Coming to Bluray for the first time in a special Collector’s Edition from SHOUT! Factory and director Tom Mankiewicz is the buddy cop comedy DRAGNET.
Sgt. Joe Friday (Dan Aykroyd) is a by-the-book cop who doesn’t take nonsense in the slightest. Cut from the family cloth of policemen, Joe learns that he is about to have a new partner in the form of Pep Streebek (Tom Hanks).
Streebek isn’t necessarily a by-the-book cop who occasionally is the cause of nonsense every chance he gets. Immediately Joe Friday isn’t happy with the way his new partner dresses or his attitude for that matter but knows at this point he doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
Assigned to their first case together, they investigate is a porno magazine called Bait owned by one Jerry Caesar (Dabney Coleman) who wants his property back. The person they think might have some idea is Reverend Jonathan Whirley (Christopher Plummer) who wants moral order in the city.
Then there is a cult about town called P.A.G.A.N. or People Against Goodness and Normalcy where Friday and Streebek meet Emil Muzz (Jack O’Halloran). After questioning they learn of a secret ceremony that will include a virgin sacrifice. Enter the virgin Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul) and her date with an anaconda.
Of course all of this sets off their boss Gannon (Harry Morgan) who takes Friday’s badge and tells them they are off the case. After the rescue and a zing between Friday and the virgin Connie Swail, she identifies Whirley as the one responsible for her snake pit scare. Muzz is back in business capturing Friday and the virgin Connie Swail for Whirley who monologues his plans for killing Caesar with gas made from another theft job.
In on it is Kirkpatrick (Elizabeth Ashley) but she quickly learns that Whirley doesn’t need her help any longer when he fly’s off with the virgin Connie Swail. That isn’t about to stop Friday who makes damn sure that he gets the bad guy – and the girl as well!
Aykroyd as Sgt. Joe Friday is absolutely stunning. He has the face for it with a demeanor that holds its own in any situation. As Friday he gets a chance to be the straight man to Hanks’ Pep and I love every moment of it. It is clear that he captures the original and beloved Joe Friday aka Jack Webb and even a few of his idiosyncrasies are there and timeless. That being said, Aykroyd puts a few of his own quirky habits in the mix and it all comes out brilliantly.
Hanks as Pep is the perfect person to have been cast for this role. He is hilarious, snappy with the comebacks and doesn’t seem to be at all affected by Friday’s jabs. That’s what I love about Hanks in almost every character he plays, he may be a duo in the film but he can certainly hold his own. These are two stunning actors that deserved every moment on screen together making this such a fun film.
Plummer as Reverend Whirley is deliciously bad in every sense of the word and its all covered in this thick icky icing of his voice. That’s what makes his performance so cool in that he got to jump into a character that manages to be as slippery as the snake in the ceremony pit. Plummer is a gem for film lovers and when he takes on a comedy like this one, you can be sure he will put his mark straight on it.
Paul as the virgin Connie Swail is adorable, fresh, innocent and perfect for someone like Sgt. Joe Friday. She will cook, clean and service her beloved police man and all the while be embraced by Granny Mundy. It is a family Joe needs and Paul is sweet to the very end!
Coleman as Caesar is in the same category as Plummer in that he can play a good guy as good as he can play a bad guy. This looked like allot of fun for him and he made me laugh with his attitude and voice. Morgan as Bill Gannon comes back to give the force a little remembrance of a Dragnet that once was and still is with a new Joe Friday. I really loved seeing him in the film.
Other cast include Kathleen Freeman as Enid Borden, Bruce Gray as Mayor Peter Parvin and Lenka Peterson as absolutely adorable Granny Mundy.
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.
Designed with the film lover in mind, SHOUT SELECT shines a light on films that deserve a spot on your shelf. From acknowledged classics to cult favorites to unheralded gems, SHOUT SELECT celebrates the best in filmmaking, giving these movies the love and attention they deserve.
The Bluray includes the Special Features of new A Quiet Evening in the Company of Connie Swail: An Interview with Co-Star Alexandra Paul, New Audio Commentary with Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball, Just the Facts!: A Promotional Look at DRAGNET with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos and Photo Gallery.
DRAGNET is everything I love in a comedy with twists, humor, turns, humor and just out and out silliness in a few scenes. If your going to make a comedy, DRAGNET teaches you how to do it and writing team of Aykroyd, Zweibel and Mankiewicz made sure we laughed and made the term ‘the virgin Connie Swail’ and ‘just the facts ma’m, just the facts’ memorable.
SHOUT SELECT has done such an amazing job putting DRAGNET back on our police blotters reminding us of how good films such as this truly are. The actors in the film have gone on to bigger roles but it is films like DRAGNET that got them their showing their versatility and ability to make us all laugh for a little while.
DRAGNET can now be shared with those who might have missed their chance to see it in theatres when it was released in 1987. So pop that corn and sit in front of that big screen television and meet the next generation of Friday’s!
In the end – everything is by the book sort of!