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Dragnet The Big Frank (1951–1959) HD online

Dragnet The Big Frank (1951–1959) HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Episode / Crime / Drama / Mystery
Original Title: The Big Frank
Director: Jack Webb
Writers: Jack Webb,Jack Webb
Released: 1951–1959
Duration: 30min
Video type: TV Episode
A man is pulled from his car, beaten and robbed. The criminal apparently makes his escape in the man's car. Friday and Smith have to find him.
Episode cast overview:
Jack Webb Jack Webb - Sgt. Joe Friday
Ben Alexander Ben Alexander - Off. Frank Smith
Jack Kruschen Jack Kruschen - Sidney Ferguson
Ralph Moody Ralph Moody - Harvey Kimbro
Clarence Cassell Clarence Cassell - Lt. Jack Ricketts
Dorothy Abbott Dorothy Abbott - Ann Baker
Nan Boardman Nan Boardman - Ida Fischer
Hy Averback Hy Averback - Doctor Terrill
Peter Adams Peter Adams - Anthony Baxter
Joe Cranston Joe Cranston - Jack Grant
Peggy Wagner Peggy Wagner - Stella

Reviews: [5]

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    DRAGNET – The Big Frank – 1953

    This is the 40th episode of the 283 episode run of the Police Detective series, DRAGNET. This series ran from 1951 to 59. This series set the mark as far as depicting how everyday Police work closes cases. It is a solid Police procedural that still stands up today.

    Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Detective Frank Smith (Ben Alexander) are working the day watch out of Robbery Division. A man, Ralph Moody has been robbed and his car stolen. Webb and Alexander pay the man a call to see if he recalls anything besides what he told the uniform bulls.

    The interview leads to a witness who gives the detectives the number of the car the gunman had been riding in. A trip to records soon has a name and address. The man they are looking for, Joe Cranston, lives in a boarding house in an out-laying district. The landlady, Nan Boardman, shows the detectives the suspect's room. Cranston is not in at the moment. Webb calls in to the squad room and fills them on their status.

    Webb and Alexander intend to stake out the place from their car parked up the street. They ask Boardman to say nothing when Cranston shows. Twelve hours go by with no Cranston. Webb and Alexander hand over to two fellow Detectives and call it a night. Before they leave, the two pay another visit to the boarding house. They want another look at the suspect's room.

    This idea quickly goes sideways when Cranston pops up at the front door, and puts two slugs into Detective Alexander. Webb returns fire but the shooter escapes into the dark. Alexander is rushed to the emergency ward in critical condition.

    Needless to say the Police pull out all the stops in finding Cranston. Landlady Boardman is questioned again and admits Cranston had been hiding in the cellar the whole time. He had given Boardman a ten spot to keep quiet. The known associates file on Cranston is pulled. The Detectives go through the list checking each name. One of the men on the list, Peter Adams is not at all cooperative. An in his face round of 3-rd degree by Webb soon has Adams talking. They get an address of a rundown fleabag hotel in the downtown area.

    The Police go a calling, and they go in heavy. Doors are booted and Cranston is put down hard before he can grab his piece. Cuffs are applied and he is hauled off for his date with the judge. Alexander pulls through and is soon on the mend. (b/w)
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    Good episode. I much prefer the radio episode this is based upon, "The Big Ben," for these reasons:

    In that one, which is otherwise virtually identical to this TV episode, Friday's then-partner, Ben Romaro, begins narrating the show after Friday is shot.

    Because Romaro, as played by Barton Yarborough, was such a low-key fellow, the scene where he blows his stack trying to find the shooter is doubly effective. And it is strange to hear someone other than Webb do the narration.

    Either show is well worth your time, as Dragnet was such a great series on either medium.


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    Average episode until Friday and Smith open the door. It comes out of nowhere and is very effective. Notable also for clever scene in aquarium shop where-- with apparent time to kill in the episode --shop owner walks Frank through strange birthing process of a certain variety of tropical fish. Curious to know how extraneous anecdotes like this work their way into a show like this-- are they padding the script. Anyway, notice how director Webb adds visual complexity by shooting through the aquariums. Visual boredom was always a problem for this series since it featured so much static dialogue. And for once, Frank's often pointless humor leads up to a nice closing touch.

    My CD includes a Chesterfield commercial of the day, where Webb claims medical backing for the advantages of his sponsor's product on smokers' health! One thing for sure-- he lights up like a smokestack in most every episode. He died relatively young.
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    Review Season 2 Episode 26 The Big Frank Aired 5-8-53 This episode is a must watch for the action, police method of operation, real drama as true words are narrated by Friday when an officer is downed. If a suspect can shoot an armed policeman, the same suspect would not hesitate shooting a civilian. The actions of the police are increased bringing the shooter down. The show covers assault, robbery, aiding-abetting a suspect, stake-outs, deadly assault on a police officer, search and arrest.

    A man is assaulted, car-jacked as he sees his car leave with another vehicle tailing it. The other-car is verified, plate number taken by a citizen helping the victim. The suspect is protected by an abetting landlady, as a stakeout turns into a cop shooting; partner Frank is rushed to hospital, in critical condition. The search is on for the suspects, the shooter and his accomplice; the landlady is taken into custody for harboring the suspect. Policework ensues tracking the suspect friends; the one remaining gives his location and Friday arrests him with the help of his temporary partner.

    Both the shooter and accomplice are tried, convicted; the landlady is placed on probation, the shooter goes to San Quentin.

    Familiar faced actors are guesting including Friday's girlfriend. All play their character roles well. I would recommend the episode and rate it accordingly.
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    For the first half, this seems like a pretty ordinary episode of "Dragnet". "The Big Frank" begins with Sergeant Friday and Officer Frank Smith interviewing a complainant. It seems that he was attacked and his car was stolen that morning. Although the amount of information the victim could give isn't much, a good Samaritan stopped to help him after the attack, so the officers go to interview him. Fortunately, this guy gives them an important clue and Joe and Frank go to the possible attacker's apartment and interview his landlady. He's apparently not there, so Friday and Smith set up a stakeout. When nothing comes of it, the officers go back to talk to the landlady again...when suddenly out jumps the guy they're looking for and he shoots Officer Smith! For the rest of the show, Friday keeps checking in at the hospital as well as looking for the assailant.

    This show was a wonderful example of how guys deal with problems. Despite Smith on the edge of death, Friday appears cool. In fact, like a tough 1950s guy, when he goes to the hospital to see Frank for the first time, he brings cigarettes for the patient! And, when they finally talk, they say NOTHING about the shooting or how Smith could have died or how Friday cared for him. This is a great primer on Guy's emotions! Well worth seeing and an unusual episode.