Sgt. Joe Friday and his partners methodically investigate crimes in Los Angeles.

Creator:

Jack Webb
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2,858 ( 410)

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8   7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
1959   1958   1957   1956   1955   1954   … See all »
Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Jack Webb ...  Sgt. Joe Friday / ... 276 episodes, 1951-1959
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Storyline

"The story you are about to see is true", "Just the facts, ma'am", "We were working the day watch" - phrases which became so popular as to inspire much parody - set the realistic tone of this early police drama. The show emphasized careful police work and the interweaving of policemen's professional and personal lives. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Badge 714 See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(300 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond Burr played the real-life LAPD Chief of Detectives Thad Brown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Many of the episodes available on DVD are from syndication copies in which the classic "dumm-da-dum-dum" and theme music have been replaced by other music. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Honeymooners: Funny Money (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Dragnet (Danger Ahead)
Composed by Walter Schumann
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth another look
10 February 2005 | by johngammon56See all my reviews

I've been watching some older episodes recently, courtesy of a couple of bargain four-episodes DVD I got in a Brighton 99p shop, and my attitude towards the series has changed somewhat from when I first saw Dragnet some decades ago. I now realise that the very tight, plodding format with the story told mostly through voice-over - much satirised, most memorably in Police Squad! and in a classic parody in an early Mad magazine - can somewhat blind the viewer to some of the show's more subtle strengths. The show does seem to make an effort to show the often tedious and legwork-heavy aspects of police work, and avoids violence and gratuitous gunplay as much as possible. But there's often a very sympathetic tone in Dragnet episodes towards the culprit, understanding that crime is often tragedy - such as in an episode called Big Porn, where in the final minutes a pornographer is revealed as a sad, tired old man, reliving his old days as a movie director. I particularly like an episode called Big Shoplift where the criminal turns out to be a lonely woman suffering from kleptomania, for whom even Joe Friday recognises that jail is not the right place. This compassion was a step forward from the efficient but rather cold film that inspired Dragnet, He Walked by Night, in which Webb had a bit part.

When I first saw Dragnet, I think in particular I underestimated the performance of Jack Webb, who seems to approach his suspects with a very human demeanour which is entirely realistic and such an antidote to the overplayed performances of many later TV cops. Webb produced and often wrote and directed the shows, and he displays a sure, experienced touch. Incidentally, the series didn't always take itself that seriously: look out for a wildly campy episode which alters the opening titles to read "Badge 417".


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