Just in case you missed the first time . . .
- 6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later
- 31 December: Here’s to the New Year
- 24 December: ‘Tis the night before Christmas
- 20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains
- 12 December: Eden rocked
- 9 December: The aftermath, continued . . .
- 8 December: Immediate aftermath
- 7 December: The date still lives in infamy
- 5 December: The mean widdle man-kid
- 21 November: Freed fall
We’re building a history here . . .
Tag Archives: Dragnet
If The Big .22 Rifle for Christmas proves Dragnet wholly (and perhaps uncharacteristically) capable of a tragic tear-jerker, then tonight’s episode—aired a year later—proves the customarily no-nonsense crime drama could deliver a tear-jerker that may well leave you with gentle admiration for a holiday thief.
This, too, would be taken to the show’s original television version and to its mid-to-late 1960s television remake. And, neither will feel quite as embracing as the radio original that lets your mind’s and your heart’s eyes operate.
Those who remember Dragnet strictly from its late 1960s-early 1970s television revival, when it seems to be little more than a growing anti-hippie/anti-youth exercise in police recalcitrance, albeit far less aggressive as such than similar exercises, may be shocked at times to discover the radio original and the first television version it sired could be called deeper in more than one way.
No less than The Commonweal, the lay Catholic intellectual journal of opinion, is impressed that Dragnet leaves a number of heretofore intractable radio crime drama stereotypes behind:
[N]o stereotypical hoodlums with congenital inability to voice the tongue-point dental fricative; no dem’s and dose’s. If intelligence can be measured as the number of shades visible between black and white, Dragnet is an intelligent program. Character is not subordinated to the arbitrary requirements of an action-packed script.
Spencer Tracy reprises one of his earliest—and most arresting—film roles in a performance that’s just about as arresting even with the requisite radio adaptation and editing.
As millions are jobless in the Great Depression, a squatter’s camper (Tracy) takes in a homeless young lady (Ingrid Bergman, in the Loretta Young film role). He feeds her as she makes him a castle inside a shack and falls in love with him despite his restless nature. There’s just one little hitch: when he discovers she’s pregnant, he wants nothing more than to hop the first freight train out of town.
Two days in November. The perfect palliative for electoral hangovers, considering that, the way we got blitzed with political ads this time around, oh brother did we need a drink—even before we went out to vote, if we did . . .