Dragnet

by  James Reach

Full Length Play, Melodrama  /  5m, 5f

Based on the famous NBC Radio-Television series. This adaptation of one of the most famous radio and television programs reproduces the authenticity, the terseness, the real-life characters, and the gripping, suspenseful and highly topical incidents for which the original is noted. Taken from the …

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 5f

Additional Info

Based on the famous NBC Radio-Television series. This adaptation of one of the most famous radio and television programs reproduces the authenticity, the terseness, the real-life characters, and the gripping, suspenseful and highly topical incidents for which the original is noted. Taken from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department, the case treated in the play is that of a supposed suicide, Karl Hamlin. Sergeant Joe Friday and his partner, Officer Frank Smith, working out of Homocide, are called to the home of Karl Hamlin's estranged wife, Nora. There they are informed that Hamlin has locked himself in the study and shot himself. The detectives are forced to smash a window to gain entrance to the study, where they find Hamlin dead and, clutched in his hand, a revolver from which one shot has recently been fired. On the surface, it looks like a routine case, with all the indications confirming the suicide theory. But - a laboratory check proves conclusively that the fatal bullet could not have been fired from the revolver, and Friday and Smith are confronted with a seemingly insoluable problem. Through a brilliant feat of detection, Friday is able to unmask the killer in a stunning and totally unexpected climax, and justice is belatedly served.

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Considerations

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Setting: A small office at Police Headquarters in Los Angeles; an in the living room of the Hamlin home.

Casting

5m, 5f

JOE FRIDAY - about 30, has poise, lithe strength and a manner of quiet authority. Beneath his hardboiled exterior, are qualities of sentiment and emotional involvement that only rarely show through.

FRANK SMITH - a few years older than Joe, built on a different pattern, and with a high-pitched speech, to make a good foil for Joe. Has the same outward lack of emotions as he performs his job.

BRAD RONEY - late 20's, brawny type, virile and athletic looking. Inarticulate and not well educated. Bitter brooding quality just below the surface that is always threatening to explode.

NORA HAMLIN - early 40's, still quite handsome though slightly faded. Has the patient, stoic quality of a woman who has experienced much unhappiness.

GINNY HAMLIN - about 21, great deal of charm, capable and self-reliant girl. Fiery and impetuous, not the type to consider consequences before acting.

MRS GAYLOR - 73, slight, shrunken figure. Has retained most of her faculties, although we get the impression that she views recent events through something of a haze.

WALTER MARKOV - late 40's, appearance is unprepossessing, his speech is slow and heavy with a Slavic intonation. A man with deep emotions, which he finds difficult to mask.

DOLORES SHANNON - about 30, curvaceous blonde of flashy appearance. Gravitates naturally toward men, and her manner is cheap and tawdry.

RAY PINKER - late 20's, slight and bespectacled young man with a studious appearance.

TESS BRENTWOOD - early 30's, small, intense woman with a dynamic manner and eccentric dress.

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Authors

James Reach

James Reach

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