close menu

A Very Procedural Christmas

Here’s another in our series of Christmas Videos From (Deep In The) Archive: What says “Merry Christmas” better than Jack Webb writing out Christmas cards in a 1953 episode of “Dragnet”?

Mr. Monotone gets the holiday spirit in the case of the stolen Baby Jesus figure — the old church’s Nativity scene had seen better days, and now this! But with Sgt. Friday and Officer Smith working day watch, it was only a matter of time before the case would be cracked, in a surprise ending involving a little kid. There are great shots of downtown L.A. the way it was in the 50’s, from the trolleys to the skyscraper-free skyline to the Old Mission Plaza Church. (The episode is called “The Big Little Jesus” because every episode of the original series was titled “The Big (something-or-other).”)

Let’s return now to the days when men wore fedoras and stuck to “just the facts,” as the highly expressive Jack Webb directs and stars in a very special, almost heartwarming episode of “Dragnet”:

“The story you have just seen was true. The names and locations were changed.”