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Dragnet: Collector's Edition (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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Dragnet (1987) - Blu-ray

Clean shirt, short hair, tie, pressed trousers, sports jacket or suit, and leather shoes, preferably with a high shine on them.  That’s what Sgt. Joe Friday (Dan Aykroyd) expects from his new partner, Pep Streebeck (Tom Hanks).  What he gets, though, is a wise-cracking “freebird” partner that drives him right up the wall. 

And when Streebeck ruins his chili dog, well, you can write their partnership off.  Dragnet, when it was originally released in 1987, made a pretty good killing at the box office.  First, there was the revamped theme song by Art of Noise and then, because there was no avoiding the film’s generational appeal, there was the marketing.  If a video shoot worked for Ghostbusters, then why wouldn’t it work here?  Anyone else remember the music video starring Aykroyd and Hanks?

"Serving as both an homage and a parody of the beloved television show, this comedy, now on blu-ray thanks to Shout Select’s new 2K scrub and restoration, does not disappoint"

And, almost as easy as snapping your fingers, Dragnet became a hit.  The dysfunction in the duo worked.  From pornography to principle suspects, the differences in the two detectives were a hoot to see on the big screen. 

Turns out, the only thing that will bring these two opposites together, though, is their concern over a bizarre cult who identify as P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness And Normalcy).  Thus, Dragnet, written and directed by Tom Mankiewicz, is born.  Serving as both an homage and a parody of the beloved television show, this comedy, now on blu-ray thanks to Shout Select’s new 2K scrub and restoration, does not disappoint.

With Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H) reprising his original role from the series, Dragnet offers fans of the show plenty of moments to enjoy that hearken back to the days of Jack Webb.  Aykroyd getting his toes run over when suspect  Emil Muzz (Jack O'Halloran) tears off in a limo is not one of them, though.

And the partners, now locked in on their targets, find themselves dressed up like they imagine the cult to look like.  This means leathers, mohawks, and goat leggings.  Hilarious.  And so they “blend” in, getting wild alongside all the other P.A.G.A.N, sipping the nectar of Satan with all the other pogo-hoping fools. 

Dragnet is a very funny film.  There are times when the comedy – maybe a tad too tame for far too long – goes completely bonkers and succeeds in being more than just a homage.  Honestly, as is the case with the gigantic snake in the sacrificial pool that they wrestle, I still find myself wishing it had continued to push the envelope a bit more than it did.  Maybe this is because Aykroyd had to stay in character and be the “straight” man to Hanks’ more carefree character. Hanks, perhaps sensing that some of the material was lacking, does his best to polish the comedy and deliver the funny.

Dragnet (1987) - Blu-ray

Whatever the reason, Dragnet isn’t all playtime.  There are buddy cop rules – like cars exploding and big shootouts – that the genre says must be followed.  Having said that, Aykroyd’s straight delivery – including his responses to naked women and hats that get left in cars now engulfed in flames – are downright hysterical.  So, yes, there is a balance here which keeps it from losing its way down comedy’s path on its way to the conclusion.  Good or bad, much like Christopher Plummer’s performance, that’s the way the film goes.  Co-starring Alexandra Paul and Dabney Coleman, Dragnet and its Brown Derby Grannie-dating ways will have you hand-in-hand with Detective Star Trek, too.

Dragnet is now on blu-ray thanks to Shout Select.  This is the city – Los Angeles.  And the City of Angels will never be the same again.  Prepare the Virgin!

3 beers

Dragnet (1987) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: PG-13.
106 mins
: Tom Mankiewicz
Dan Aykroyd, Alan Zweibel
Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer
: Comedy | Crime
Just The Facts.
Memorable Movie Quote: "No ma'am. They're quite impressive... bordering on spectacular."
Theatrical Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 26, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 30, 2018
Synopsis: Aykroyd is at his comedic best as the namesake nephew of Detective Sgt. Joe Friday. Like his uncle, he's a blue-suited, by-the-rules cop who reluctantly joins forces with his footloose partner Pep Streebek (Hanks) to rescue the City of Angels from the machinations of a power-mad Reverend and corrupt Police Commissioners. And those are "just the facts" of this hysterically funny action-comedy!

Dragnet (1987) - Blu-ray


Blu-ray Details:

Collector's Edition

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- October 30, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Shout Select presents Dragnet on HD with a fine 1080p transfer that is detailed and fleshy.  It definitely has a new life on blu-ray.  The City of Angels is speckled with new details in the parks and the sidewalks.  Even the shadows are detailed.  With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and Dolby Digital Stereo track, the film is treated nicely by Shout Select’s efforts.  Nicely saturated, there are no dents in its shiny armor.  Colors are strong throughout and are particularly memorable with their inclusion of details and strong edges.  Black levels are clearly defined, too.



  • There is a NEW commentary from Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball which is entertaining.

Special Features:

We get a new interview with co-star Alexandra Paul, an archival promo, and the film’s original trailers.

• NEW “A Quiet Evening In The Company Of Connie Swail”: An Interview With Co-Star Alexandra Paul

 •“Just The Facts!”: A Promotional Look At Dragnet With Dan Aykroyd And Tom Hanks

• Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos

Dragnet (1987) - Blu-ray

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