Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday's Favorite OTR

Dragnet: "The Big Gangster" parts 1 & 2, 5/23/50 & 5/30/50

Somebody tries to ventilate a known gangster with a machine gun. The gangster won't talk, so Sgt. Friday and his partner Ben Romero have to start the investigation from scratch. Catching the gunmen is particularly important as they hope not only to solve this particular crime, but also nip a potential gang war in the bud.

Like all Dragnet episodes, this is a straightforward police procedural that uses the investigative process and a matter-of-fact style to generate drama. The sound effects and other production values are top-notch. This is particularly highlighted in a bar fight scene during the first episode. There's just a series of yells, breaking glass and breaking furniture, with each listener providing his or her own fight choreography. A gun/chase scene that makes up the story's finale also requires the listener to use his imagination. It's what makes old time radio so great.

Listen to these episodes or download them HERE.

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