Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Big Shooting or "The Cop Killers Episode"



"This is the city. Los Angeles, California.



It's a good place to live. We try to keep it that way.



It's a full-time job. 



Every sixty seconds, a crime is committed in Los Angeles. 



In the Los Angeles Police Department's Communications Center, the telephone rings every twenty seconds, twenty-four hours a day.





Of the three million people who live in Los Angeles, 35,000 of them are known rapists, murderers, and thieves.



They outnumber the police force seven to one.






Every time a policeman answers a call, he takes a calculated risk.
There'll always be somebody out there who doesn't like him...
and who might have a gun.



That's where I come in.
I carry a badge."


This week's pan-and-zoom is cut with footage that looks like part of the opening credits for Adam-12.


HOLD THE PAPER

...no, that's not right.



Oh-oh. It's the episode when the long-suffering Officer Dave gets gut-shot by some thugs.


Dammit.




Oh no!  Officer Dave! 


Cling to life on that backlot!









They always try to stock the druggist's but it's still so spare.


It's the familiar waving-at-the-guy-as-we-drive-back-to-PAB sequence:




Sitting on a table in front of a set of LA phone books...



HOLD THE PHONE

Central receiving - same footage as when we took Blue Boy in.



You know it's the interior of the hospital and not Parker Center because everything typically green is pink:



Poor Officer Dave. He gets a pretty nurse, though.





SERIOUSLY THERE IS A WEIRD MURAL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS WINDOW




OK - it's time to play Draw A Picture of a bum that gut shot Officer Dave.




Doing some paperwork.



That's actually a pretty nice shot of the bauhaus-modern-looking CRH, isn't it, Officer Dave?


Is that an Emeco 111 side chair, back there?


We just sat down and it's time for another pan of the PAB exterior.



Jack Webb is (in a small way) famous for repping for LA. 
He uses some establishing shots of the LA Memorial Coliseum.




He meets the guy that will give him a tip - but he could be anybody!



They meet in the center of the field in the same fashion as car-hop waitresses answer your questions and old timers sit on park benches.





How'd he get back from San Quentin so fast?!




HOLD THE PHONE




Thanks for the assist, Bert Holland


GET READY YOU GUYS
JOE'S GOING TO KICK IN THE DOOR




"Flinch and you'll be chasing your head down Fifth Street."

How much do you wanna bet that the camera operator crapped his pants?


C'mon, at least once. 

Who knows how many takes it really took to get it just right.



Rousting baddies. It's what you gotta do.

A sawed-off shot gun with a spoon for a handle so you can lock it into the armpit of your coat, swing it out, and then shoot Officer Dave. 

Shame on that! I love Officer Dave.


Well, anyway, let's take them downtown.


Pan around the PAB some more, like we do...every episode...






Joe talks to them but they just won't confess!


They show them a patched-up Officer Dave, and, although Dave can't remember them, they remember him. And now they're in for it.



WE'RE IN FOR IT, YOU GUYS.



AM I A CLOWN? AM I HERE TO AMUSE YOU?

Are you sure Dick Miller isn't doubling as Joe Pesci?
He looks just like him from Goodfellas.


Roger Kensington
and
Harry Johnson

Now serving their sentences in the state prison, San Quentin, California.


AND THAT'S WHY YOU DON'T SHOOT OFFICER DAVE.



Don Marshall as Officer Dave Roberts
Art Balinger as Captain Brown
Hal Baylor as Roger Kensington
Dick Miller as Harry Johnson
Alfred Shelly as Sergeant Al Vietti
David Bond as Virgil Hicks
Harry Bartell as Dr. Anderson
Dick Whittinghill as Clerk
Bert Holland as Carl Wilson
Howard Culver as Pete Stuart

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

Aired 30 March 1967

Same day:
The Beatles were recording "With A Little Help From My Friends" - seems accurate.
They also shot the familiar cover for Sgt. Pepper's.
Here's a link to the Peanuts strip that appeared in the paper that day.

8 comments:

  1. "Flinch and you'll be chasing your head down Fifth Street."
    Greatest line in history of the series, especially with proper capitalization.
    And yes, I think so.

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  2. Nods head stiffly, does penguin walk out of room.
    I should laugh at and mock Jack Webb, but ... he'd somehow punch me.
    Knew a police chief in Montana who had been an LA cop earlier in his career. Bill LaBrie told me he saw Jack Webb a few times, and said there was little difference between the man and character by the early 1970s.

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    Replies
    1. That's what I hear- Jack was kind-of playing his alter-ego. Kind of like Jim Henson vs. Kermit the Frog, you know, like they were two sides of the same dude. I read about Jack's funeral and that the LAPD retired badge 714. Deep down, Jack really did want a better world. Even he wasn't immune to the world of the sixties from a television production point of view as well as a cultural one. He's made for us a cultural artifact in a way that Emergency! and Adam-12 aren't. Well, they are cultural artifacts in a strict sense, but there's not as much to study, I suppose. Those shows I enjoy, but don't want to put them under my microscope, you know?

      I don't think the '67-'70 revival could have been half as charming without Harry Morgan.

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  3. The moment I saw that first police drawing I thought it was Darren McGavin with Johnny Cash's hair. Don't you think it looks like Darren McGavin with Johnny Cash's hair?

    "Flinch and you'll be chasing your head down Fifth Street." - I LOVED that line. When Webb said it I went "Whoa!" and my wife started laughing from the other room. (She unaccountably doesn't share my taste for Dragnet.)

    And yes - Harry Morgan was great. He is a seriously underrated actor. Check him out in some of the films noir he did back in the 40's and 50's - he always turned in a good performance, always.

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  4. Once more thing: When I was a kid I thought Joe Friday was terminally un-hip, overbearing and represented all that I resented about authority. But now I find myself missing straight shooters from the G.I. Generation like that... Where are you now, Joe Friday, Bill Gannon, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, John Wayne? We need you back desperately!

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  5. "Harry Johnson"? What kind of name is that to slap on the ubiquitous Dick Miller?

    You'd think they could have at least followed tradition and called him Walter Paisley.

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  6. Dick Whittinghill (the druggist) was a famous disc-jockey at KMPC radio from 1948-1979. And, he was a good buddy of Jack Webb. In Whittinghill's autobiography, "Did You Whittinghill This Morning?" Dick describes, before the scene was shot, how Jack Webb got the crew's attention and announced "let me introduce you all to "One-Take Whittinghill"... well, they did shoot the scene in one take... Dick was also in Jack's 1959 film "-30-", and in one more episode, in, I think Season 3, playing himself.

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