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Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes Radio/TV Program

Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes

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Publisher's Summary

Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work.

Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media. The show's cultural impact is such that even after five decades, elements of Dragnet are known to those who have never seen or heard the program - including the famous four-note introduction to the theme music and the opening narration, "Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

The original Dragnet starring Jack Webb as Sgt. Friday ran from from June 3, 1949, to February 26, 1957 on NBC radio. Webb insisted on realism in every aspect of the show. The dialogue was clipped, understated and sparse, influenced by the hardboiled school of crime fiction. Scripts were fast moving but didn’t seem rushed. Every aspect of police work was chronicled, step by step: From patrols and paperwork, to crime scene investigation, lab work and questioning witnesses or suspects. The detectives' personal lives were mentioned but rarely took center stage. "Underplaying is still acting", Webb told Time. "We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee."

©2013 BN Publishing (P)2013 BN Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (166 )
5 star
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4.3 (148 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lizski PARK CITY, UT, United States 09-21-13
    Lizski PARK CITY, UT, United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2006

    lizski

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Grandfather of Law and Order"
    What made the experience of listening to Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes the most enjoyable?

    The entire experience of a radio show, combined with the culture of the 40s and 50s is absolutely fantastic (although there I times when I keep thinking how much faster cases could have been solved with DNA evidence and other modern forensics!).


    What did you like best about this story?

    Dragnet is the grandfather of ever cop show that has ever been on tv - to say it is a classic is an understatement.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I watched Dragnet on tv ages ago, and while the tv show was good fun, all the sound effects and 'atmosphere' of a radio show make the radio show superior.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I like the tribute at the end of each episode to a fallen police officer - officers that were killed in the line of duty 50+ years ago are memorialized again.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a fair amount of variability in sound/audio quality (which is why I only gave the performance 4 stars - the actual performance is great, but the occasional audio issues made me downgrade it), but it generally doesn't take away from the listening experience.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G S Hallifax Gardnerville, NV United States 07-29-13
    G S Hallifax Gardnerville, NV United States 07-29-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The volume and clarity varies greatly"
    What did you love best about Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes?

    I enjoy the stories. I heard them for the first time as a child and later on XM Radio. Dragnet is a classic.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I enjoy the stories each time I listen.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

    Jack Webb's monologues are very entertaining.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The stories show the different culture in America during the 1940's and 1950's.


    Any additional comments?

    Hours of entertainment!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Kindler 05-24-16
    The Kindler 05-24-16 Member Since 2014

    Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military History, Thrillers, Great Courses, Horror, and anything with a good story. Please forgive errors.

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    "Insane Deal for the amount"

    These were some of my favorite shows to listen to growing up. The quality is pretty good for the most part. There are a few that were recorded all those years ago and weren't done well or were damaged. Great detective and the episodes are short and will keep you in a fair amount of suspense.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 06-01-15
    Christopher 06-01-15
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    "Give me the old time radio"

    I liked the fact that they combined the live versions, made you feel like you went back in time, listening to these old stories for the first time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette 04-06-15
    Jeanette 04-06-15

    Amazing mom who schools her children at home and loves to listen to audio books.

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    "Awesome well worth the money "

    My. Very favorite book to go to sleep by. Stories are great Wish there were more

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John N. Sigman Merrillville, Indiana, United States 07-14-14
    John N. Sigman Merrillville, Indiana, United States 07-14-14

    I am a retired Credit Union Examiner who loves baseball, sfi-fi stories & reading books about our history. I still believe in the future.

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    "Dragnet just like TV and Radio"
    Where does Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If you loved Dragnet you will love Dragnet on Audio. It's the same as what we used to watch and listen to on TV and on radio. I highly recommend them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Each story is just like what we listen to years ago.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Realistic


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They have made various movies on and about Dragnet.


    Any additional comments?

    none

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 03-06-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 03-06-14 Member Since 2014

    OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A CLASSIC!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    With all of the crime that is happening now, people should see that there was just as much crime 60 years. I'd recommend this to friends who are always complaining about "the good old days" and "these kids today". The mindset is the same among criminals - only the amount of firepower has changed. "Dragnet" is the father of all crime shows today, especially the in depth technical ones which involve forensics and DNA and also shows like "Law & Order" that used real crimes taken from newspaper reports or police files. Jack Webb was an innovator who created this genre of television.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    That question is not applicable here.


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    This is a multi-performer audiobook with different actors playing each role. That gives the listening experience a rare layered effect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    IMPOSSIBLE! It's 16 Parts of 6 to 8 hours in each Part. But, say, I had nothing to do for a whole month, like I'm stuck in a hospital bed because I broke every bone in my body - I'd have to say that no one would WANT to listen to these episodes in one sitting or even one day. It's basically the same format over and over again - crotchety old landladies, snoopy neighbors, arrogant criminals, mouthy teens, precocious toddlers, each repeating the same dialogue from one story to the other. The "stage business" - walking, stirring coffee, typing, opening doors, balling up paper, etc. - gets irritating after a while. It worked 60 years ago because listeners wanted to get as much bang for their buck in the 30 minute show time. However, listening to Sgt. Friday "walking" on a hard floor for the first 100 episodes, it becomes a bit old to have to hear it for 260 more shows.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I enjoyed this "book" which is actually recordings of old radio shows, even with the snaps, crackles and pops. That's what gives it the dated feeling. However, the original recording was poorly done with no levels adjusted from one season to another, much less episodes. I had to give up the ghost when "the needle got stuck", playing several parts over and over again. In the old days, we'd just lift up the record player arm or put a coin on it to hold it in the groove. Here it is apparent that the engineer wasn't paying attention during the production and that Audible did no quality control afterwards.

    NOTE: A highlight of these old shows is the advertisements. To hear the manufacturers of Fatima ("The Long Cigarette") and Chesterfields ("The Mild Cigarette") insist that smoking is healthy for you and that THEIR product is the very best is both funny and sad. Fatima goes on and on about how smokers switching to Fatima has increased by 500% since its last "report". If you've lost a loved one to lung cancer, this will be hard for you to take. But that was the way it was back then. People lit up a cigarette for any reason, even in a hospital bed!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolas 08-26-16
    Nicolas 08-26-16 Member Since 2003
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    "Great show, so-so audio quality."
    What did you like best about Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes? What did you like least?

    I like the story and the original production. It's kinda innocent and sweet for a murder and crime book. The detectives are honorable and the criminals get their due.


    What other book might you compare Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes to and why?

    It's not like other Audible books I've listened to. It is like a True Detective magazine from the 60's. The show is a lot like the video game "LA Noire," but it is exactly like the Dragnet tv show. Friday's partner Ben Romero has a voice and personality like Butters on South Park.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Ben Romero. I imagine him as a 42 year old Butters Scotch. You gotta hear him!


    Could you see Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    ...it's been done.


    Any additional comments?

    The audio quality is bad in parts. In some chapters, it "get's stuck" repeating the same few seconds for a minute or so like a broken record. It gets distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-02-16 Member Since 2013
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    "a real treat"

    I really enjoyed the stories it brought back memories of the first time I have ever listened to Dragnet I was somewhat disappointed about four episodes were repeats and about 16 of them I couldn't understand because of the quality of the recording but all and all it was a great investment

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John J Homola 08-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Biggest Bang For Your Buck"
    If you could sum up Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes in three words, what would they be?

    These are the stories from which the TV show sprang. Short, crisp and to the point. They had to have the whole show done in under 30 minutes. Dialogue snappy ala Jack Webb. Case introduced then to the solving of the crime. If you liked TV Dragnet give this a try. 379 complete episodes for the price of one credit.


    What other book might you compare Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes to and why?

    any old time detective show


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    All extremely well acted.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Impossible


    Any additional comments?

    Radios equivalent of film noir.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • P. R. Dixon
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Old-fashioned radio"
    Where does Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not a classic audiobook but a good opportunity to return to authentic old-fashioned radio broadcasts from the 1940s.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sgt Friday is the main (fictional) character in real-life stories, which they achieved by putting him and his partner fictitiously into the LAPD department that that week's story featured.,


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    No narrators as such, but a dramatized production each time.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Quite a gritty view of police work in LA, but with a permanently upbeat pro-police attitude that sometimes grated.


    Any additional comments?

    Hours and hours and hours of 30-minute 'true-life' police procedural dramatization. Enough to last for months of occasional bite-sized listening. Sound quality is very good for the period.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. B. Hayman
    8/18/16
    Overall
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    "enjoyable"

    loved it only slight niggle was some of voices on some chapters where difficult to understand as the quality was poor but that is understandable taking into account the age of the recordings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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