Dragnet (1987)
September 8, 2019 8:51 AM - Subscribe

The equally-straight-laced and "by the book" nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

Tom Hanks at his Bill Murrayest and Dan Aykroyd at his absolute characteriest. Half parody, half caricature, and half homage, this is one of the most underrated comedies of the 80s.
posted by rhizome (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is reminiscent of Stipes in that the first half is pretty fun, and then it totally goes off the rails when it gets to be too plot-heavy.

Fun scenery chewing by Christopher Plummer, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:32 PM on September 8


I remember that I adored it when I was a kid, although come to think of it I probably shouldn't have seen it. I'll check it out again. I haven't seen it since!
posted by Countess Elena at 6:42 PM on September 8


Haven't seen the movie in decades, but I remember enjoying it on cable more than once back when it was in heavy rotation. And check out these Dragnet cosplayers I spotted at DragonCon last week for a giggle.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:23 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


It's been one of the more quotable movies for me over the decades. I hadn't seen it in a long time, and when I watched it last night I was a little surprised at how much I had memorized. I must have seen it a zillion times at some point that I don't remember. The "give it up by not taking it up" cigarette speech was a great way to sass people bumming smokes at parties back in the day. Aykroyd was so committed to this role!

Fun fact: two of the three screenwriters were Aykroyd and SNL original Alan Zweibel, but the other one wrote three Connery James Bond movies. I bet that has something to do with the flow, because there's no reason for this movie to be as polished as it is.
posted by rhizome at 8:13 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


No discussion of this movie is complete without a link to "City of Crime", the theme song that features Aykroyd and Hanks rapping and dancing. (The third vocalist is Aykroyd's brother, Peter.) And while I wouldn't say that I have the movie memorized, who can forget The Virgin Connie Swales and "You should try the french toast"?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:31 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Look out, Muppets.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:19 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


(The third vocalist is Aykroyd's brother, Peter.)

For a brief moment I imagined the famed biographer Peter Ackroyd rapping the theme song -- I had to google to check.
posted by tomp at 6:09 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much for posting the music video link, Halloween Jack, that was spectacular. And I guess I need to give the movie a rewatch. I miss that slapstick/do every movie I’m offered-era of Tom Hanks’ career sometimes. Like, not that I haven’t enjoyed his transition to Academy Award Nominee Tom Hanks, and it’s not like he ever stopped doing comedy, but sometimes I wish he’d do something utterly frivolous like a Bosom Buddies reunion special, or The Money Pit 2, or some ‘financial advisor ran off with all my money so I’m doing this lousy script to pay my taxes so I don’t go to jail’ kind of project to just let his inner goofball shine again.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:44 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I love this movie. I watched it aaaalll the time as a kid. Age-inappropriately, like most of my movie viewing in the 80s. Heh. I love the foul-mouthed landlady. "UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, I HAVE A HEART GODDAMN IT. ...Miserable little puke."
posted by Aquifer at 8:57 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


This is quality Dabney Coleman. Also, "Bait" as a porno mag name.
posted by condour75 at 7:49 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Is Dabney Coleman ever not fun?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:44 AM on September 11 [3 favorites]


I love the foul-mouthed landlady. "UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, I HAVE A HEART GODDAMN IT. ...Miserable little puke."

Kathleen Freeman, of whom I'd say this was the funniest thing she was ever in, if she hadn't been in "The Blues Brothers."

Or "Singin' In The Rain."
posted by rhizome at 4:00 PM on September 11


Is Dabney Coleman ever not fun?

Sometimes he's a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical, bigot. But no, he's never not fun.
posted by wabbittwax at 2:09 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Sure, he's *frequently* a terrible person, but he's pretty much always fun doing it!

I wonder what he's really like.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:41 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


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