Saturday, July 13, 2013

"The Missing Realtor" or "The one with Scatman Crothers"

This is a good episode - lots of good costuming and all recycled sets - AND SCATMAN FRICKIN' CROTHERS! You know, from The Shining!

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

464.8 square miles of real estate. 

It takes a lot of departments and agencies to keep it going.


Water & power.

Education. Health.

There's a Department of Airports,

a Harbor Department,

and libraries.

There's also a department for law and order.
This is Parker Center. I work here. I carry a badge."

A nice through-two-doorways shot & some fresher PAB exit footage:

Our first location:

It's pretty neat, but the inside is just soundstage:

Check out the houses:

This way, Scatman.

I love Ena Hartman's dresses. She gets a costume change; keep scrolling.


Yes, I'm pretty sure I cracked the Ben Roy Yoder case.

Back on our tour of L.A.'s many liquor stores:

Soundstage to soundstage- this time it's the same bar set, now twice referred to as The Red Quill Bar.

This is a seriously cool Dragnet-barkeep jacket: 

Spicy orange is a pleasant departure from our usual red jackets.

Don't let that sconce get you, Joe.

Another quick exterior location - The Far East Terrace restaurant.

"Thanks for traveling with Seventy-Six - the finest in value and service."

This location shot gets used again:

Back to Birnam Realty, you can see that it's on a corner and that building across the way has a ridiculous striped awning or something:

Bill and Joe go investigate more ACTUAL LOCATIONS:

But we know that they're about to discover Lillie Birnam's body when they wind up at Universal City:

I hope you can open the door, Bill, it's your house!

Same crazy wallpaper:

We also dropped in on this house on our way to Big Bear.

It's wild seeing this set completely bare. 

You can really appreciate how much work the swing crew does.

Aw, jeez. They had to go there. They had to show the body. How very un-Dragnet of them.

Still, I really dig her ensemble. Exquisite corpse.

Another location?! Could it be?

Jack narrates that both black and white and color shots are taken of the body. Nice.

Another location! What's gotten into them?

Oh oh, bartender-boyfriend is under scrutiny.

Set decor poured a lot of energy into his flat since they didn't have to fill up Gannon's old house, I suppose. 

Is that a bowling trophy?


Another wacky table lamp with a drum lampshade:

They polygraph him with the same footage as they used for Kent McCord:

If you've got a good shot of a sphygmomanometer, why shoot it twice?

Same for you, pneumograph. And you too, VENT.

Oh! Versatile Dennis McCarthy is back to give us the results.

Polygraph paper behind Jack, Filing cabinets behind Dennis, pea-green walls. 
It's almost too easy.

The coroner's office! This is cute- they just gold-leaf some words onto a door and flank it with some sort of faux-finish and there's your coroner's office.



A-line dresses are always a win:


Our current PAB set:

A different angle on what looks to be the same street as one of the above location shots:

And suddenly, we're back in Sherman Oaks!

No lid on the drainboard this time, just a dude murdering real estate agents and taking their credit cards.

Carl Edward Keegan
Now awaiting execution in the state prison, San Quentin, California.

Elizabeth Cook
Now serving her sentence at the California Institution for Women, Corona, California.


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Gene Boland as Terry Williams
Ena Hartman as Ida Walters
Juanita Moore as Mrs. Esther Jenkins
Jeff Burton as Carl Keegan
Scatman Crothers as Dave Richmond
Dennis McCarthy as Lt. W.L. Clingan
______ as Lillie Birnam

Art Direction - Russell Kimball
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costume Supervision - Vincent Dee

Written by Robert C. Dennis

Aired 16 November 1967

Next week's episode is 100% getting a Top Ten tag - it's "The Big Dog" and has an insane hippie chick! 
See you there at The Cry of Sweet Pleasures & Stems of Dear Love. 


  1. 1.) What is with Scatman Crothers' hairpiece? Wow, that was bad.
    2.) The Far East Terrace Restaurant was on Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. Closed in 1986.
    3.) Note the misspelling of "alignment" on the sign.
    4.) Also note the real estate office on the sign is on Olive (Burbank), but the building is in L.A. (blue street signs - Burbank has green ones).

  2. And ALINEMENT should be spelled ALIGNMENT! Glaring spelling error!

    1. Wait until future seasons when they re-use the same clip of the same service station on another case!!

      Suzy Dragnet

  3. This episode shares a tie in with, of all things, STAR TREK. As some who read this might know, when Jack Webb started Dragnet in the 50s, his first contact in Chief Parker's office to help finding him 'true' cases to work with, was a bright Sergeant in Parker's office by the name of Roddenberry - Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry was liaison who got the word out that Webb would pay for unusual cases officers had encountered.

    Apparently, they had a mutual friend on the force - so, when Rodenberry was producing Star Trek's 1st season, he used this friend's name for a certain alien race, and Webb used the name in this episode - Dennis McCarthy''s polygraph technician... W.L....Clingan.....yes name Roddenberry based the name Klingon on! The Klingon name was originally pronounced just like this kling-in, but eventually morphed to kling-on! I've been a Trek fan forever, and have watched the Dragnet reruns forever - and just noticed this yesterday, April Fools Day.....Talk about an ah-ha moment!

  4. I disagree with the earlier comment. Scatman Crothers is wearing the SINGLE MOST EXQUISITE HAIRPIECE EVER DESIGNED BY MAN! I used the side shot of him from this episode as an avatar for years. I actually had two people ask if that was me! I once read a biography of Scatman and it expressed his abiding love for Marijuana. He apparently often had a joint in his sock. I can't help but wonder if he had one here...and what reaction Jack would have had if he'd known! The biography, if anyone is interested, is here: for only a penny! CHEAP!

  5. 38.5 cents per gallon was a little steep in 1967; gas wars between stations sometimes went down to under 20 cents; but I suppose for California it was average.

  6. Yep, the ALINEMENT place shows up in several episodes — the three guys breaking into the car, the gambler who’s embezzling money, a couple others.