Dragnet (1951–1959)
4 user

The Big Break 

Friday leads a team in a raid on the house of a very dangerous armed robber, which results in a bloody shootout.


Jack Webb


James E. Moser (based on a radio play by)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Jack Webb ... Sgt. Joe Friday
Ben Alexander ... Officer Frank Smith
Clarence Cassell Clarence Cassell ... Sgt. Slats Henry
Eddie Firestone ... George Robert Hoffman
Art Gilmore ... Capt. Harry Didion
Harper Goff Harper Goff ... Roy Townsend
Adrienne Marden Adrienne Marden ... Mrs. Cox
Dick Paxton Dick Paxton ... Charles Kilgore


Friday leads a team in a raid on the house of a very dangerous armed robber, which results in a bloody shootout.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Not Rated






Release Date:

19 March 1953 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sergeant Joe Friday's work address is shown on an envelope as Room 27-A City Hall Los Angeles, California. See more »


The suspect is shown firing guns at police officers on two occasions and it is stated he also escaped from custody twice, yet the only charges he faced related to robberies. It is unlikely he would not have faced attempted murder and escape charges. See more »


Featured in Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

I thought that "Dragnet" was meant to glorify policework and the legal system!
21 November 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Big Break" is a very strange episode. It consists of a lot of sloppy policework as well as a frighteningly bad job of the workers at the county jail! It's so laughable that it's hard to believe that these stories were supposedly taken from real cases AND it's hard to believe the show would talk about such sloppiness.

Friday and Smith have been looking for an armed robber named Hoffman. Despite Hoffman seeming like a real idiot, it took them a while to find him. When they do, there's a shootout but the detectives are able to capture the guy with no injuries. However, despite being a very violent guy, the jail authorities were apparently pretty dumb, as he soon escaped*. He's captured and sentenced to prison.

A few years pass. Hoffman is in the Army and comes to visit Smith and Friday to tell them he has no hard feelings and has turned his life around for good. However, after giving Hoffman a few bucks, they learn that Hoffman is AWOL--and he'd escaped from the military prison! But, by then, he was gone.

The rest of the show consist of the cops once again tracking down Hoffman and capturing him in a hail of bullets. All this leads you to wonder just how dumb the system can be! All in all, a silly and sloppy episode that left me feeling let-down. See if yourself--let me know what you think.

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