“Dragnet” was the most popular detective series of the 1950s. It aired weekly on NBC from 1952 to 1959 in its first run and influenced countless police shows to come, including today’s real life crime show “Cops.” It spawned a movie version in 1954 and again in 1987 with Dan Aykroyd.
Ep. 12: The Big Phone Call
Friday and Jacobs question a jeweler regarding the robbery of a colleague. The man takes offense at being questioned about the incident, but as the detectives begin to amass evidence, the jeweler’s outrage quickly begins to lose credibility.
Dragnet opened each week with these words from Det. Sgt. Joe Friday: “This is the city, Los Angeles, California. I work here, I carry a badge.” Then that arresting theme music began to play (“Dum-de-dum-dum”). Probably the most successful police drama in television history. Dragnet‘s hallmark was its appearance of realism, from the documentary-style narration by Joe Friday, to the cases drawn from the files of the real L.A.P.D., to its attention to the details of police work (“It was 3:55. . . We were working the day watch out of homocide”). Viewers were reminded of the unglamorous dead ends and the constant interruptions of their private lives that plague real policemen, and this made the final shoot-out and capture of the criminal all the more exciting. At the end of each episode, after the criminal was apprehended, an announcer would describe what happened at the subsequent trial and the severity of the sentence. The series was created and directed by Jack Webb himself. It’s catchphrases and devices became national bywords and were widely satirized. There was Webb’s terse “My name is Friday–I’m a cop,” and “Just the facts, ma’am”
Cast and Crew:
* Jack Webb – Sgt.Joe Friday
* Ben Alexander – Officer Frank Smith
# Director: Jack Webb
Creator: Jack Webb
Production Company: Mark VII Ltd.
Date Release: 1951 – 1959
Original Air Date: 26 August 1954
Audio & Video: Mono – Black and White
Additional details in: IMDB
Video streaming: courtesy of www.finemoviesonline.com
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Filed Under: Dragnet