Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Frauds DR-36" or "The Wildest Pad in Town"

Hi Everyone!! I have missed working on the project for all this time - and I have missed you.
Pardon the backdated entries. I look forward to catching up and completing the blog with you now.

What luck! We get a lovely episode with a favorite Dragnet baddy, Anthony Eisley! So let's take it all apart! Just like the old days!

I only saw this episode once prior to the viewing prompted by this entry. That would have been in the at some point between 1991 and 1995….so let's just say…I was, like, eleven years old. It was probably the summer, or possibly "holiday break" around 21 years ago. I remember the intimacy of the 13" color cathode ray tube. (Dad had cable at his house and I never, ever had to go to bed. A hedonist is born.)

This episode has a memorable and very "Fuzz Industrial" style because the Set Decorating Duo of Johns (John McCarthy & John Sturtevant - Hi Guys!) - had to step their game as high as they did for the sets in baby-in-a-trashcan episode and some sets forthcoming in season four.

Anthony Eisley is featured. He is a handsome devil, but he looks a little ridiculous! It's endearing - I still like him best when he was trying to get Our Very Own Sergeant Joe Friday to murder his wife.

"This is the city-- Los Angles, California. Like a young child, it's growing, always trying to flex its new muscles. Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles was the site of many stately Victorian mansions.
They housed the city's early society families. Now they're being torn town to make way for the Bunker Hill development, a planned complex of modern skyscrapers and parks.

Up until 1956, buildings in the city were not permitted to exceed thirteen stories. New construction methods enabled earthquake-prone Los Angeles to reach for new heights. Within the last ten years, over a hundred high-rise structures have been built, adding a new dimension to the city skyline.

The city and its people are a constant source of change. In my job, I try to keep up. I carry a badge."

How lucky can a lady blogger be? This episode has an exposition about Bunker Hill!
We get architecture shots, construction shots that will help us date the film, and even…

…a clear view of the "Munsters House" on Colonial Street…

Contrast that with a poignant actual piece of Bunker Hill.

I'm sure that must have been the last time that house made it to film. 

(Yes, whoever took that establishing shot. I totally saw what you did there vis a vis composition.)

And look - here is the "new" Bunker Hill, rising up. I actually said, "awwwwwww."

Pretty fascinating! Note that they are using formwork, with concrete and the tell-tale reinforcing bars (rebar) stabbing up. They get the formwork in place, and then the cone-shaped thing receives concrete and pours it into the form. After the concrete has cured, it is strong and we can continue to erect our amazing new skyscraper in 1969.

(Modernism doesn't have to be depressing! Turns out, it's just another style.)

Isn't that simply amazing?

Hard modernism before it lost its optimism. 

Recycled footage of the fountain!!

There is a wee driving sequence to kick the episode off - 

Click to enlarge this older Los Angeles.

(Silverwoods! What's that?)

Next up is a snap of the Metropolitan upper facade, which we have seen many a time.

Now we have to speak to the boss - Bert Holland! He's so familiar and ridiculous and adorable.

His set is as spare as we have seen!

It's not unlike the office from when Mickey Sholdar was a shoplifter and we had some neat red carpet back there.

Bert Holland, our mascot:



That is a really neat ash tray!

GASP! The UFO Lamp returns!!

Now, a tour of the Charge Sales Office. The walk is a bit briskly paced, so the stills are difficult to capture.

Lots of lady extras are cast in the charge sales office set - some of their dresses are great!

"Well hello there. I'm Anthony Eisley and this is a receipt book that I get to show you because I'm awesome. I'm also wearing weird yellow glasses and have a mustache to make me seem hip, but mean, probably. My hair looks great, though. Thank you."

Crap! Not Sam Edwards! I'll never forget how cold he was in Dragnet '66.

Chanin is the only woman supervisor.

"Hi, I'm Chanin Hale and I look totally amazing, too!"

The fabric is spectacular! Her hair, her makeup! The Duo of Johns were probably under strict instruction not to take the visual spotlight off away from that amazing hair. 
Remember when she served drinks at that poker game?

Oh oh…It's that Sambo's footage: 

Any midcentury librarian would be well familiar with what the red haired guy is holding - microfilm!

Dave Carlile.


YAY! Driving! Where to? Henri's fur salon!
We've been to a fur salon once before.

It's that guy that helped Bonnie Bates - and he was also a hairdresser in "The Hammer"

This fur salon is not quite as lovely as Henry Corden's.

Chet Stratton can spot a brassy woman a mile away. (Love him!)

The next stop is an empty apartment. It's decorated with a rotary phone, a sconce, and a gold light switch plate:

The landlady is one of our "society ladies."

The fabric of her blouse is lovely! Great job, Vincent Dee!

Back to the Metropolitan Facade - 

Click to enlarge while we talk to Burt Holland in the office some more.

Whelp! The jig is up! Time to go see the wildest pad in town!

But first: night driving!

None other than the Cluny Scotch Billboard Sequence.

Ok - showtime for John McCarthy & John Sturtevant - the 11470 Ocean Drive set.


SO disappointed that the camera wasn't just another couple of feet to the left. 
That symmetry is almost Wes Andersonian.

Let me try:


The door swings wide and there is a topiary on the left side. Blink and you miss it.

Typical extra-wide corridor, the return of horrible gold carpet, and more of those curly sconces:

The silver thing in the left side of the frame is a free-standing ash tray.

Bar at the entry - black bar chairs.

The front room is symmetric - like our lobby!

Here is some ridiculous wall art above the console hi-fi.
Maybe it was at Brooke Bundy's apartment?

Blue and gold.

Green and gold.

That's the swag lamp that tried to eat Bill that one time!
The side chairs are great - the low striped ones. 

The above is blurry, but it's the only way to see the bottles-and-table-lamp on the extreme right of this set. Most of the furniture has been used before in the show!

Gosh. I wrinkle my nose at this version of Anthony Eisley.
He was much cuter playing in The Speak Your Mind Show Show.

The crazy table lamps don't stop!

You can see Bill Gannon's wrist watch in this one:

Damn moustache.
Damn paper trail.
Damn. Damn. Damn.

What a facade.

That's it!

"On October 13th, trial was held in Department 184, Superior Court of the State of California, for the county of Los Angeles. In a moment, the results of that trial."

(The baddy shots without text.)


Now serving his term
in the Sate Penitentiary,
San Quentin, California.

"The suspect was found guilty of forgery and grand theft, punishable by imprisonment in the state penitentiary for a period of from one to 14 years."



Now serving her term in the
California Institution for Women,
Frontera, California.

"The suspect was found guilty of forgery and grand theft."

Charges against
Helen Zimmerman were dropped
by the Office of the Los Angeles
District Attorney.

"The suspect appeared as a witness for the State against all defendants in this case."


Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday
Harry Morgan as Officer Bill Gannon
Anthony Eisley as Fred Wayman
Chanin Hale as Helen Zimmerman
Bert Holland as David Williams
Natalie Masters as Landlady
Chet Stratton as Henri
Sam Edwards as Steve Houseman
Dave Carlile as Robert Weston

Additional Cast

Additional Notes

Art Direction - John E. Chilberg, II
Set Decor - John McCarthy & John Sturtevant
Costumes - Vincent Dee

Written by James Doherty

Aired 10 April 1969

This post was generated for the 2014 Jack Webb Blogathon.

So glad to be back to work for you! I will get it all updated; it's just how life can be. I'm getting really bored with Chanin Hale. I think it's just that her characters are a bit deflated.

Anytime. At your service,
Suzy Dragnet

"The official rule is as follows: in writing, the titles of works that include shorter works should be italicized. This includes collections of songs, poems, short plays, short stores, essays, anthologies, - and even television shows. TV shows contain shorter works known as episodes and even scenes. Now I know." - And now we know, too! Thanks, Stephen Frasier.


  1. Suzy, welcome back! I've made some comments as "Eve Malloy", but I've changed my name. Anyway, another great job! I liked this episode, I loved seeing the inner workings of a 1960's department store and Chanin Hale's hair!

    I love Dragnet, but I'm obsessed with Adam-12! You inspired me to start this:
    I would be honored if you checked it out!

  2. I would pay real money if I could get one of my female friends to wear their hair like Chanin Hale in this episode. I unashamedly love the look.

  3. The painting above the couch in the lobby looks like "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch.

    1. OMG You're Right !! Good eye !!

  4. Does anyone know who played Mary Andrews?

  5. I had never heard of Silverwoods, but it was a large chain store.
    The building is still there as of Sept 2017 with a Silverwoods at the very top. I love buildings like that, reminds me of the big old Sears building on Soto in downtown LA.
    S Burnside Ave & Wilshire Blvd, they just don't make buildings like they use to. :(

  6. “You know me, old eager beaver.”
    “We wouldn’t know that, ma’am.”

    I think “I/we wouldn’t know that” needs to go in the Dragnet drinking game.