Dragnet (1954) 1954 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(79) IMDb 6.7/10
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A mysterious gangland slaying has taken place and it is up to Joe Friday and the Los Angeles Police Department to put together the pieces. They enlist the services of a pretty and daring police woman to trap the devious mobsters and bring them to justice. Friday gets his man with help from his partner, Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander), in a crime caper so tough it could only be called Dragnet.

Starring:
Jack Webb, Ben Alexander
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jack Webb
Starring Jack Webb, Ben Alexander
Supporting actors Richard Boone, Ann Robinson, Stacy Harris, Virginia Gregg, Vic Perrin, Georgia Ellis, James Griffith, Dick Cathcart, Malcolm Atterbury, Willard Sage, Olan Soule, Dennis Weaver, Monte Masters, Herb Vigran, Virginia Christine, Guy Hamilton, Ramsay Williams, James Anderson
Studio Universal Studios
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

While not the best in quality, this the best DVD set for your dollar!!!
Jason P. Pumphrey
I found the 20 episodes very entertaining, and will likely watch them again in the future.
Samuel H. Halter
If you enjoyed, the late 1960's Dragnet series, you will absolutely enjoy this movie.
seafarer67

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huggins VINE VOICE on August 25, 2003
Format: DVD
While there are numerous DVDs with public domain episodes of the original Dragnet television series on the market today, this set (from Brentwood Home Video) is the one to get. Here's why . . .
1. Quantity - The 20 episodes included on this set represent the largest single collection of original Dragnet episodes released to date (August 2003).
2. Price/Value - At a retail of [$$ it is amazing].
3. Variety - There are some very well-known (and "common") episodes included like The Big Seventeen and The Big Producer, but there are some rarer episodes and one, The Big Frame, has not previously appeared on DVD. Since Amazon did not list the episode titles, I am including them below for Dragnet fans so that you can compare this collection of episodes with others:
Episodes - Disc 1/Side A
1. The Big September Man
2. The Big Seventeen
3. The Big Show
4. The Big Break
5. The Big Hands
Episodes - Disc 1/Side B
1. The Big Betty
2. The Big Thief
3. The Big Little Jesus
4. The Big Bird (mislabeled incorrectly on rear cover and the disc menu as The Big Trunk)
5. The Big Boys
Episodes - Disc 2/Side A
1. The Big Shoplift
2. The Big Hit-Run Killer
3. The Big Girl
4. The Big Frame
5. The Big Producer
Episodes - Disc 2/Side B
1. The Big Crime
2. The Big Pair
3. The Big Bar
4. The Big War
5. The Big Oskar
My five star rating is closer to four & one-half stars as this collection is not "problem free." While all of the episodes range, visually, from fair to very good, there has been no digital restoration of the prints utilized for this collection. All episodes are watchable, just don't expect to see pristine prints . . . you can expect some film scratches and specks.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fox on October 23, 2005
Format: DVD
Those of us who grew up with and loved the 1960s version of Dragnet are in for a pleasant surprise. The 1950s version is grittier, more true-to-life, and even more "no-nonsense" than the later series. The black-and-white photography makes everything look downbeat and harder, and truly portrays the underside of society, rather than sunny Los Angeles. It's detectives in hats, records in pen and ink, milk in bottles, and cigarettes everywhere. High-tech means sending out a "radiogram." You don't get Friday lecturing hippies, but the 1950s series is, in my opinion, better.

I have many original Dragnet episodes on VHS, but this DVD set is quite a buy. Although some of the episodes have incorrect titles, you cannot beat the price. Fans of the 1960s series will enjoy seeing a rather young Virginia Gregg, a very young Peggy Webber, as well as Art Gilmore, Harry Bartell, a very young Bill Boyett (Sgt. MacDonald on Adam-12), Natalie Masters and assorted other actors who formed Jack Webb's unofficial company of players. There are some classic episodes here.

I noticed that one reviewer posted the list of episodes that you get in this set, but here is a brief explanation of each of them:

Disk 1, Side A

1. The Big September -- A woman is murdered by a religious fanatic.
2. The Big Seventeen -- Episode starts with the destruction of a movie theatre by kids on drugs. The 17-year old in question ruins his life by taking heroin. (Note: this boy would have been born in 1935 -- long before the hippie generation. Webb tackled drug use long before it was commonplace.)
3. The Big Show (should really be the "Big Secret") -- a young Virginia Gregg plays the wife of an army officer.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Petix on June 1, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Kudos to Universal Vault series for their bringing this 1954 Warner Bros. movie classic to DVD. I had an old BETA(!)copy that was poorly transferred with washed-out colors. The DVD corrects all that and makes available a classic "police-action" concept from the '50s enjoyable to watch, with all its dated dialog and action intact. Great fun!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Adam on May 26, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is Sgt. Friday in living color in 1950s form before the middle age paunch of the 1960s. It's Sergeant Friday in a show that mixes Dragnet with the fast-paced Noir writing that made Webb's Private Detective show, Pat Novak for Hire (written by screenwriter Richard Breen,) a classic.

1) Picture Quality was superb: I've seen this on an old rental VHS and the difference is night and day. The color is crisp and stunning. This is a good print that Universal used.

2) The Story is not your ordinary Dragnet. This film would be considered a minor noir classic if it weren't based on a TV show. In many ways it deviates with a fist fight in a bridge hall and the lack of banter between Friday and Smith. As well, Friday is a little more aggressive and on-edge than normally written. This is because Breen didn't write for Dragnet. It's very similar to the normal Dragnet, but with a greater hard boiled punch to it that makes it interesting. It also fits that Friday would be a little tougher as he's dealing with underworld hoods throughout the whole thing, and not Mrs. Garrity, the grey-haired landlady. Just because it's different, doesn't make it bad or unfitting for the canon. It's actually a well-made and distinct film.

3) The Dialogue is a Work of Art. This is Friday at his toughest, delivering lines such as, "Unless you're growin', Sit down! " to a hood trying to start something.

Friday is tough and ready for action in a forgotten classic that is a must see for fans of Dragnet, NOIR, or detective fiction.
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