Valry Ramsey

Written by Valry Ramsey

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Dragnet is a classic movie that has captivated audiences since its release in 1987. Starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, this comedy film is based on the popular television series of the same name, which originally aired in the 1950s and 1960s. With its unique blend of humor and crime-solving, Dragnet became a hit with fans of both the original TV show and moviegoers looking for a good laugh. In this article, we will delve into 44 fascinating facts about the making of Dragnet, from behind-the-scenes stories to interesting tidbits about the cast and crew. Get ready to be entertained and educated as we explore the world of Dragnet and uncover some truly intriguing details.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dragnet, a comedic crime film, was a box office success, grossing over $57 million worldwide, and featured Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks in early comedic roles.
  • The movie balanced nostalgia with originality, appealing to fans of the original series and newcomers, and showcased the importance of teamwork in law enforcement.
Table of Contents

The movie Dragnet was directed by Tom Mankiewicz.

Tom Mankiewicz was known for his work as a screenwriter on movies like Superman and Live and Let Die.

Dan Aykroyd not only starred in the movie but also co-wrote the screenplay.

Aykroyd adapted the screenplay from the original television series, showcasing his comedic talent and love for the source material.

Tom Hanks played the role of Detective Pep Streebeck.

This was one of Hanks’ early comedic roles before he established himself as a versatile actor in both comedic and dramatic roles.

The movie was a box office success, grossing over $57 million worldwide.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the movie became popular among audiences and fared well at the box office.

Dragnet premiered on June 26, 1987, in the United States.

The premiere was attended by the cast and crew, as well as fans of the original television series.

The iconic theme song from the original television series, composed by Walter Schumann, was used in the movie.

The theme song added a nostalgic touch to the film and was well-received by fans of the series.

Christopher Plummer portrayed the main antagonist, Reverend Jonathan Whirley.

Plummer’s performance added depth and complexity to the character, elevating the film’s suspense and conflict.

The movie features several cameos from actors who appeared in the original television series.

These cameos delighted fans of the show and added an extra layer of nostalgia to the film.

The comedy in Dragnet is often satirical, poking fun at various aspects of law enforcement and bureaucracy.

This satirical approach gave the movie a unique flavor, separating it from typical crime films.

The movie pays homage to the original television series while also offering a fresh take on the characters and storyline.

By balancing nostalgia with originality, Dragnet appealed to both fans of the original series and newcomers to the franchise.

The character of Joe Friday, originally played by Jack Webb, is portrayed by Dan Aykroyd in the movie.

Aykroyd successfully captured the essence of the character and brought his own comedic twist to the role.

The movie features a memorable car chase scene through the streets of Los Angeles.

This action-packed sequence added excitement and adrenaline to the film, further captivating the audience.

Dragnet incorporates elements of comedy, crime, and mystery, making it a genre-defying film.

By blending different genres, the movie kept the audience engaged and entertained throughout.

The film’s screenplay was inspired by actual cases from the Los Angeles Police Department.

This added a sense of realism to the movie and showcased the hard work of law enforcement officers.

Dragnet was released during a time when buddy cop movies were gaining popularity.

The movie capitalized on this trend and offered a unique and comedic take on the genre.

The movie’s tagline was “Just the facts, ma’am.”

This famous line from the original series became synonymous with the character of Joe Friday and added to the movie’s iconic status.

The film’s production design meticulously recreated the atmosphere of Los Angeles in the 1980s.

From the costumes to the sets, every detail contributed to the film’s immersive experience.

The movie showcases the evolution of police work and technology from the original series.

It highlights advancements in forensics, surveillance, and investigations, reflecting real-life changes in law enforcement.

Dragnet spawned a spin-off television series that aired from 1989 to 1991.

The success of the movie led to the creation of a new television adaptation, further expanding the Dragnet franchise.

The film’s comedic elements allowed for improvisation on set, resulting in some hilarious moments.

Aykroyd and Hanks’ comedic chemistry shines through in these improvised scenes.

The movie’s soundtrack features a mix of popular songs from the 1980s.

These songs contribute to the overall ambiance of the film and add to its nostalgic appeal.

Dragnet received a PG-13 rating for its comedic violence and language.

The rating allowed a wider audience to enjoy the film while still maintaining its comedic edge.

The movie tackles social issues such as corruption and the abuse of power within the justice system.

It uses comedy as a lens to shed light on important societal issues, making it relevant even years after its release.

Dragnet’s success paved the way for other comedic adaptations of popular television series.

The film’s popularity showed studio executives that there was a demand for such projects, leading to similar films in the following years.

The movie was shot on location in Los Angeles, bringing authenticity to its depiction of the city.

Filming in the actual city added a layer of realism to the movie and made it visually captivating.

Dragnet showcases the importance of teamwork and trust between partners in law enforcement.

It emphasizes the strengths of collaboration and highlights the unique dynamics between the two lead characters.

The movie’s humor ranges from clever wordplay to slapstick comedy, appealing to a wide range of comedic tastes.

This variety in humor ensures that there is something for everyone to enjoy in the film.

Dragnet was successful in both the domestic and international markets, solidifying its status as a global hit.

The movie’s universal themes and humor transcended cultural barriers, resonating with audiences worldwide.

The movie’s marketing campaign focused heavily on promoting the comedic duo of Aykroyd and Hanks.

Their star power and chemistry were key selling points for the film.

Dragnet received a mixed response from critics, with some praising its humor and performances, while others criticized its plot.

However, the movie’s success at the box office ultimately outweighed any negative reviews.

The movie’s runtime is approximately 1 hour and 46 minutes.

This ideal length keeps the audience engaged without overstaying its welcome.

Dragnet became a cult classic among fans of both the original television series and fans of Aykroyd and Hanks.

Its unique blend of comedy and crime resonated with viewers and ensured its longevity in pop culture.

The movie’s DVD release includes bonus features such as behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.

These bonus features provide further insight into the making of the film and offer additional content for fans to enjoy.

Dragnet’s success led to a resurgence of interest in the original television series.

Old and new fans of Dragnet sought out the original series, leading to increased viewership and renewed popularity.

The movie’s costume design perfectly captures the fashion trends of the 1980s.

From shoulder pads to brightly colored suits, the costumes add to the film’s nostalgic aesthetic.

Dragnet explores the clash between traditional policing methods and modern approaches.

This thematic conflict adds depth to the film and showcases the changing landscape of law enforcement.

The movie features several memorable one-liners that have become quotable lines in popular culture.

These lines add to the film’s comedic legacy and are often referenced in other comedic works.

Dragnet’s success paved the way for Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks to collaborate on future projects.

Their on-screen chemistry established them as a comedic duo, leading to other successful collaborations in their careers.

The movie’s special effects were utilized sparingly but effectively to enhance certain action sequences.

These well-executed effects add to the overall entertainment value of the film.

Dragnet remains a beloved film among fans who appreciate its blend of comedy, crime, and nostalgia.

It continues to entertain audiences and stands as a testament to the enduring popularity of the Dragnet franchise.

The movie’s screenplay underwent several rewrites to find the right balance between comedy and crime.

This process ensured that the final script appealed to a wide audience and delivered on its comedic promises.

Dragnet inspired a parody version titled “Dragnet: The Unauthorized Musical” that premiered in 2016.

This musical adaptation paid homage to the film while providing a fresh and comedic take on the story.

The movie’s success led to a resurgence of interest in buddy cop films, with many studios greenlighting similar projects.

Dragnet’s unique blend of comedy and crime served as a blueprint for future films in the genre.

Dragnet remains a quintessential ’80s film that offers plenty of laughs, thrills, and nostalgia.

With its memorable characters, quotable lines, and entertaining plot, this comedic crime movie continues to captivate audiences to this day.


Dragnet is a classic movie that has entertained audiences for decades. With its unique blend of humor, action, and detective work, it remains a beloved film in the hearts of many. The talented cast, led by Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, brought their characters to life with memorable performances and hilarious moments. Dragnet continues to be a fan favorite, captivating viewers with its witty dialogue, thrilling plot twists, and iconic one-liners. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the movie, Dragnet is definitely worth a watch for its timeless entertainment value.


Q: When was Dragnet released?

A: Dragnet was released on June 26, 1987.

Q: Who are the main actors in Dragnet?

A: The main actors in Dragnet are Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks.

Q: Is Dragnet a comedy or a thriller?

A: Dragnet is a unique blend of comedy and thriller, combining humor with a detective story.

Q: Are there any memorable quotes from Dragnet?

A: Yes, Dragnet has several memorable quotes, such as “Just the facts, ma’am” and “We’ve got a city to save.”

Q: Is Dragnet suitable for all audiences?

A: Dragnet is rated PG-13 for some crude humor and mild language, so it may not be suitable for young children.

Q: Does Dragnet have any sequels?

A: No, Dragnet does not have any official sequels, but it did inspire a television series by the same name.

Q: What is the runtime of Dragnet?

A: The runtime of Dragnet is approximately 1 hour and 46 minutes.

Q: Where does Dragnet take place?

A: Dragnet is set in Los Angeles, California.

Q: Who directed Dragnet?

A: Dragnet was directed by Tom Mankiewicz.

Q: Is Dragnet based on a true story?

A: No, Dragnet is a fictional movie, although it was inspired by the television series of the same name.

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