Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Hit & Run Driver / The Big Accident / Joe defends the lives of the elderly

"This is the city-- 
Los Angeles, California.

It's a city on wheels,
constantly on the move.

There are three and a half million cars in Los Angeles,
over 132 miles of freeways.

The maximum speed limit is 65 miles an hour.

This is Central Receiving Hospital.
On an average day, there are 161 accidents.
Every month, 37 people die.
It's a high price to pay to get somewhere in a hurry, especially when they never get there.

This is where their cars end up, what's left of them.

This is where the victims end up, what's left of them.

When they do, I go to work. I carry a badge."

Mmm-mmm. A delicious breakfast at The Shield Cafe with a reporter from the Herald-Examiner.

And some multicolored light bulbs - making a comeback!

And Dennis McCarthy... you might be a reporter now, but in future episodes, Friday and Gannon will be reporting to you!

-But not before Joe gives us his own Dragnet-Style Signal 30

"Do you have any idea what happens in that first second of impact?
Well, among others, Cornell University has done quite a bit of study on the nature of auto crashes.
Their people have taken that first second of impact and they've broken it down into tenths.
You're driving 55 miles an hour and you have a head-on. This is what happens.
In the first tenth of that fatal second, the front bumper and grille collapses.
During the second tenth, your hood rises and strikes the windshield.
Fenders begin wrapping themselves around the object of collision.
You slam on your brakes, but your body is still moving at 55 miles an hour.
You stiffen your legs for the jolt, but they both snap at the knee joint.
During the third tenth of a second, your body catapults from the seat.
Broken knees ram into the dashboard.
The steering wheel begins to collapse.
The steering column drives toward your chest.
In the fourth tenth, two feet of the car's front end are totally demolished, but the rear end is still traveling at 35 miles an hour.
Your body is moving forward at 55.
In the fifth tenth, your body's impaled on the steering column.
Blood rushes into your lungs.
During the sixth tenth, the force of impact has built up so that your feet are ripped out of their shoes.
The brake pedal shears off.
The car frame buckles in the middle.
Your head slams into the windshield.
In the seventh tenth of a second, the entire car body is distorted.
Hinges rip off, doors spring open, the seat flails loose, striking you from behind.
But it really doesn't matter.
You're dead.
You aren't around to experience the final three-tenths of this one second.
Neither are your passengers.
It doesn't take long to die."

And this is in a time before you or I even thought of things like seat belts and air bags.

In 1967, driving was still about going places, and having a radio if you're lucky. And vent windows! 

So gruesome that Dennis couldn't eat his breakfast. I'm not sure I can. 
I'm too busy acclaiming the rise of light rail in my town.

Taking the freeway to New York Street on Universal's backlot - site of a hit-and-run with multiple fatalities.

Terry's Cocktails - Hotel

It's that soundstage where they bust bookmakers!

This might be the best "LA at night" rolling footage - they turn a corner- So much Neon:

(Click on a picture and then use the left and right arrow keys to get a sense of the sequence)

Bah! It's just this Mrs. Bronson giving us a bum lead in a crocheted sweater.

Smokin' Joe & the phone booth sequence that he always narrates over!

Eh, back on our Liquor Store Tour...

Suburban streets - 

And at last, Colonial Street on the back lot.

She's sad because she picked a bad apple to marry and now she's filing for divorce. 
This is a Dragnet trope, for sure.

Sheraton Wilshire sighting:

Off to "The Craig Building" on Wilshire.

We've got you, Remorseless Robert Clarke! 
I think next time you get recycled into the show, you're a reformed alcoholic dad!

That is one foreboding hallway. Reminds me of some of The Varicorp Building
I almost expect that computer guy from True Stories to pop up and start talking about Steve Jobs, who was twelve when this episode aired. (Nine years away from Apple!)

Lawyer wearing a hat indoors - not cool!

Bad Guy - Cool Tie! 
Just look at that!

The coolest tie anyone's worn in the series so far. Too bad it's around the neck of A REMORSELESS HIT AND RUN KILLER

He defends his idiot actions by saying that it wasn't like the elderly couple he hit were going to be alive much longer. 
Ah, jeez, and he's a drunk driver, to boot! Man, that's a hell of a villain. 

What's up, Olan? I missed you, too.

They zoom in on him while he flips through photos that are either too disgusting or boring to show.

Or, perhaps they didn't really exist.

Two car pileup on the backlot. Looks like New York Street again.
Which one has the pretend cinema facade?

I dig the way they back-light those stairs:

A smushed Mustang, Dragnet's favorite car to name-drop...

...or drop off of a cliff, from the look of it.

No! It was the doing of REMORSELESS ROBERT CLARKE!

Why did the camera truck have to be crooked?

Ah, who cares? LA at dusk, love a good night-driving sequence.

I skipped the part where they go to the hospital and we learn that he got hammered before driving and both his legs are to be amputated. GOOD JOB ASSHOLE

The subject was found guilty on two counts of felony manslaughter.
Felony manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison for not more than five years.
Since this was his second offense, Clayton R. Filmore recieved the maximum sentence.
However, because of his permanent disability resulting from the accident, the sentence was suspended.
HE WAS ALSO FORBIDDEN TO EVER DRIVE A VEHICLE AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS HE LIVED despite the fact that artificial legs would have made it possible for him to do so.

So yeah - Driving is a privilege, don't forget it!

Audrey Dalton as Patricia Filmore
Robert Clarke as Clayton Filmore
Harlan Warde as Captain Tom Janes
Buddy Lester as Bob Dugan
Olan Soule as Ray Murray
Stuart Nisbet as Gus Archer
Dennis McCarthy as Norman Jacoby
King Moody as Norton Bernard
Julian Burton as Ed Nieman
James Seay as Paul Bateman
Morgan Jones as Bill Wheelock
Rhoda Williams as Alice Bronson

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & Ralph Sylos
Written by David Vowell

Aired 6 April 1967

Same day:

French Premier Georges Pompidou forms a new government! (And in just ten years, he would be the namesake of this memorable piece of architecture. Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, and Gianfranco Franchini. I got to sit outside of it and eat a Nutella Crepe once. It was sunny.)

Also as this episode aired, Bobby Hutton didn't know it, but he only had a year to live. Social upheaval, you guys!

The Turtles were wrapping up their time at Number One with "Happy Together."