Saturday, June 1, 2013

"The Bank Jobs" or "The Kipp Hamilton Episode"

This week's opening shots are familiar, town hall, the tar pits, the Hollywood sign, and the aerial pull back from Parker Center that ends this week's intro. There are new wide pans this episode; the El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the old & new halls of records, and a particularly long strip mall. 

Having an "Old" courthouse, fire station, hall of records, police building across the street from the "New" courthouse, fire station, hall of records, police building was one of the ways that what came to be called "urban renewal" manifested in midcentury American cities. In many cases, the older architecture was destroyed, prompting the likes of Jane Jacobs to rally for us not to give up on older buildings and our built past. Jack Webb/Joe Friday is here being both a booster for L.A. as well as showing that he's hip to the new brutalist architecture. Any city that was busting in the the 1950s and 1960s has doubles of municipal buildings, especially courthouses - an ornate one from the 1800s-1920s and a charmless one, harsh with right angles and bland futurism. Penn Station was a touchstone and a symbol for urban renewal run amuck- it was demolished in 1963, only five years before this episode aired.

Joe. Joe! I'm done talking. You can do your monologue now.


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

This part of it has been here a long time, several thousand years.

This is Hancock Park, the tar pits- where more than one prehistoric skeleton has been unearthed.

This sign, spelling out a world-famous name was put up on the side of a mountain over fifty years ago

The sign, like the mountain, hasn't changed through the years.

Some of the buildings are still standing.

The old Hall of Records-

But they are beginning to change - 

-the new Hall of Records.

Los Angeles is really a young city-

This is where it all began- 

when it was a Mexican Pueblo.

They called this "The Plaza."

Today, this is a plaza:

It's a mall, a shopping center.

In Los Angeles, you don't have to go downtown.

Everything is right here.

Stores, markets, restaurants, banks.

These "plazas" are all over the city--

and they all need protection. That's part of my job. I carry a badge."

From reverse-projection soundstage to Universal City backlot, we've got a bank robber to foil.

Hey there, Kent McCord! Glad to see you on Dragnet's beat, and in the absolute sparest of Dragnet's production style; an echo of when we interrogated him last season.

Some footage from our constant tour of all of L. A.'s liquor stores:

Some recycled footage of turning the car around...

Surprise, they found the getaway car on Colonial Street at Universal City.

Didn't see that one coming. Oh wait, yeah we did, because the dude that looks like a Muppet pointed out the car for us.


Even the guy from Latent Prints is back with his latent print box. Usually, he's played by Don Ross.

M-A-U-V-E. Mauve. Possibly mauve, anyway. With 1967's NTSC standard, you can never quite be sure. "Not Twice the Same Color" - and why PAL was considered superior with regard to color.

Back on tour, nice sunny day, another Richfields, another Shell...

Okay! We've arrived at our quintessential post-and-beam apartment building. 
Get used to the footage of the guy fishing stuff out of the pool. Dragnet gets a lot of mileage out of it.

The set was built for a short-lived TV series in 1965. The set has also surfaced in episodes of other shows, including Adam-12.

Say hello to an extra who isn't Virginia Gregg or Peggy Webber


Her set is sunlit and stylish. The swing crew went bananas making a home for her. 
They even gave her a drum lampshade!


Welcome to Dragnet, Kipp Hamilton.

This is the episode where the pool-maintenance-guy footage originates. What do you know?

Kipp is smoking. What is this, Mad Men?

This better not awaken anything in me.

Another wrinkle. Kipp is on parole. She's from Oklahoma City. She embezzled to fund her then-husband's gambling habit. So convoluted, this episode.

Recycled Driving-into-the-PAB footage, pea-green soundstage, and then back to Kipp's place...

I really like her apartment.


The N. H. F. Building - some more of that brutalism that one either adores or loathes.

Anyway, Kipp works there, and she's under surveillance so she gets a few costume changes and a chance to dart around the set exterior. This is so totally the same place from the Glen Procustan episode and the Fur Burglary episode, but from the back.

Oh oh! Our pillowcase bank robber is at it again - 

The service station in this shot looks like the one from the non-talking establishing shot from the episode with Scatman Crothers.

After closer scrutiny, the hypothesis dies.

Haha! We're driving back in time to season one with the Etlin Realty sequence!

The Red Quill Bar - a set recycled many times. 
Was it the one where Bobby Troup is a bookie?

"I could faint, or start screaming, or have a drink.
This is my fourth."


Oh, hey, it's that red-haired guy from Georgia Street:


Back in Toluca Lake?! WHAAAAT

One day, I'll assemble all of these rear-projection shots. What a post that will be!

Okay, okay, back to Universal City for the aftermath of our third bank robbery this episode.



This is what they are sort-of evoking with Kipp's apartment, but hers is much nicer a location than a bunch of orange squares:


Welcome back. Today's shot is 100% wider and my dress is 100% pinker.



GASP - the ghost of blue boy returns in armoire form! AGAIN!

They put a brass ash tray on her coffee table, too:

This lady dispenses the mildest ass-beating in the history of armed robbery!

A TON of extras:

A revolver, one of the many Guns of Dragnet. 
(Maybe I'll do a post of all the guns after I get done blogging all of the episodes.)



"Imagine a stinkin' broad wipin' up the sidewalk with ya. Dame's as strong as an ox. What is she? A lady wrestler?"

"Linebacker for the Cleveland Browns."

Richard Madden

Now serving his sentence in the federal penitentiary, McNeil Island, Washington.

Kipp Hamilton as Jana Altman
Art Gilmore as Captain Howe
Herbert Anderson as Dr. Phillip Lang
Kent McCord as Officer Whitman
Marian Collier as Angela Riplon
Sherry Boucher as Carmen Willis
Chris Alcaide as Richard Madden
Dave Carlile as Sergeant Reed
Bee Tompkins as Doris Colbert

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Written by Robert C. Dennis

Aired 5 October 1967, 46 years before Everyone Nods would be described by blogger Keith Roysdon as "wonderful." Shucks!

The Box Tops were at number one for their third week with "The Letter." After next week, the'll get bumped by another song about mail.

See you next week when Friday and Gannon share a lot of "Bert & Ernie" moments.


  1. I actually recognize the shopping center in the opening. It's the Valley Plaza shopping center on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood, just a few miles from Universal. The tall building in the background with the square arches on the rooftop is still there, too. It's been a Wells Fargo branch for as long as I can remember.

    1. Incidentally, the Valley Plaza is one block east on Victory Boulevard from the J.C. Penney and the freeway on-ramp from the episode where Peggy Webber is rescued from the trunk of a car.

  2. Yes - the Valley Plaza. There used to be a cafeteria there me and my parents would frequent, c. 1979. It was just after I got out of the Marines but before I met my wife. It was a weird period in my life I thought would never end. And the Sears, of course - where Mom dragged me for back to school clothes. I enlisted out of the North Hollywood USMC recruiting center across the street. The Valley Plaza used to be IN in the San Fernando Valley. Nowadays the Valley Plaza is a MAJOR dump. A pity.

  3. I fell over this website today because I was watching this episode of Dragnet, had to leave the room for five minutes, and missed the ending. Thankfully, I could figure out how it ends from this blog. The irony here, if what I read while trying to find the ending is true, that the healthy looking, heavy smoking (in the episode), Ms. Hamilton died from cancer the same year that this episode was shown.

  4. Ironically Bee Thompkins would play a similar role in the 3rd season episode "Cigarettes, Cars, and Wild Wild Women" of Adam-12. She plays a skater who studied self defense and delivers another mild beat down to a would-be motorcycle thief. After subduing him she suddenly turns shy around Malloy.

  5. I think this has become my favorite episode during my "Full Scale Dragnet Immersion Therapy Session". So, the famous detective show "Bubble Light For The Roof" hadn't been invented, thus causing Joe to have to hang from the window with a red searchlight sort of deal. In the first shot of the boys(reverse projection) they are headed to the robbery, red light out the window, but the car behind them is catching up! Gannon, you COULD drive a little faster. No siren. Later in the episode they've apparently had a siren installed. Joe tells Gannon to "hit it once" and Gannon SMACKS HIS PALM ON THE STEERING WHEEL! Last time I checked, that wouldn't really work!

  6. Rim blow steering wheels (where the horn is activated by hitting the rim instead of a button at the center) were installed by Ford in many vehicles during the late 1960s and early 1970s. And some police departments are known to have rigged vehicle sirens to wail when triggered by the horn button. I don't know if they were installed on the 1966 Fairlane Friday and Gannon drive.

  7. I always found it interesting that Jana Altman was wearing a yellowy-green dress-type thing when they came to question her and were all like, “do you own a yellow dress?” and were positive she had changed since the incident. I mean, she’s wearing something that would be completely reasonable to describe as a yellow dress.