While “Just the facts, ma’am” is known as Dragnet’s catchphrase, on July 7th 1949, “Dragnet” was first heard on NBC radio, before coming to television.
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 radio show in questioned that was played on July 7th, was entitled, Helen Corday Murder.
Before Harry Morgan became Harry Potter on Mash, he was Joe Friday’s police partner on Dragnet.
Today’s YouTube presentation clip is the 1968 intro to the theme song on Dragnet before the show started, shared by user name Retro Alexander.
Another television show that was heard on the radio first before going on television was the popular show called Perry Mason. Perry Mason was written by Erle Stanley Gardner. An American lawyer and author, he is best known for the Perry Mason series of detective stories, he wrote numerous other novels and shorter pieces, as well as a series of non-fiction books, mostly narrations of his travels through Baja California and other regions in Mexico.
The Case of the Lucky Legs is a 1935 mystery film, the third in a series of Perry Mason films starring Warren William as the famed lawyer.
Before Raymond Burr, became Perry Mason you’ll see in this 1935 clip below shared by user name Poham that the actor Warren Williams debut as Perry Mason.
It’s difficult to imagine, but there was a time when making a film based on an old television show or characters seemed to come from novels.
In the production for the 1987 feature-film adaptation of Dragnet, starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, Aykroyd describes the role of a dead-eyed, monotone police detective modeled on Dragnet protagonist Joe Friday as “a character I’d always wanted to play.”
Dragnet was a substantial hit, grossing more than $66 million domestically, and ranking 14th at the 1987 box office.
In lieu of todays story, in true Dragnet style, I’d like to end this story by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell