HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Moment of Clarity
Fukushima 50
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dragnet Friday On My Mind
Year: 1954
Director: Jack Webb
Stars: Jack Webb, Ben Alexander, 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
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The story you are about to hear is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. It began with a debt collector for the mob taken out to an isolated spot in the Californian countryside and gunned down with a sawn-off shotgun, both barrels, twice for good measure. The police were immediately on the case, led by Sergeant Friday (Jack Webb), as the investigators gathered their evidence from the crime scene, including an impression of a size 9 shoe, and a list of the deceased's associates was assembled for them to question. The one suspect who seemed the most likely culprit was Max Troy (Stacy Harris), but he was saying nothing...

Starting in 1951, Dragnet was a groundbreaking television series that brought tales of supposedly authentic crime to the living rooms of not only America but across the world too, its star Jack Webb becoming so identified with his Joe Friday character that he spent the rest of his life playing variations on him. This success granted him a chance to try his hand at being an auteur, and he created a selection of independent films for the cinema which he would direct himself and often feature in the lead role, and this adaptation of his small screen hit was the first of these, proving just as successful as a movie as it had been as a series, though he never made a follow-up.

Perhaps he recognised Friday was better off on the box, as this film did feel overstretched from what was originally an hour long, with commercials; you do start to grow restless after the halfway mark when there's no doubt the sergeant will get his man. Another drawback from a modern perspective is that Webb's style became so iconic that it proved ripe for parody, from Stan Freberg's comedy record St George and the Dragon Net (and its sequel) to the TV predecessor to the Naked Gun series, Police Squad starring Leslie Nielsen who had emerged from the same pop culture milieu as Webb had, therefore could take off his stylings with perfection. Therefore you find yourself looking for the jokes.

Friday is allowed to crack the occasional smile and fire off a terse one-liner, but for the most part here he is a "Just the facts, ma’am", no nonsense type of guy, if a shade more active than he was on the television: for instance, he gets into an extended fistfight with some suspects with his loyal partner Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) by his side which seems to have been added for excitement value rather than something the real L.A.P.D. would get up to as a matter of routine. Indeed, Friday bends the rules to approximate police harassment of his suspects since he knows fine well they are guilty, and so do we, which makes it perfectly fair for him and Smith to spend all day following Troy for stop and searches in an attempt to wear him down.

Nevertheless, interesting elements did arise, as for example the potential witness who refuses to testify not only because he is scared, but also because he doesn't consider the murder of a known criminal to be worth spending any time on - good riddance to bad rubbish, basically. Not that Dragnet 1954 quite justified that either and frequently Friday comes across as an obsessive about tying up loose ends rather than a seeker after justice. Adding to that spoof-courting nature was the music from Walter Schumann, about a million brass stings that punctuate every scene, every sentence out of our hero's mouth for that matter, which will either irritate or prompt giggles such is the soundtrack's overemphasis. Obviously shot on a budget not far above that of the average TV episode, with sets and location work to match, this may have been as smooth as Webb could craft it but it was not slick, and often it was only his star power that kept the plot moving, yet as a document of a phenomenon, and as the first TV series to make the transition to the silver screen, it remained interesting.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2077 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: