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Dragnet - Single Episodes

(4,555 Sterne; 82 Bewertungen)

DRAGNET

Dragnet, the brainchild of Jack Webb, may very well be the most well-remembered, and the best, radio police drama series. From September, 1949 through February 1957, Dragnet's 30 minute shows, broadcast on NBC, brought to radio true police stories in a low-key, documentary style. The origins of Dragnet can be traced to a semi-documentary film, "He Walked by Night" from 1948, in which Webb had a small role. Both employed the same Los Angeles Police Department technical adviser, used actual police cases and presented the case in "just the facts" manner that became a hallmark of Dragnet. It is interesting to note that Webb employed that format in other radio series, some pre-dating the film mentioned above. Dragnet was a long running radio and television police procedural drama, about the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name from an actual police term, a Dragnet, meaning a system of coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects. Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in American media history. The series gave millions of Americans a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real life police work. Dragnet earned praise for improving the public opinion of police officers. Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media. The shows cultural impact is demonstrated by the fact that even after five decades, elements of Dragnet are known to those who have never heard nor seen the program. The ominous four note introduction to the brass and tympani theme music, titled Danger Ahead, is instantly recognizable as well as the shows opening narration:
"Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."
The original Dragnet starring Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday ran on radio from June 3rd, 1949 to February 26th, 1957; and on television from December 16th, 1951 to August 23rd, 1959, and from January 12th, 1967 to April 16th, 1970. All of these versions ran on NBC. There were two Dragnet feature films, a straight adaptation starring Jack Webb in 1954, and a comedy spoof in 1987. There were also television revivals, without Webb, in 1989 and 2003. Dragnet debuted inauspiciously. The first several months were bumpy, as Webb and company worked out the program's format and eventually became comfortable with their characters. Friday was originally portrayed as more brash and forceful than his later usually relaxed demeanor. Gradually, Friday's deadpanned, fast-talking persona emerged, described by John Dunning as "a cop's cop: tough, but not hard; conservative, but caring". Friday's first partner was Sergeant Ben Romero, portrayed by Barton Yarborough, a long time radio actor When Dragnet hit its stride, it became one of radio's top rated shows. Webb insisted on realism in every aspect of the show. The dialogue was clipped, understated, and sparse -- influenced by the hard-boiled school of crime fiction. Scripts were fast moving, but didn't seem rushed. Every aspect of police work was chronicled, step-by-step. From patrols and paperwork, to crime scene investigation, lab work and questioning witnesses or suspects. Webb was a stickler for accurate details, and Dragnet used many authentic touches, such as LAPD's actual radio call sign, KMA-367, and the names of many real department officials, such as Ray Pinker and Lee Jones of the Crime Lab, or Chief of Detectives, Thad Brown. Two announcers were used. Episodes began with announcer George Fennemen intoning the series opening:
"The story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."
Hal Gibney described the basic premise of the episode. For example, "Big Saint", from April 26th, 1951, begins with:
"You're a detective sergeant. You're assigned to auto theft detail. A well organized ring of car thieves begins operations in your city. It's one of the most puzzling cases you've ever encountered. Your job -- break it."
The story usually began with footsteps and a door closing, followed by Joe Friday intoning something like:
"Tuesday, February 12th. It was cold in Los Angeles. We were working the day watch out of Robbery Division. My partner's Ben Romero. The boss is Ed Backstrom, Chief of Detectives. My name's Friday."
Friday offered voice-over narration throughout the episodes, noting the time, date, and place of every scene as he and his partners went through their day investigating the crime. The events related in a given episode might occur in a few hours or might span a few months. At least one episode unfolded in real time, in "City Hall Bombing", from July 21st, 1949. Friday and Romero had less than 30 minutes to stop a man who was threatening to destroy the City Hall with a bomb. At the end of an episode, announcer Hal Gibney would relate the fate of the suspect. They were usually convicted of a crime, and sent to the state penitentiary or a state mental hospital. Murderers were often executed in the manner proscribed by law. Occasionally, police pursued the wrong suspect, and criminals sometimes avoided justice, or escaped, at least on the radio version of Dragnet. Scripts tackled a number of topics, ranging from the thrilling (murders, missing persons, and armed robbery) to the mundane (check fraud and shoplifting) -- yet, Dragnet made them all interesting due to the fast moving plots and behind the scenes realism. In "The Garbage Chute", from December 15th, 1949, they even had a locked-room mystery. Though rather tame by modern standards, Dragnet, especially on the radio, handled controversial subjects, such as sex crimes and drug addiction, with unprecedented and even startling realism. The tone was usually serious, but there were moments of comic relief. Romero was something of a hypochondriac, and often seemed hen-pecked. Though Friday dated women, he usually dodged those who tried to set him up with marriage-minded dates. Due in part to Webb's fondness for radio drama, Dragnet persisted on radio until 1957, as one of the last old time radio shows to give way to television's increasing popularity. In fact, the TV show would prove to be effectively a visual version of the radio show, as the style was virtually the same. The TV show could be listened to, without watching it, with no loss of understanding of the storyline.

NOTE: Updated Release! Version 2.1: Added ARFS version of episode 194 "The Big Laugh", and removed erroneous episode 93 "The Big Trunk" and 94 "The Big Lover" (28-Nov-2009).

NOTE: Updated Release! Fixed Episode 301 "The Big Siege", added some AFRS episodes, and about a dozen other miscellaneous changes(19-Nov-2009).

From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.

License

Chapters

Production 2 aka Homicide aka The Nickel Plated Gun

29:43

Production 3 aka The Werewolf

29:27

Production 4 aka Homicide aka Quick Trigger Gun Men

29:53

The Helen Corday Murder

29:51

Red Light Bandit

29:37

Attempted City Hall Bombing

29:59

Missing Persons - Juanita Lasky

29:55

Benny Trounsel - Narcotics

29:43

Production 10 aka Homicide aka Maniac Murderer aka Mad Killer At Large

29:55

Production 11 aka Sixteen Jewel Thieves

29:42

Police Academy - Mario Koski

29:19

Dragnet_49-09-01_013_Auto_Burglaries_-_Myra,_the_Redhead

29:56

Eric Kelby - Body Buried In Nursery

29:52

Sullivan Kidnapping

29:26

James Vickers - Cop Killing - Tunnel Chase

29:12

Brick-Bat Slayer

29:13

Truck Hi-jackers - Tom Laval

29:14

Dragnet_49-11-24_026_Mrs._Rinard,_Albert_Barry_-_Mother-In-Law_Murder

29:17

Spring Street Gang - Juveniles

29:16

George Quan - The Jade Thumb Rings

29:13

22 Rifle for Christmas

29:22

The Roseland Roof Murders

30:44

Max Tyler - Escaped Convict

29:17

The Big Man Part 1 (Narcotics)

29:18

The Big Man Part 2 (Narcotics)

58:55

Dragnet_50-02-02_035_Claude_Jimmerson,_Child_Killer

29:20

The Big Girl

29:19

The Big Grifter

29:20

The Big Kill

29:22

The Big Thank You

29:38

The Big Boys

29:12

The Big Gangster Part 1

29:13

The Big Gangster Part 2

29:19

The Big Book

29:26

The Big Watch

29:23

The Big Trial

29:19

The Big Job

29:20

The Big Badge

29:18

The Big Knife

29:17

The Big Pug

29:20

The Big Key

29:47

The Big Fake

29:37

Dragnet_50-06-08_052_Big_Smart_Guy_AFRS#46

24:35

The Big Smart Guy

29:38

The Big Press

29:19

Dragnet_50-06-22_054_Big_Mink_AFRS#48

24:01

The Big Mink

29:19

The Big Grab

29:05

The Big Frame

29:17

The Big Bomb

29:19

The Big Gent Part 1

29:13

The Big Gent Part 2

29:20

The Big Dare

29:17

The Big Actor

29:18

The Big Youngster

29:19

The Big Chance

29:20

The Big Check

29:18

The Big Poison

29:21

The Big Make

29:21

The Big Pair

29:17

The Big Death

29:13

The Big 38

29:14

The Big Quack

29:10

The Big Grandma

29:20

The Big Meet

29:21

The Big Church

29:17

The Big Mother

29:18

The Big Parrot

29:17

The Big Betty

29:18

The Big Car

29:18

The Big Picture

29:17

The Big Break

29:22

22 Rifle for Christmas

29:26

The Big Family

25:43

The Big Holdup

30:19

The Big Jump

29:46

The Big Dance

29:28

The Big Tomato

30:22

The Big Children

29:09

The Big Cast

29:19

The Big Crime

29:18

The Big Couple

29:33

The Big Partner

26:47

The Big New Years

26:35

The Big Ben

26:11

The Big Friend

29:17

The Big Threat

29:34

The Big Speech

29:38

The Big Saint

29:35

The Big Casing

29:26

The Big Drills

26:34

The Big Blast

29:30

The Big Mailman

29:35

The Big Bindle

29:34

The Big Imposter

29:29

The Big Building

29:29

The Big Run

29:31

The Big Cliff

29:29

The Big Love

29:25

The Big Set-Up

29:36

The Big Sophomore

29:19

The Big Late Script

29:33

The Big Screen

29:42

The Big Winchester

29:17

The Big In-Laws

29:29

The Big Crazy

29:31

The Big 17

29:34

The Big Waiter

26:11

The Big Sour

25:21

The Big September Man

26:28

The Big Want Ad

27:42

The Big Shoplift

29:29

The Big Story Man

25:55

The Big Market

26:25

The Big Lease

29:32

The Big Hit and Run Killer

29:46

The Big Bungalow

29:34

The Big Hands

29:19

The Big Affair

30:05

The Big Canaries

30:05

The Big Overtime

29:51

22 Rifle for Christmas

25:29

The Big Sorrow

29:46

The Big Red Part 1

29:26

The Big Red Part 2

29:27

The Big Juvenile Division

29:47

The Big Almost No Show

29:36

The Big Honeymoon

29:23

The Big Phone Call

29:33

The Big Producer

29:29

The Big Plant

29:24

The Big Evans

29:28

The Big Fire

29:34

The Big Border

29:31

The Big Rose

29:31

The Big Streetcar

29:29

The Big Show

29:28

The Big Bunco

29:51

The Big Elevator

29:24

The Big Safe

29:27

The Big Gamble

29:31

The Big Mail

29:18

The Big Shakedown

29:20

The Big Fourth

29:25

The Big Whiff

29:21

The Big Jules

27:27

The Big Roll

29:18

The Big Trio

29:33

The Big Hate

29:14

The Big Signet

29:25

The Big Impression

29:31

The Big Drive

29:19

The Big Paper

29:37

The Big Test

29:30

The Big Ray

29:33

The Big Tear

27:39

The Big Bull

29:36

The Big Shot

29:26

The Big Brain

25:16

The Big Jolt

29:17

The Big Lie

29:34

The Big Pill

29:35

The Big Number

29:38

The Big Light

29:42

The Big Dive

29:26

The Big Walk

29:21

The Big Guilt

29:25

The Big Shirt

29:25

The Big Mole

29:28

The Big Eavesdrop

28:58

22 Rifle for Christmas

26:47

The Big Mask Part 1

29:54

The Big Mask Part 2

28:22

The Big Small

29:27

The Big String

29:24

The Big Lay-Out

29:42

The Big Strip

29:43

The Big Press

29:31

The Big Tooth

29:32

The Big Smoke

29:33

The Big Want

29:24

The Big Laugh

29:31

The Big Laugh (AFRS)

25:15

The Big Impossible

29:32

The Big Informant

29:43

The Big Dream

29:41

The Big Chet

28:55

The Big Compulsion

30:02

The Big Rip

28:54

The Big Scrapbook

29:21

The Big Carney

29:25

The Big Joke

29:25

The Big False Move

29:44

The Big Gun Part 1

31:03

The Big Gun Part 2

29:01

The Big Will

29:35

The Big Lilly

29:13

The Big Revolt

29:28

The Big Ham

29:23

The Big Bop

29:28

The Big Lift

29:34

The Big Cab

29:27

The Big Slip

29:29

The Big Try

29:42

The Big Little Mother

29:32

The Big Plea

29:41

The Big Paint

29:41

The Big Fraud

29:22

The Big Rain

29:15

The Big Kid

29:40

The Big Kid

25:17

The Big Flight

25:43

The Big Present

29:30

The Big Present

25:36

The Big Odd

29:38

The Big Odd

25:32

The Big Pick

28:33

The Big Pick

25:43

The Big Brink

29:26

The Big Brink

25:04

The Big Little Jesus

29:18

The Big Steal

29:01

The Big Steal

25:34

The Big Listen

29:30

The Big Listen

24:55

The Big Switch

29:02

The Big Switch

25:31

The Big Bill

25:35

The Big Bill

25:00

The Big Bid

29:12

The Big Bid

24:17

The Big Filth

29:16

The Big Filth

25:37

The Big Broad

29:26

The Big Broad

25:00

The Big Sucker

29:27

The Big Sucker

26:08

The Big Pipe

29:53

The Big Pipe

25:26

The Big TV

29:01

The Big TV

23:54

The Big Cup

29:17

The Big Cup

25:58

The Big Rod

29:52

The Big Rod

24:05

The Big Mustache

29:37

The Big Mustache

25:00

The Big Confession

29:48

The Big Confession

26:03

The Big Saw

29:17

The Big Saw

26:14

The Big Note

29:17

The Big Note

26:06

The Big Net

29:20

The Big Net

25:52

The Big Lift

29:09

The Big Lift

25:09

The Big Stop

29:24

The Big Stop

26:07

The Big Look

28:54

The Big Look

25:39

The Big Help

25:18

The Big Watch

26:21

The Big Cowboy

24:54

The Big Student

25:57

The Big Cat

26:14

The Big Customer

25:56

The Big Chick

26:07

The Big Search

25:54

The Big Rescue

26:08

The Big Heel

25:58

The Big Match

26:05

The Big Stand

29:08

The Big Stand

25:48

The Big Wish

26:09

The Big Cad

26:21

The Big Shock

25:59

The Big Office

25:44

The Big Trunk

25:31

The Big Cut

29:23

The Big Cut

25:40

The Big Try

26:13

The Big Bible

29:11

The Big Bible

26:10

The Big Handsome Bandit

26:01

The Big Tar Baby

29:38

The Big Tarbaby

26:27

The Big Mannikin

29:18

The Big Mannikin

26:44

The Big Key

26:20

The Big Locker

29:32

The Big Coins

25:02

The Big Dog

24:46

The Big Switch

25:52

The Big Gone

26:05

The Big Dig

25:52

The Big Lens

26:26

The Big Little Jesus

27:19

The Big Underground

25:38

The Big Mug

26:05

The Big Complex

25:31

The Big Token

25:32

The Big Bounce

24:56

The Big Bird

25:55

The Big Gap

25:33

The Big Hat

25:13

The Big Slug

25:45

The Big Set-Up

25:51

The Big Father

25:30

The Big Set

25:12

The Big Set

25:40

The Big Talk

24:51

The Big Talk

25:18

The Big Death

24:17

The Big No Tooth

24:00

The Big Tie

24:53

The Big Deal

24:33

The Big Child

25:28

The Big Momma

25:25

The Big Revision

25:34

The Big Squealer

25:27

The Big Siege

25:42

The Big Sisters

29:18

The Big Sisters

25:22

The Big Limp

24:50

The Big Fall Guy

29:23

The Big Grab

25:14

The Big Convertible

25:06

The Big Rush

24:39

The Big Genius

24:59

The Big Bobo

29:06

The Big Housemaid

25:10

The Big Sheet

24:59

The Big Missus

29:14

The Big Beer

26:25

The Big Blonde

24:49

The Big Fellow

24:16

The Big Ruling

29:12

The Big Daughter

25:04

The Big Close

25:23

22 Rifle for Christmas

25:10

The Big Dream

26:23

The Big Scrapbook

25:40

The Big Present

25:45

The Big Lay-Out

30:15

The Big Strip

29:17

The Big Press

29:21

The Big Tooth

28:58

The Big Smoke

29:38

The Big Want

25:47

The Big Laugh

29:45

The Big Impossible

30:02

22 Rifle for Christmas

25:15

The Big Informant

30:07

The Big Dream

26:23

The Big Chet

29:49

The Big Compulsion

26:37

The Big Rip

24:25

The Big Scrapbook

25:40

The Big Carney

29:55

The Big Joke

30:02

The Big False Move

29:56

The Big Gun Part 1

30:45

The Big Gun Part 2

28:57

The Big Will

29:31

The Big Lilly

30:28

The Big Revolt

29:23

The Big Ham

28:03

The Big Bop

26:49

The Big Lift

24:16

The Big Cab

29:22

The Big Slip

26:50

The Big Flight

25:45

The Big Present

25:45

The Big Odd

25:31

The Big Pick

25:32

The Big Brink

25:03

The Big Steal

25:54

The Big Listen

24:55

The Big Switch

25:31

The Big Bill

25:42

The Big Little Jesus

26:25

The Big Bid

24:17

The Big Filth

25:37

The Big Broad

25:00

The Big Sucker

26:08

The Big Pipe

25:22

The Big TV

23:54

The Big Cup

23:43

The Big Rod

24:05

The Big Mustache

24:59

Bewertungen

Thank you wonderful old time radio researchers group

(5 Sterne)

For te wealth of info here, before the show even starts. If my marriage ever goes south I know where I'll be looking for a new nice guy. I'm only thinking along these lines because librivox takes a lot of honey-time and night-time that used to go to my relationship....with my man not my tablet.

Nothing can be said about Dragnet that hasn't already been said

(5 Sterne)

Dragnet, Gunsmoke, Jack Benny, Amos 'n' Andy. Four of the most respected, well liked, well received, and high rated series in old time radio. What they had was excellent story lines, story lines and scripts that were believable, continuity and character development (Lux Radio Theater, on the other hand, had stand-alone shows that didn't allow for character development), characters (even though Jack Benny and Amos 'n' Andy were comic characterizations) that people could relate to. Dragnet had excellent scripts and generally intense acting, the result of a line of radio shows that Jack Webb was involved in, ultimately transitioning successfully (as with the other three shows) to television with little change in format or character. If four different people each picked a different one of the four shows as the "best" of old time radio, I would have a hard time disagreeing; but, even if they didn't pick Dragnet as crossing the "best of OTR finish line" first, it would be a photo finish. As an aside, if you wanted to see a "different" Jack Webb, try to find episodes of his early radio show broadcast from San Francisco; it was along the lines of Steve Allen's radio and television shows, and showed his appreciation of jazz (highlighted in Pete Kelly's Blues).

The Big error

(3 Sterne)

I e-mailed someone at OTRR quite some time ago, but this still hasn't been fixed. The episodes identified as 1951 shows "The Big Lover" and "The Big Trunk" are incorrectly identified. Both shows begin with Friday stating that his partner is Frank Smith. However, Friday didn't have a partner named Frank Smith in 1951. His smart until the last show of 1951 was Ben Romero, and he didn't have a partner named Frank Smith until 1952.

The Birth of Police Procedurals

(5 Sterne)

Some episodes are so chilling and powerful you'd think it was from some Netflix series. The sharp dialogue, witty banter, the mundanity, gripping stories: all of it create an image of police life according to Sgt. Joe Friday and I love it. Highly recommend it.

(5 Sterne)

OTR does an amazing job keeping these wonderful old shows alive. A lot of the time when you find these recordings the audio is terrible, not the case at all here. the audio is very clear and easy to hear. dragnet is awesome. keep up the good work guys!

Updated Files!

(5 Sterne)

28-Nov-2009: Version 2.1 -- Removed the erroneous episode 093 "The Big Trunk" and 094 "The Big Lover"; added AFRS version of episode 194 "The Big Laugh". 19-Nov-2009: Version 2.0 -- Fixed "The Big Siege", plus added some AFRS episodes.

Faulty file

(0 Sterne)

Keep in mind that the file Dragnet 55-05-24 (301) The Big Siege above is faulty and plays at chipmunk speed. Which is okay for folks who like that!

Dragnet

(4 Sterne)

All episodes on this site are cut off before end of the episode. Why?