Dragnet

Season 4 Episode 1

The Big Producer

0
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Aug 26, 1954 on NBC
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9.2
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  • From Hollywood gold to porn.

    9.0
    This is another episode that gets an unintended laugh from modern folks who consider the morals of the 1950s as rather quaint. Pornographic literature is circulating through high schools, and Friday and Smith are out to catch the people who are chiefly responsible. They know it isn't the students, one of whom is played by a young Martin (credited here as"Marty") Milner, who are distributing it, so interviews with several students leads them to a gentle old man, who was once a real movie producer of the silent era, but since the advent of sound has been down on his luck, and has resorted to peddling pornography just to get by. There's a sequence late in the episode that lasts just under four minutes in which the old man leads the detectives to the site of one of his movies, a western, and tells the movie's story. As he speaks, the camera zeroes in on the sites where each scene was filmed, and with the aid of sound effects the viewer can see with the mind's eye the people and the action. In the background there is a pleasant western melody to further aid the viewer. After the "movie" ends, the detectives remind him that there are other ways of earning money, like getting a job. Still, you can't help but admire the guy for being a movie pioneer, and feel for him for his fall from grace. A young Carolyn Jones also appears as a student.
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