Poor unofficial "Dragnet" DVD - Wait for an official release
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Sorry to say that this first-ever DVD of vintage DRAGNET episodes should be avoided like the plague! All three shows have been released on VHS over and over. The manufacturer has apparently used one of those releases for the transfer, originally derived at least two generations ago from ancient 16mm TV station prints, not studio masters.And just like its VHS counterparts, this manufacturer couldn't be bothered to confirm one of the episode titles: the first show isn't "The Big 17" as listed on the package, it's "The Big Producer." Fortunately, they got the other two right. Even worse, the package claims that all episodes are from DRAGNET's first year. According to the book "My Name's Friday," "The Big Betty" is from the third season, "The Big Producer" was the fourth season premiere episode, and "The Big Counterfeit" was the next-to-last episode from DRAGNET's final season in 1959!Negatives and pre-print material for the 1950's version of DRAGNET are owned by Universal Studios (which also owns the latter-day, Harry Morgan version from 1967-70). Even though most of those early shows are now public domain, Universal Home Video should get on the ball and do an official release of the best of the older and newer DRAGNET. This is especially desirable since the two recent books about Jack Webb seem to be selling steadily, at least here at Amazon."
Second Worst Video Transfer I have Seen on DVD
D. M. THOMAS | Clawson, Mi USA | 12/13/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"A few years ago this company released a multiple set of Dragnet episodes on VHS....it was a 20 episode set and the quality ranged from awful to unbelievably awful. They claim these are rare episodes....bull.....rare only because no one else has taken time to release them yet on DVD. The episodes are full of print scratchs, blurry vision, poor sound, well you get the point......just awful. They may try to pass this off as age of material which is crazy. They are bad because no one took the time to clean up the original film before transfering them to tape. And worse.....they are using the same transfer material from their VHS tapes to put out their DVD version. They were so lazy they didn't even take time to cut out the "break marks" (These are indications to TV stations to "place commercial here"). I wish companies that put this kind of garbage would just go out of business and I truly wish companies like AMAZON.COM would be encouraged not to even offer such poor quality. There is no excuse for it. Oh....my winner for the worst video transfer goes to the company putting out OUR TOWN on DVD. It is even worse then this one."
Watch LA Confidential instead.
D. M. THOMAS | 12/03/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Sub-par DVD that looks like a straight from video transfer. Interesting for Dragnet buffs only. Three episodes from the early 1950s. First has a young Martin Milner, of Adam-12 fame, as a high school student caught up in the porn trade of the day - dirty postcards and glamor shots going for "75 cents" each. Mr. Big turns out to be a washed up film producer from the silent era. Carolyn Jones (Morticia on the Addams Family) puts in a brief appearance as a young, and blond, model. The next episode concerns a group of con artists, "the lowest of the low," selling junk merchandise to relatives of people they find through the obituaries. The last episode finds Friday tracking down a cop-impersonator who also likes robbing people. The episodes are interspersed with some Chesterfield cigarette ads "buy them by the carton!" A few transitions show "Place commercial here" instructions. The DVD menu is funky as well with play tabs that don't really function as expected. Advice - if you like Dragnet and are curious, wait for a price drop for this one before you get it. It is worth no more than that."