Saturday, January 26, 2013

"The Kidnapping" or "Hanging out in a bank"

This one takes place a lot in the Universal City branch of Bank of America.

Let's get to it!

This is the city.

No, it's a cloud.

This is the city.

It's a place where Joe Friday gives a monologue about cities, and not astronauts.

Technology. Computers, even!

A machine that sorts punch cards! 
Buttons what light up!
Tape drives!

Earning a living. Not breaking the law.

 So, that's framing for the opening monologue, talking about how many kinds of jobs there are and ways to make a living within the law.

I suppose they hadn't finished the seasonal landscaping when they took this establishing shot of the PD sign. It totally needs a low hedge in front. With no landscaping, it kinda looks like a headstone.

This is the Pink Lady shot of the PAB/Parker Center.

Hi Gannon.

Hi Friday.

ALL RIGHT! Let's go to a cool looking bank branch!

No exterior shot? Are you sure?

This couldn't be sound-staged. It looks too bank branchey.

Time plays an important element in this episode as a woman is kidnapped.

Hello. I am Peggy Webber and later, I'll pop out of a car trunk like magic!

Bye guys.

Thermostat on the wall.

They walk by this cool clock over and over.
Clocks that were manifested out of walls were so haute moderne.

Phoning from the end of the teller's counter.

So modern, tectonic.

Come on, guys! And Peggy!


What a cool looking clock. 

They were everywhere in office buildings fifty years ago.

Now, time for lots of driving.

As usual, click on the picture to enlarge and use arrow keys to see the differences in the backgrounds.


There is a body of water in Toluca Lake.

It's private, though.

Post box with a tiny post box on the side! Adorbs!

Back on our tour of Every Liquor Store.

When they are driving, pay attention to the top quarter of the shot. 

There, you will see signs for all of the Shell stations and liquor stores.


Can you buy anything else in Toluca Lake?

Another Shell.

Are they on a rolling stake-out of Richfield's?

There's another liquor store back there:

Dig the old Jack in the Box sign back there.

Some vintage advertising on the billboard back there.

Kittridge Street and St. Clair Avenue.

That's a real place.

The Bank of America up there looks just ordinary and boring, not at all like the one in the episode.


Ford partially funded Dragnet somehow, so more Ford cars are seen in the series than other brands.

All right, got the ramp stoppered up.

Sorry, lady.

Sorry, dudes.


Gannon got to cuff him this time.

And for my next trick, I mean "illusion", I'll make Peggy Webber appear from the trunk of this car!

Hey, Peggy. Get out of the trunk. You have to be in more episodes of Dragnet!

Joe gets to carry the bad guy's gun as well as the case of hard cash money.

That building housed the police department from the 1951 series.

The PAB/Parker Center was opened in 1955.

I'm charmed by that warp-y image outside of the window on this PAB soundstage:

There is a better view of the background:

Doesn't seem as hinky at that angle.

Pea green paint.

Gold drapes.

Smokin' Joe.

Donald Joseph Albers

Now serving a life term in the state penitentiary, San Quentin, California.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Peggy Webber as Janet Ohrmund
Harry Bartell as Ray Righetti
Art Balinger as Captain Hugh Brown
Ronnie Rondell as Donald Joseph Albers

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & Ralph Sylos
Written by Preston Wood

Aired 26 January 1967

This episode is roughly concurrent with Season five, episode twelve of Mad Men.


  1. I actually went on Google Earth and followed the entire route they took from the Toluca Lake neighborhood to the on-ramp (Tikita Place@Toluca Lake Ave - Forman - Riverside Drive - Laurel Canyon - Victory). Much of the the scenery looks surprisingly the same! The tree in the median at Tikita Place is huge now. The "Toluca Den" is now "Sit N Stitch" and the liquor store is gone. Gelson's is still at Laurel Canyon and Riverside. The JCP building has been stuccoed over the brick and is tan colored. Funny, the on-ramp looks brand new in the episode, it's filthy now. I pinpointed the exact location where they staged the fake crash. Yes, I need a life.

    They recycle that footage of Friday and Gannon driving in front of the Imperial several times in later episodes.

    Incidentally, during the first couple of seasons of Adam-12 there was a clock just like the bank clock behind the front desk of the station (which was rarely seen). Also, in later seasons of A-12 they often use that same intersection of Forman and Riverside as an establishing shot, but from a different view (east looking west down Riverside).

    P.S. I love your site!

    1. Thank you so much for both the kind words and helpful information.
      I'll have to make a post/series of posts of "then and now" stretches of L.A. streets.
      Excited to Google Earth it and see how it looks now that I know where it is.

      Suzy Dragnet

    2. Thanks for your great site. I live in LA and I am afraid to admit how many hours I have spent tracking down locales seen on Dragnet, Mission Impossible (the TV Show, not that dumb knock-off movie), Adam-12, CHiPs, etc. Other than road signs, one good clue is that jaggy stone-work so popular in the sixties---any place that had that that still exists it will still be pretty much unchanged, and it's as unique as a fingerprint. I caught the hot dog stand (Carney's) a block over from my house in a CHiPS, and forty years later it looks nearly the same!

  2. Hi Suzy, This episode aired on MeTV a few days ago and I was surprised to hear "Al Gastaldo" used as one of the names of cops in the car helping to fake the accident on the on-ramp. The bizarre thing is Al Gastaldo was an LAPD robbery/homicide sergeant for the North Hollywood division, and lived across the street from us in the 60's. My wife insists the use of his name was a total coincidence, like it they could've just as easily used "John Smith", but I think they used his name because he was on the force. I lost track of Al after he moved his family (I was only 7 or 8 at the time), but I googled him and was saddened to learn that he passed away in 2011. ( see ) Anyway, just one of those things!

    1. Dragnet used the real names of a number of LAPD officers, so it's easily not a coincidence.

    2. I grew up knowing Al Gastaldo. He was a friend of my dad's. He was an awesome detective. He was my inspiration to get into law enforcement. I sat next to his family at his funeral.

  3. When Friday and Gannon are on the phone at the end of the teller's counter, your title 'Hanging Out at the Bank' is more than accurate. Mr. Webb appears to have gone commando.

    1. That's terrifying! What! >.<

      I was definitely looking more at the interior of the bank. Oh boy.

      Suzy Dragnet


    Yes, I too tracked Friday & Gannon perusing the bandit on Google Earth and mapped both routes each car takes.

    What is odd, is that, ALBERS crosses Laurel-Canyon at Victory, just a mere 1 1/2 to 2 blocks from the on-ramp to the Hollywood freeway.

    However, our heroes in 1-K-80 are not only trailing BEHIND ALBERS location, but then drive an additional 2 blocks North and 2 blocks West of the bandits last reported location, to met the second unit at Kittridge & St. Claire. wait for the 2nd unit, have a meeting, then drive South back to Victory, get on the Freeway Entrance Ramp, stage the fake crash, have another brief meeting, and then have to wait for ALBERS car to arrive,..

    I think IAD and Ray Murray would be up all night trying to explain the physics involved in this collar.

    Keep up the great work on your site!

  5. If you Google Earth the intersection of Kittridge & St. Claire, you will note that on the same side of the street where Joe & Bill pull-over, the house on that corner has torn down the cement blaock wall which used to surround it. Also, so many of the trees are just plain GONE, and the street looks rather sparse, compared to 1967. Furthermore, even the street-signs look cheap today, compared to the nice, easy-to-read, 1967 signs; as seen in this episode.

    The JC Penneys (at the base of the on-ramp) at Victory & St. Claire, is now something called: West Coast University (12215 Victory Blvd North Hollywood). Use Google map at the 'Street-View' level and "drive" yourself up the ramp, until you get perfectly inline with the rear edge of the building - and you are the exact spot where Friday put the collar on that creep, Donald Joseph Albers.

  6. The Bank of America on your map was the site of the famous North Hollywood Shootout in 1997:

  7. The portrait on the wall, next to the clock, is of A.P. Giannini (1870-1949) the founder of the Bank of Italy, which became Bank of America. BofI was the first bank to lend money to middle-class Americans, most notably after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I think the Universal City branch was where Jack Webb did business.

  8. Peggy Webber, who plays Worried Lady in every episode except for when she’s a drunk ex-wife or Sissy Tucker’s mom. But usually plays Worried Lady.