Category Archives: Blogathon

Coming Soon: The Marie Windsor Blogathon.

Some of us have been going back and forth about this for over a year. Well, now’s the time to make it official. Marie Windsor, my all-time favorite actress, gets a blogathon. It kicks off on her birthday, December 11, over at

If you’re interested in playing along, email me at with the Marie Windsor movie you want to cover. I’ll be keeping a list to try to avoid too much duplication. More info will come as the event gets closer.

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Filed under Blogathon, Marie Windsor

Starts Friday! The Republic Pictures Blogathon.

Republic blogathon badge

The Republic Pictures Blogathon kicks off Friday, and I’m getting excited about it. Some good people are covering some of the studio’s coolest movies.

If you’d like to participate, feel free. Here’s what you do:
• Pick a Republic-related topic: the possibilities are almost endless.
• Let me know you want to ride along (email, what subject you want to cover and when you plan to post it. Your posts can be in any form, of any length, and on any topic as long as it relates to Republic Pictures, but I’d like to manage things a bit to make sure we don’t end up with 14 people writing about Radar Men From The Moon.
• Post your piece on the scheduled day, using the Republic Pictures Blogathon banner (above) and link (to come).
• Send me the link to your post so I can add it to the master list.

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Filed under Blogathon, Republic Pictures

The Jack Webb Blogathon: Bloggers’ Choice Award.

Jack Webb Blogathon HOR

Kinda hate to see this Jack Webb thing come to an end. I’ve really enjoyed it. The posts were great, the bloggers were so nice, my wife and daughter got to participate, and I simply can’t get enough of Jack Webb.

The way the Bloggers’ Choice thing worked, everyone who posted sent in their favorite of all the posts that appeared over the weekend. The one with the most votes won. It’s that simple.

And the winner was Caftan Woman and her piece on Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955). She got me even more stoked for the upcoming Blu-ray from Warner Archive. The post on the Pete Kelly’s Blues radio show, over at Once Upon A Screen, was also a favorite.


I’ve got a few ideas for other blogathons, and will get around to those before too long. I’ve learned a few things on this one which should make it go a bit smoother.

To everyone who wrote something or read something, a great big thanks.



Filed under 1955, Blogathon, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Warner Archive

The Jack Webb Blogathon: Dispatch.

Jack Webb Blogathon VERT

Welcome to Dispatch for The Jack Webb Blogathon. Here, you’ll find links to all the posts going up over the weekend in celebration of Jack Webb’s huge, and hugely influential, body of work.

Day Three. October 19.
It was warm in Los Angeles.

Behind The Badge

The Hannibal 8

The D.I.

Rupert Pupkin Speaks

Halls OM LC JW
Halls Of Montezuma

The Pacific Edible Seaweed Co.


Appointment With Danger


Day Two. October 18.
It was cloudy in Los Angeles.

Dragnet (1954, feature)

The Hannibal 8

– 30 –

Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot

Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 12.19.52 AM
(1954, feature)

Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings

Wes Fix
Dragnet: “Frauds DR-36”
Everybody Nods: The Dragnet Style Files


He Walked By Night (1949)
Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear

Day One. October 17.
It was sunny in Los Angeles.

Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955, feature)
Caftan Woman

Dragnet 1969
: “Narcotics DR-21”

The Hannibal 8 (Guest blogger: Presley Roan)


Dragnet (1966 TV movie)

The Pacific Edible Seaweed Co.


Pete Kelly’s Blues

Once Upon A Screen


Dark City LC
Dark City

Vienna’s Classic Hollywood


The D.I. (1957)
Crítica Retrô


Big Rod title from Hot Rod
Dragnet: “The Big Rod” (1954)
The Hannibal 8

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Filed under 1954, 1955, 1966, 1969, Blogathon, Charlton Heston, Harry Morgan, Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Lee Marvin, MeTV, Shout/Scream Factory, Television

The Jack Webb Blogathon: Dragnet, “The Big Rod.”

Dragnet Hot Rod cover 2

Produced and Directed by Jack Webb
Screenplay: John Robinson
Director Of Photography: Edward Colman, ASC
Music: Walter Schumann
Film Editor: William Morgan

Cast: Jack Webb (Sgt. Joe Friday), Ben Alexander (Officer Frank Smith), Diane Jergens (Miriam Hunter), Jimmy Ogg (Al Doolin), Michael Ansara (Carl Chapman), Jan Merlin (Gregory Moore), Nesdon Booth (Sam), Vic Perrin (Dr. Hall), James Stone (Charles)

Airdate: December 30, 1954

Jack Webb Blogathon HOR
This post is part of The Jack Webb Blogathon, a celebration of his huge, and hugely influential, body of work. For more Webb on the web, appearing October 17-19, visit
Dispatch (or click on the banner above).

Let’s start out with something I don’t really need to say. Dragnet began as a radio show, became a TV show, spun off a feature, took a hiatus of almost a decade, then returned for four more years. The whole shebang was the brainchild of Mr. Jack Webb.

“The  Big Rod” comes from the initial 1951-59 run (“the Ben Alexander ones”). It’s a pretty standard episode. With the added bonus of hot rods.

Dragnet big rod listing cropped 2April 7. It’s cold in Los Angeles. A pregnant woman has been killed by a hit-and-run driver in a hopped-up 1940 Ford with twin pipes and a stolen car club plate. Friday and Smith—working the day watch out of accident investigation division, hit-and-run felony unit—try to find him.

The episode was featured in the January 1955 issue of Hot Rod magazine. (That’s Webb on the cover.) Wally Parks, head of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), was committed to having hot-rodding seen as more than a bunch of hoodlums in hopped-up junkers. So it’s surprising he’d have anything to do with the story of a rodder involved in a hit-and-run. But Parks, or rather, an actor playing him is, appears in the show, helping Friday and Smith identify local car clubs. It’s made very, very clear that the culprit is not a member of the NHRA.

Dragnet Hot Rod detail 1
Al Doolin (Jimmy Ogg), president of the Square Wheels car club, speaks of the stigma against rodders and assures Friday and Smith that the clubs are dedicated to safety and that there’s no way it could be a club member.

Al Doolin: “Maybe it had twin pipes, a loud muffler, but I’ll give you odds from here to Bonneville that it wasn’t a hot rod. I know how you guys feel. We’re always gettin’ it. Every kid behind the wheel of a secondhand car is a potential killer. The way the papers picture us, we just roam around looking for somebody to run over.”

Dragnet Hot Rod detail 3
After talking to Parks, Doolin, an eyewitness, the victim’s husband (Michael Ansara) and a doctor (Vic Perrin), the car is spotted. Turns out it’s registered to an unemployed loner named Gregory Moore (Jan Merlin). He’s tracked down and arrested. At that point, we’re treated to a great diatribe from Friday.

Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb): “I’m getting fed up with you kids roaming he streets in those deathtraps of yours. I don’t care about you. You wanna wrap yourself around a post, you go ahead. We’ll try to stop you, but don’t you take somebody else with ya. We’ve tried about everything in the books to make you understand. Doesn’t look like any of ’em did any good… You killed a human being, a woman who didn’t even know you. She never even saw ya until it was too late. You threw a ton-and-a-half of metal at a 120-pound woman, then you ran away and left her in the gutter to die. You wrecked a family, you tore it right down the middle and rolled over it. You’re ruined the lives of all the people around that woman. You gave a group of decent kids a bad time because you stole their name. Now you get up on your feet and keep that smart mouth of your closed, you understand?”

big rod verdict
Jan Merlin appeared in tons of TV in the 50s and 60s, often as a slimy dirtbag, and it’s surprising that this was his only Dragnet. He became an Emmy-winning writer for the soap opera Another World.

This episode’s director of photography, Edward Colman, shot the Dragnet feature (in WarnerColor) around the same time. He’d later point his camera at another hopped-up car, The Love Bug (1968).

A radio version of “The Big Rod” aired on March 16, 1954. It was adapted for TV by John Robinson, who wrote 35 scripts for the original Dragnet run and one for Dragnet 1967. Incidentally, there was a 1958 episode called “The Big Hot Rod” about the theft of hopped-up cars.

There are quite a few of the 1951-59 Dragnet shows in the public domain, and they turn up on cheap DVDs of varying quality (or lack of it) and on youtube. It’s a shame these haven’t been given the level of care Shout Factory put into the color shows.


Filed under 1954, Blogathon, Jack Webb, Radio, Television

The Jack Webb Blogathon: A List Of Suspects.


The Jack Webb Blogathon is still filling out its lineup. The movies are pretty well covered, but there are plenty of possibilities for TV.

Some have committed to more than one post. People sure love ’em some Jack Webb.

Here are a few of the suspects so far:
Caftan Woman
Critica Retro
Everyone Nods: The Dragnet Style Files
Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot
Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings
Once Upon A Screen
The Pacific Edible Seaweed Co.
Rupert Pupkin Speaks
Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear
Vienna’s Classic Hollywood

The image up top was boosted from Everyone Nods.

Jack Webb Blogathon HOR

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Filed under Blogathon, Jack Webb, MeTV, Shout/Scream Factory, Television, Warner Archive

Coming Soon: The Jack Webb Blogathon.


The Jack Webb Blogathon is coming up, October 17-19, a celebration of Webb and his huge, and hugely influential, body of work.

Here’s the MO:
• Pick a Webb-related topic: TV, movies, radio, books, personal life, newspaper strips, toys, whatever
• I’ll be working day watch at Write to let me know you want to be part of the lineup, what subject you want to investigate and when you plan to post it. The articles and/or reviews can be in any form, of any length, and on any topic as long as it relates to Jack Webb, but I’d like to manage things a bit to make sure we don’t end up with 714 posts on Dragnet and nothing on cool stuff like Adam-12, Emergency! or Project UFO.
• Write and post your piece on your scheduled day, using an official Jack Webb Blogathon badge (below, huge so you can size ’em how you want). Thanks to my great friend Tomas Gardner.
• Send me the link so I can post it on the master list.

There’ll be a Blogger’s Choice award, too. We’ll call it “The Big Prize.”

OK, everybody. Get typing.


Jack Webb Blogathon VERT

Jack Webb Blogathon HOR


Filed under Blogathon, Harry Morgan, Jack Webb, MeTV, Shout/Scream Factory, Television, Warner Archive