6.7/10
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22 user 8 critic

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:

7:55 P.M. All days off were cancelled. All officers placed on standby. 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 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. Obviously the geography is intentionally inaccurate, which is also the case with that referred to hundreds of films and television programs. In such instances, if an actual address is used the occupant would have grounds of legal action if the location were to attract unwanted visitors. See more »

Quotes

Doctor: I'm sorry, was Mr. Troy a friend of yours?
Sgt. Joe Friday: No sir, we hardly knew him.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Dragnet (1989) 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

Hard-hitting crime drama bearing little relation to TV series
28 June 1999 | by Michael-202See all my reviews

"Dragnet" was the first theatrical feature to be based on a successful television series. Too bad its script bears little relation to the elements of that show.

In the 1952-59 series, viewers never saw the crime being committed. "Dragnet" was a mystery program; Sgt. Friday and Officer Smith would be called in to solve a crime, then locate and arrest the guilty party/parties. (As Webb put it, "This makes YOU a cop, and you unwind the story.") "Dragnet" (1954) begins with the actual crime, so that we KNOW who's guilty even before the titles appear. The movie is no mystery, merely the depiction of a murder investigation, in toto.

Worse, the Sgt. Friday in this film is not the quiet, dedicated cop of the radio and TV original. The feature marks the beginning of Friday the Supercop, the holier-than-thou sergeant never without a wisecrack for the criminal ("Unless you're growin', sit down!") or a put-down for the recalcitrant citizen ("Mr. Friday, if you was me, would you [testify]?" "Can I wait awhile... before I'm you?").

The film was a huge box office success, the most profitable of Webb's five theatrical productions. It cost a hair over $500,000 to make, and took in nearly six million. It was Warner's second-highest grossing film of 1954, after "The High and the Mighty." And, of course, it opened the door for the TV crossovers that continue to this day. It's just a shame that the "real" Sgt. Friday didn't appear, and an even bigger shame that this 'evil twin' eventually eclipsed the original.


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