Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed in 1966 (when screenwriter Richard Breen was still around), this made-for-TV feature marked the return of Jack Webb's classic 1950s cop series Dragnet after a seven-year absence. Ordered to cut his vacation short, Sgt. Joe Friday (played by Jack Webb) is assigned to investigate the mysterious disappeances of two beautiful models and a pretty young war widow. In concert with partner Bill Gannon (Harry Morgan), Friday does his best to follow the trail of evidence, only to be continually stymied by contradictory or reluctant eyewitnesses. Before arriving at the disturbing conclusion that the missing girls have been the victims of a voyeuristic serial killer, Joe and Bill manage to solve another, unrelated murder involving a visiting Frenchman. Several members of Jack Webb's radio and TV Dragnet stock company are cast in colorful supporting roles, including Virginia Gregg, Victor Perrin, and Herb Ellis, while L.A. Dodgers catcher John Roseboro is seen as a fellow cop. A powerful opening sequence and an thrilling action climax more than compensate for the unevenness of the script (the last such by veteran Webb collaborator Richard Breen) and the occasional pokiness of the direction. Although this 97-minute Dragnet was good enough to convince NBC to revive the vintage Jack Webb series on a weekly, half-hour basis (it ran successfully for three seasons), the film itself was shelved for several years, not making its network TV debut until January 27, 1969.
investigation, investigator, killing, modeling, murder, snuff-film