Dragnet (1956)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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This film, based on the popular Dragnet TV series, involves the murder of former syndicate member Dub Taylor. LAPD sergeants Joe Friday and Frank Smith follow the trail of evidence to shifty gangster boss Stacy Harris, who during most of the film is able to avoid arrest through legal loopholes.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Jack Webb
as Sgt. Joe Friday
Ben Alexander
as Officer Frank Smith
Richard Boone
as Capt. Hamilton
Ann Robinson
as Grace Downey
Stacy Harris
as Max Troy
Virginia Gregg
as Ethel Marie Starkie
Vic Perrin
as Adolph Alexander
Georgia Ellis
as Belle Davitt
James Griffith
as Jesse Quinn
Dick Cathcart
as Roy Cleaver
Malcolm Atterbury
as Lee Reinhard
Willard Sage
as Chester Davitt
Olan Soule
as Ray Pinker
Dennis Weaver
as Capt. Lohrman
James Anderson
as Fred Kemp
Monte Masters
as Fabian Gerard
Herb Vigran
as Mr. Archer
Virginia Christine
as Mrs. Caldwell
Guy Hamilton
as Walker Scott
Ramsey Williams
as Wesley Cannon
Harry Bartell
as Lt. Stevens
Herb Ellis
as Booking Sergeant
Harlan Warde
as Interne
Cliff Arquette
as Charlie Weaver
Dub Taylor
as Miller/Ex-Convict
Fred Dale
as Officer Tilden
Jean Dean
as Pat, the secretary
Ross Elliott
as Intelligence Officer
Mauritz Hugo
as Jailer
Gayle Kellogg
as Officer Keeler
Harry Lauter
as Officer Greeley
Meg Myles
as Cuban Singer
Dick Paxton
as Hotel Clerk
George Sawaya
as McQueen
Roy Whaley
as Sergeant McCreadie
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Critic Reviews for Dragnet

All Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It beats me why Dragnet was such a popular TV show and it further surprises that this uninspiring dullish movie also did so well.

Full Review… | January 28, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Dragnet


This movie was based on the 1950's version of Dragnet. This was the heyday of Black and White TV. The only way to do a color version of Dragnet was to show it in movie theaters. The 1950's version of Dragnet had a more pessimistic view of Los Angeles. The 1960's color TV version was more upbeat and tried to show LA as modern American city with a professional modern police force. The buildings and furniture were new. The 1950's version showed LA as a grimy depression era city. The buildings and furniture was old pre-war vintage. Most of the stories came from the 1930's and 1940's. The LAPD had gotten very corrupt during the depression and World War II. Cops weren't paid well during the depression and during the war the young guys were off fighting the war. Police departments all over the country were plagued with corruption that started with the prohibition era. Starting 1950 the LAPD started to clean house and used the Dragnet TV show to improve their reputation. The 1954 movie told the story of a gangland murder. The movie showed how the LAPD was fighting organized crime in the 1950's. The movie kind of looked like the 1960's TV show with all the bright colors but the clothes and cars were old style. The men all wore hats and the cars were pre 1954 models. The woman all had long dresses. Since the movie was based on a true story the ending had the killers dying before they could be tried. The ring leader died of cancer in a run down old hospital.

Donald White
Donald White

Pete Kelly’s Blues and Dragnet – Both films written by Richard Breen, and directed by Jack Webb, who also stars. [I]Pete Kelly’s Blues[/I] is about a band trying to be bought out by a producer so he can take their money, and [I]Dragnet[/I] is about a cop just trying to solve a basic case. [I]Pete Kelly’s Blues[/i] works much better as film, and is really pretty good, and while [I]Dragnet[/i] was fun, it just doesn’t work as a film, which makes sense since it started as a show, and ended as a show. Still fun though. [I]Pete Kelly’s Blues[/i]: A- [i]Dragnet[/i]: B Hard Times – [I]Hard Times[/i] stars Charles Bronson, who looks like he’s drunk throughout the entire film, and James Coburn. Bronson is a street fighter, and Coburn is pretty much his manager, and sets him up fights and what. That’s pretty much it, and the film follows the two as they win more and more fights. It’s a really awesome film and has some great fight scenes in it. Check it out if you can get your hands on it. A Say Anything – I’ve been catching up on my 80s films, so I finally watched this, and it was really great. Definitely the best teen romance I’ve seen. It was just so good! That’s it. A

David Heffler
David Heffler

Very similar to the television series, it has the same format. This is a little more bitter though than the series. Good cast, it has the expected corny dialogue and Jack Webb's very dry acting style. A must for fans of the series.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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