Dragnet (1987 film)
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|Directed by||Tom Mankiewicz|
|Produced by||Bernie Brillstein
Robert K. Weiss
|Written by||Dan Aykroyd
|Music by||Ira Newborn|
|Cinematography||Matthew F. Leonetti|
|Editing by||William D. Gordeon
|Distributed by||Universal Studios|
|Running time||106 minutes|
Dragnet is a 1987 crime comedy film starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, directed by Tom Mankiewicz, based on the television crime drama of the same name starring Jack Webb. The screenplay was written by Aykroyd, Alan Zweibel, and Mankiewicz. The original music score is by Ira Newborn.
LAPD Sgt. Joe Friday's nephew and namesake (Aykroyd), whose anachronistic views reflect those of his late uncle, is involuntarily assigned a smart-alecky, streetwise new partner, Pep Streebek (Hanks). Their contrasting styles clash at first, Friday disapproving of his young partner's attitude, hair, and wardrobe, but they gradually bond over their first case as a team, an investigation of a series of bizarre thefts involving items as disparate as a tanker full of chemicals, police, fire and paramedic vehicles, a wedding dress, a lion's mane, and the entire monthly print run of the pornographic magazine "Bait".
They follow the trail to an Orange County-based cult calling itself P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness And Normalcy). Friday and Streebek focus on one of the cult's henchmen, a brutish limousine driver named Emil Muzz (O'Halloran).
An informer tells them that a local milk factory is being used by the P.A.G.A.N.s to mass-produce a toxic gas made from the chemicals they stole. Friday and Streebek commandeer a police tank and use it for a raid on the factory, which turns out to be producing only milk - the real gas factory being next door.
Friday and Streebek disguise themselves and sneak into a secret P.A.G.A.N. ceremony where they witness the masked leader attempting to sacrifice a virgin, Miss Connie Swail (Paul). Friday and Streebek disrupt the ceremony and save Swail. In the process, Swail and Friday discover a mutual attraction and he invites her to join him at a birthday dinner for his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mundy. To Friday's chagrin, Streebek crashes the dinner party.
At the restaurant, Connie identifies a fellow patron, the televangelist Jonathan Whirley (Plummer), as the P.A.G.A.N. leader. Whirley is a highly respected community leader, who is dining with Capt. Bill Gannon (Morgan), Friday and Streebek's boss, and Police Commissioner Kirkpatrick (Ashley). Despite Streebek's warnings, Friday tries to arrest Whirley, leading Kirkpatrick to suspend Friday and order Gannon to take Streebek off the case. Connie is kidnapped by Whirley and taken to the estate of pornography magnate Jerry Caesar (Coleman), whose mansion has become the cult's de facto headquarters.
Gannon reinstates Friday, who leads a SWAT team on a raid on Caesar's mansion. During the ensuing shootout between the P.A.G.A.N.s and the police, Whirley takes Connie to the airport, where he escapes in his private Learjet. His getaway ends when Friday pursues him in a police jet, forcing him to return to Los Angeles and land.
An epilogue reveals that Friday is still working with Streebek and dating Connie.
- Dan Aykroyd as Sgt. Joe Friday
- Tom Hanks as Det. Pep Streebek
- Christopher Plummer as Reverend Jonathan Whirley
- Harry Morgan as Captain Bill Gannon
- Alexandra Paul as Connie Swail
- Jack O'Halloran as Emil Muzz
- Elizabeth Ashley as Commissioner Jane Kirkpatrick
- Dabney Coleman as Jerry Caesar
- Kathleen Freeman as Enid Borden
- Bruce Gray as Mayor Peter Parvin
- Lenka Peterson as Granny Mundy
- Juliana Donald as the Zookeeper
- Nina Arvesen as Lady Motor Cop
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The title credits featured an update to the series original theme by the British group Art of Noise. They set the Dragnet theme against a hip-hop style breakbeat with soundbites such as Friday's "Just the facts, ma'am" timed to the music.
The soundtrack includes an original song, "City of Crime." The track features a hip-hop style collaboration between Aykroyd and Hanks that is performed with bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Pat Thrall. The track is played over the film's closing credits. The best selling single also had a music video shot for the track, which was played in heavy rotation on MTV in the summer of 1987.
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