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(aka "The Original Dragnet" )


directed by Jack Webb
USA 1954


Dragnet, one of TV's most famous and innovative series from the 1950's, comes to colorful life in a classic full-length feature. As Sgt. Joe Friday, Jack Webb recreates his memorable portrayal of a Los Angeles cop - "Just the facts, Ma'am" - in this action-packed tale. 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. With the help of his partner, Officer Frank Smith (Ben Alexander), they enlist the services of a pretty and daring police woman to trap the devious mobsters and bring them to justice.


Theatrical Release: 18 August 1954 (Chicago, Illinois)

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DVD Review: Universal (Universal Vault Series) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:29:06

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: January 11th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 9



Dragnet: The Movie was the first feature film based on a very popular TV series. Unlike a TV episode of the time, the film is nearly 1.5 hours and in color. Another big difference is we know who the killer is in the pre-credit sequence, so the film becomes more of a how they get him and why he killed. An interesting procedural we come to expect from Jack Webb based on his hugely influential TV series.

Despite being released theatrically by Warner Brothers, the film is now owned by Universal (as they also own all the TV episodes of Dragnet and Dragnet 1968-1970). The film was released as part of their made-on-demand service "Universal Vault Series", first as an Amazon exclusive and now available at other on-line stores as well. There are no menus on the discs, and no extras. An old tape sources master was used for a transfer, marred with interlacing. The colors look washed up and some scenes look worse than others (as in first capture). This is a very disappointing release for this price, especially comparing to any given recent Warner Archive release. We hope the whole 1951-1959 series gets rescued from public domain by Shout! Factory (they already released 1967-1970 series after Universal gave up on it after Season 1) and this movie will be remastered and included as a bonus.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC


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