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
(uncredited)
Music by Miklós Rózsa and Walter Schumann
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 See 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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