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'Dragnet': Why Conservatives Should Still Love Joe Friday
Big Hollywood ^

Posted on 07/21/2012 5:41:05 PM PDT by djone

This is the city: Los Angeles, California."

With those words, an episode of the 1960s version of "Dragnet" would start. Perhaps the most accessible version of the classic cop concept .

Just how good was it? Consider this: Its cancellation in 1970 was not because the network didn’t feel it was pulling in ratings, but because show creator/star Jack Webb was focusing on other shows, like "Adam-12" and "Emergency!" (which was this author's favorite as a kid). The 1950s "Dragnet" was cancelled for the same reason – Webb wanted to pursue other projects.

"Dragnet" has aged well. Around his death, Webb was planning a third incarnation with Joe Friday, starring alongside Kent McCord (Joe Friday and James Reed as partners). After he died, two re-boots were attempted, but each lasted only two seasons.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: adam12; dragnet; emergency; jackwebb; joefriday
Sgt. Friday

The first, in the late '80s, didn’t have Joe Friday, and star Ed O’Neill’s take was too far removed from the original concept. Why does the model from the 1950s and 1960s still work so well, six decades after the "Dragnet" template first began on radio?

The best response is to answer one question: What do you get with "Dragnet?" For one thing, it is not like even the early episodes of "Law & Order" in that it is very rare to see the bad guys get away. It was also clear that the bad guys were bad guys – and Friday is not above ranting about the atmosphere of the 1960s.

In “The Big Prophet” episode, Friday and Bill Gannon debate a proponent of the use of drugs who is an obvious stand-in for Timothy Leary. That is just one of the things conservatives would appreciate.

One of the other things that conservatives would like is the fact that the series promoted the rule of law. Perhaps the best example of this was in “The Shooting Board.” In this episode, Friday is involved in a shoot out with a man breaking into a laundromat. When it is difficult to prove Friday’s version of events, a supervisor, Captain Hugh Brown, explains why the shooting board process was necessary.

“You want this cleared up with facts, not opinions, and that’s the way it’s gonna be,” he tells Friday. In the end, of course, investigating officers eventually find the slug from the suspect’s gun, and Friday is cleared – and receives a carton of cigarettes from his fellow officers.

If there is a political agenda in "Dragnet," it's not overt. Yes, the counter-culture and bad guys are the target, but politics are left out of the show. The closest you can get to it is a speech in “The Big Kids” when a senior officer says, “What it boils down to is the New Morality: A whole new sense of values. The kids see it on television, in magazines, even hear it from the pulpit. God is dead, drug addiction is mind-expanding, promiscuity is glamorous, even homosexuality is praiseworthy.”

The notion that a good guy would say that today on a prime-time drama is almost unthinkable – but 45 years ago, it was done!

Friday even tells a group of kids, “When you live in a society, you either live by the rules, or by the democratic process, you change them. You don’t break `em!”

Most everyone – regardless of political affiliation, would agree with that as well.

Friday is equal-opportunity crackdown – in at least one episode, he was tracking down a militia group that was involved in illegal weapons – including a M1A1 submachine gun. But for the law-abiding citizens, they are often seen as good people, no matter what race they are, and ideology never comes into it.

This has not been the case with more recent cop dramas. Even early "Law & Order" episodes were willing to paint pro-lifers as extremists. "CSI" has been more apolitical, and the "CSI: NY" part of the franchise holds ups well. Perhaps the closest to "Dragnet’s" lack of politics has been "Blue Bloods," which features Tom Selleck.

Ultimately, "Dragnet" is a classic. I still enjoy watching it today

1 posted on 07/21/2012 5:41:11 PM PDT by djone
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To: djone

Dragnet was a good show and I think Webb was conservative in some ways but I am almost sure he pushed for gun control at one time.

I can remember one episode or maybe it was a very early movie version but man they violated all kinds of laws to get a bad guy. It was actually funny to me how much attitudes have changed since the 50s.

I did think the comedy movie was very funny. The scene of them wearing their goat leggings, and dancing in front of the chief was hilarious.


2 posted on 07/21/2012 5:48:35 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: djone

How funny!

I just sat down to watch an episode on “Antenna TV.”


3 posted on 07/21/2012 5:50:01 PM PDT by Gamecock (We don't come to Christ to be born again; rather, we are born again in order to come to Christ. RCS)
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To: yarddog

I gree with you - the movie was hilarious (including the scene that you mentioned).


4 posted on 07/21/2012 5:52:52 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: djone

The early radio programs (1949 and early 50s), pre-Miranda, are interesting. Friday intentionally skirts the rules on warrants and lawyers, pressuring suspects to answer questions or conducting searches without a warrant if he doesn’t think there will be an objection. It’s very different from today’s reality or TV.


5 posted on 07/21/2012 5:57:32 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: djone

Just the facts ma’am...


6 posted on 07/21/2012 5:57:47 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: yarddog

Don’t forget the virgin Connie Swayle.....until the very end!


7 posted on 07/21/2012 5:59:03 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: yarddog

“but man they violated all kinds of laws to get a bad guy”

Before the 1960s, there were fewer laws regarding the arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of criminals. For example, there was a time when the police didn’t have to inform a suspect of their rights. That changed with the Miranda decision in 1966. The Supreme Court did immense damage to the country in those days with its rather willful decisions that expanded a criminal’s rights to the point where law and order cannot be maintained.


8 posted on 07/21/2012 5:59:35 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: yarddog

Found a YT clip for the Connie Swail line:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtKUyfkBA2w


9 posted on 07/21/2012 6:00:58 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: djone
Scroll down to Dragnet.
Radio.
Enjoy.
10 posted on 07/21/2012 6:02:13 PM PDT by MaryFromMichigan
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To: yarddog

Speaking of the movie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT_QRKfv8H4


11 posted on 07/21/2012 6:03:41 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: yarddog
Two episodes stand out.

One was a wave of purse snatchings that turned out to be a guy who trained his dog to grab the purse then run to the car where they'd speed off.

Another was where Friday was on a panel in front of a crowd of "community activists" and hippies. So hilarious hearing Webb defend the LAPD from charges of racism and comin' down on young people.

And yes, Webb did support gun control.

12 posted on 07/21/2012 6:05:52 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: Army Air Corps

There are a lot of images from that show which are seared in my mind.

The theme song. Badge number 714. The hammer coming down on the whatever it was at the end of the show.

Joe Friday lecturing some unfortunate guy.


13 posted on 07/21/2012 6:06:54 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: GenXteacher
rather willful decisions that expanded a criminal’s rights to the point where law and order cannot be maintained.

While I agree with you generally, 5th amendment rights have existed long before Miranda.

Miranda simply stated the police had to advise people of them.

14 posted on 07/21/2012 6:07:30 PM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: djone

I have the first 4 seasons of Adam-12 on my work computer. I let a couple of episodes run in the background and listen to them on my headphones. I’ve already seen them, so I can picture what’s going on while I work. It reminds me of a simpler time in my life.


15 posted on 07/21/2012 6:08:59 PM PDT by acad1228 (OKC Thunder!!!!)
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To: All

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slCNTz72o4s


16 posted on 07/21/2012 6:10:25 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: boop

This thread got me to thinking of some early, (and very good) cops and robbers shows. I am 65 but I can barely remember “Gangbusters” “Highway Patrol with the fat supervisor, Matthews” and of course “Dragnet.


17 posted on 07/21/2012 6:19:40 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: yarddog

I watched Dragnet and Adam-12 in syndication as a kid. Man, I really enjoyed those shows. I also watched SWAT and Emergency!


18 posted on 07/21/2012 6:21:55 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: djone

“Just the facts, please.”


19 posted on 07/21/2012 6:24:13 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Army Air Corps
Was Dragnet's Joe Friday the first "Vulcan" on TV?

Any one ever notice the similarly of Dragnet's Joe Friday and Star Trek's Mr Spock?...

They were both inspired by the same man LAPD Chief Parker

In the 60's it was the day of Chief Parker's LAPD.

Chief Parker was a hard core and fair conservative of integrity that even liberals respected...

Star Trek's create Gene Roddenberry was ex LAPD and while a liberal he was an admirer of Chief Parker....

Star Trek's Mr.Spock, when first written was in fact base on Gene Roddenberry view of Chief Parker... a man of high principals and integrity if somewhat coldly logical to emotionless....

Dragnet's Joe Friday is also a refection of the same Chief Parker personality

20 posted on 07/21/2012 6:29:57 PM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: yarddog

What fascinated most about Dragnet is they’d let Joe Friday get the last word in a lot of scenes and his argument was so profound, so wise that, no matter who it was directed at- his partner, his boss, a citizen or some crook, they were so overcome by his logic, they were incapable of responding. Watch the show. It happens at least once in every episode.


21 posted on 07/21/2012 6:31:52 PM PDT by Krankor
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To: djone

Highway Patrol was pretty good , too .


22 posted on 07/21/2012 6:42:30 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: djone
The 1950s "Dragnet" was cancelled for the same reason – Webb wanted to pursue other projects.

I would guess like the movie "The D.I.". Webb as a Marine Corps Drill Instructor (with G rated language). Excellent film.


23 posted on 07/21/2012 6:47:36 PM PDT by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: yarddog
Dunno about gun control, but I always liked his television roles.

His off screen behavior, on the other hand, was full bore Hollyweird. He was married to the greatest torch singer of all time (Julie London) but abandoned his wife and kids for at work affairs. They parted as amicably as can happen in Hollywood, and she and her second husband did appear on Emergence as Dixie McCoy and Bill Gannon.

24 posted on 07/21/2012 6:50:10 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: katana
I had a cousin at PI who as a drill instructor at about the same time, there was no “G” rated language. Lee Emmory gave you the “G” version in “Full Metal Jacket.”
25 posted on 07/21/2012 6:54:29 PM PDT by Little Bill
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To: djone

How’s that, Ma’am?


26 posted on 07/21/2012 6:54:52 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: tophat9000

I recall hearing a bit of that trivia some years ago, but not quite with this much detail. Thanks!


27 posted on 07/21/2012 6:54:52 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: djone

Law and order is so liberal it makes me want to puke.
Same with Law and Order SVU. About the only show I watch now is NCIS and even they on occasion get lefty.


28 posted on 07/21/2012 7:07:47 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Little Bill

That’s what I meant. I worked two summers in an automobile parts stamping plant and discovered that it really is possible to use the word f*** several times in every single sentence one can speak for an entire day. Something about (at that time) all male work environments.


29 posted on 07/21/2012 7:10:26 PM PDT by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: djone

Met him pre-Dragnet. What a great guy.


30 posted on 07/21/2012 7:18:22 PM PDT by RIghtwardHo
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To: yarddog
“Highway Patrol with the fat supervisor, Matthews”

"Twenty-one-fifty by."

31 posted on 07/21/2012 7:37:57 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (My greatest fear is that when I'm gone my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them)
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To: Irenic

I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.


32 posted on 07/21/2012 7:44:38 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: yarddog
Dunno about gun control, but I always liked his television roles.

His off screen behavior, on the other hand, was full bore Hollyweird. He was married to the greatest torch singer of all time (Julie London) but abandoned his wife and kids for at work affairs. They parted as amicably as can happen in Hollywood, and she and her second husband did appear on Emergence as Dixie McCoy and Bill Gannon.

33 posted on 07/21/2012 7:45:30 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrEdd

Wasn’t Joe Friday’s partner in Dragnet also named Bill Gannon ?


34 posted on 07/21/2012 8:02:32 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: djone

Jack Webb, for any virtues he may have had was the worst, one-dimensional actor of all time. He could gave been replaced with a cardboard cut-out with no loss of verve.


35 posted on 07/21/2012 8:07:43 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (Legalize Freedom!!)
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To: muir_redwoods

He did have some odd attributes.

He always talked in deadpan monotonous tone. He also walked without swinging his arms. I will say some of the episodes were very very good.

I remember one where this kid worshiped some comic book super hero. He had a big picture of his hero on the wall. When Friday caught him the kid started to weep. He went up to his hero poster and placed his face against it. when he moved away, the poster had tears in it’s eyes.


36 posted on 07/21/2012 8:16:32 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Army Air Corps
Back in the late 70' in my very early 20's I had a women English teacher in jr college that became a mentor/second mother too me......had many hours of long conversation on many subjects

(As my English teacher she became fascinated why, I was one her the brightest most articulated students in her class yet I was/am a terrible writers to the point of my having writing phobia, i'm severely dyslexic in my writing and only now can get by using a computer and spellcheck...our conversation grew from there)

She was very connect high up in the Hollywood Si/Fi pecking order was very close with Roddenberry, Nemoy and ever related to Rod Serling...heard a lot of interesting back story I can't get in too

37 posted on 07/21/2012 8:41:35 PM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: djone

The radio version of “Dragnet” has aged as well, if not better, than the TV versions. Easy to acquire in MP3 on the internet and from several sellers.


38 posted on 07/21/2012 8:44:00 PM PDT by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: djone

I always loved it when he would point in someones face while lecturing them, with a cigarette between his fingers


39 posted on 07/21/2012 9:12:14 PM PDT by Figment
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To: Army Air Corps

Emergency! wound up recruiting a lot of high school seniors into the local volunteer fire department and rescue squads. One high school senior had nearly a full crash kit in the back of his Chevy - The school nurse had his class schedule in case there was an accident in the shop class (and she called 911). That senior BTW was a good EMT and a fast learner, my father trained him (leutenenant on the squad and an EMT instructor).
Now today if a high school senior had the same crash kit in his car, he would be suspended due to the “zero tolerance” policy on “weapons” and “drugs”.


40 posted on 07/21/2012 10:20:13 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is the operational wing of CPUSA.)
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To: djone

The pre-TV Dragnet radio shows were just like the subsequent TV shows. Crime and capture in Los Angeles.


41 posted on 07/21/2012 10:57:55 PM PDT by citizen (It's no longer Obamacare. It's Robertscare now. He wanted it, he bought it, he owns it.nn)
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To: yarddog
The reason Webb talked in a monotone is he used cue cards exclusively. You can see his eyes moving back and forth as he reads his lines.

Oh, that episode with the crying kid and the superhero poster? The actor went on to play Chet in Emergency.

BTW, the scene looked cool, with the tears coming out of the poster's eyes, but unless "Chet" had a totally flat face, his tears wouldn't have been so "neatly" placed on the wall. They'd be smeared on the cheeks.

42 posted on 07/21/2012 11:52:02 PM PDT by boop (I hate hippies and dopeheads. Just hate them. ...Ernest Borgnine)
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To: Pollster1

On Yesterday U S A . com —they have Dragnet radio episodes every other day for this year. A few weeks ago- one episode- Joe Friday loses his partner. Joe also has his “mother” for
some episodes.

So.... like Gunsmoke, I Love Lucy— the TV series spins from the radio show first.


43 posted on 07/22/2012 10:51:25 AM PDT by urtax$@work (The only kind of memorial is a Burning memorial !)
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