"I'm Emil Muzz, and I'm a P.A.G.A.N, hahahahah" that's a line that my friend and I used to say to each other on a daily basis for over 20 years. It's also a line Tom Hanks utters during Dragnet.
Dragnet is truly a classic in terms of 80s movies. Both Dan Aykroyd, and Tom Hanks were popular comedy actors and Dragnet, although long gone from Television, was and still is an iconic property. Aykroyd stars as Joe Friday, he's the nephew and namesake of Joe Friday from. The television show. He's a LAPD Sergeant, who in the beginning is assigned a new partner named Pep Streebek (played by Tom Hanks) Friday is uptight and by the book where as Pep is a fun loving easy going guy.
They get assigned a robbery case involving shipments of the porno magazine Bait. Turns out the robbers left behind a business card with the name PAGAN on it. It stands for People Against Goodness, and Normalcy. The owner of Bait, Jerry Ceasar (played wonderfully by the great Dabney Coleman) has a limo driver named Emil Muzz that is a member of the group. Friday and Pep go undercover to a PAGAN meeting and uncover a plot, with corruption that stretches into City council and the police force as well.
Aykroyd and Hanks are simply amazing in this film. Both are comedic geniuses and it's a shame they didn't make more films together. The timing of there bantering is second to none. And the supporting cast that includes not only Dabney Coleman but Harry Morgan, Christopher Plummer, and Jack O'Halloran among others, is fantastic. This film was made before turning old TV shows I to movies was a trend. It works not only because of the cast but because of the mixture. Akroyd plays the part just like the square cops on the show. Hanks plays his part completely opposite, thus adding a new level to the film.
Dragnet is not only a cult classic but it was a hit when it came out. It was critically acclaimed and did very well at the box office. There was even a music video that aired in heavy rotation on MTV with Hanks and Aykroyd reprising there roles durring a rap song called City of a Crime (look for it on YouTube)
Shout Factory has just released this on Blu-ray and have given it the full treatment. Boasting a beautiful transfer and booming audio the print looks better then it did when I saw it in the theater. It even has special features
NEW “A Quiet Evening In The Company Of Connie Swail”: An Interview With Co-Star Alexandra Paul
NEW Audio Commentary With Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball
“Just The Facts!”: A Promotional Look At Dragnet With Dan Aykroyd And Tom Hanks
Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos
Dragnet has always been a favorite of mine and it still holds up to this day. It's well written, well acted, and still laugh out loud funny. If your a fan this is a must buy. If you have never seen this now is the time.
Overall 4.5 out of 5 Stars