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HIGHWAY PATROL
Frequently Asked Questions


Where can I get Highway Patrol episodes on VHS, DVD, or 16mm film?
Please see the sources page, for some standard sources.
In addition, VHS episodes are often available on eBay. Just search for ["highway patrol" crawford].
MGM owns the rights to Highway Patrol. ZIV was acquired by United Artists in 1960. Later UA was acquired by MGM.

Where can I get photographs related to Highway Patrol ?
Please see the sources page.

When did the Highway Patrol pilot Prison Break premiere?
Monday, October 3, 1955. The episode was filmed April 11-13, 1955.

What are the locations of the opening shot of the auto driving around a curve, and the "roadblock" shot?
Both locations were on the 101 freeway before it was finished; it was closed and therefore they could have full control of it. The precise locations are still unknown, but probably near Thousand Oaks.

What model car was driving around the curve, and up to the "roadblock" ?
A 1954 Lincoln Capri convertible - owned and driven by Babe Unger, with Guy Daniels as passenger [according to Guy].
1954 Lincoln Capri convertible photo1 photo2

What about the closing turnout sequence, backing out of the restaurant parking lot ?
This was at the Golden Pheasant restaurant on Highway 101, probably near Medford Road. This turnout sequence was the closing shot of the pilot episode.


the Golden Pheasant in 1955

the Golden Pheasant location in 2005
(taken by Ron Hurwitz)

How long did Highway Patrol run ?
For 4 seasons, from 1955-1959, and a total of 156 episodes. It was one of the most popular syndicated programs in television history. After the original run, it was sometimes rerun with the name "Ten-4".

When and where was Highway Patrol rerun ?
In the United States, reruns could be seen daily throughout the 1960s. Any American over 40 can probably remember Broderick Crawford bellowing "10-4" into his microphone. The reruns continued to be seen sporadically in some cities in the 1970s and even the 1980s.
In some reruns, the show was called Ten-Four. The opening of Ten-Four had Mathews in a '58 Dodge doing a turnout from a 4th season episode calling in on his radio - "I'm on my way, 10-4."

What about internationally ?
Highway Patrol was well received by foreign markets. The show was dubbed in 17 languages and aired in 71 countries, including England, West Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, and Japan. In Italy it was known as Policia Della Strode, in Spain - Petrulla de Seguridad, in Argentina - Patrulla de Caminos .

Why isn't Highway Patrol being rerun now ?
Good question !
But recently THIStv has started showing it.

Did Highway Patrol win an Emmy Award ?
No. Syndicated programs were not eligible at that time (is this correct?).

What is a syndicated program ?
A program that is sold to independent TV stations all across the country; this is an alternative to selling a show to one of the major networks (ABC, CBS, Dumont, NBC) which would, in turn, feed the programming to its affiliates.

Who created Highway Patrol ?
Guy Daniels, who was the CHP's civilian public relations man, was told by the Commissioner, Bernard Caldwell, to go to Hollywood and "get us a show like Dragnet". So Guy approached Jack Webb who accepted the idea and was set to do a pilot. However, at about the same time Jack, who was passionate about jazz, got his pilot for Pete Kelly's Blues picked up by the network so he reneged doing a show based on the CHP. In the end, Ziv productions who needed a couple more shows to fill out it's 1955 season decided to do the pilot using Broderick Crawford as the lead. A lunch meeting between Brod Crawford and Herb Strock with Ziv executives was then arranged to discuss its filming.
A video interview with Guy Daniels, from 1995, is on the right.

What is ZIV Television Programs ?
It was started by television syndication pioneer Frederic W. Ziv in the 1950s. (yes, "Frederic" is the correct spelling). Other popular ZIV series were Sea Hunt and Bat Masterson. Many other series are listed at the Internet Movie Database.

What was Mr. Ziv's personal opinion about Highway Patrol ?

"Well, in television my favorite program was Highway Patrol. It was a dynamic program. It was a dynamic program because the man with the badge had proved its appeal. Not the man in uniform. You put a man in uniform and you downgrade him. So, Dan Mathews, our head of our highway patrol, was not in uniform - he was head of the patrol. And the part was played by Brod Crawford who moved so fast that we edited our film accordingly. Today we hear about quick cuts, but quick cutting technique really was first put into television film in Highway Patrol. And if you look at previous television film, you'll find that it is not cut the way Highway Patrol is cut. It started a whole new trend." - Frederic W. Ziv (September 6, 1974)

source:       Rouse, Morleen Getz. A History of the F.W. Ziv Radio and Television Syndication Companies, 1930-1960. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 1976.

Who composed the title theme music?
Ray Llewellyn, who also wrote the theme music for Sea Hunt and Science Fiction Theater. According to Classic Themes, Ray Llewellyn is a pseudonym for David Rose, when he worked at non-union rates. The Highway Patrol theme is similar to the theme from Men into Space (1959). Rose was married to Judy Garland from 1941-1945. See also: Space Age Pop Music.

What is the name of the title theme music ?
It was issued on a 45 single under the name "March of the Highway Patrol". According to Classic Themes, it is also called "Highway Theme 1", "Documentary No. 2", and "Highway Patrol Theme [2]". Some say that it was used earlier on the ZIV radio series Mr. District Attorney (on radio in the 1940s and later 1951-1952 on ABC television), but extensive research by Gary Goltz has not uncovered any evidence for this claim. He has found 2 theme songs for Mr. District Attorney and neither is the HP theme. With the help of old time radio show expert Jed Dolnick it appears that AFRN (Armed Forces Radio Network) rebroadcast Ziv radio program "Mr. District Attorney" in the late 1950s and used the Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra version of the HP theme as a lead in/out. This version wasn't released until 1958 under the name The March of The Highway Patrol by David Rose - AKA Ray Llewellyn. Gary believes this was just AFRN's own doing and therefore it's now safe to say that Ziv used the Rose/Llewellyn theme exclusively for Highway Patrol.

Can the theme music be purchased on CD?
Yes. It is track #40 on Television's Greatest Hits. Vol 4. Black and White Classics from TVT Records. This track includes the stirring narration by Art Gilmore. The theme song [without narration] also appears on these hard to find records and CDs. Double Impact by Buddy Morrow (RCA/BMG CD or Record: 74321609942), Cops On The Box USA, (EMPROD CD: 711, Emporio label from England), Jazz In Prime Time: Music for Television (Primetime Records CD: PTD 3008), and HIGHWAY PATROL by Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra (LONDON Records: 45-1697, 1956).

What are the words in the narration?

"Whenever the laws of any state are broken, a duly authorized organization swings into action.
It may be called the State Police, State Troopers, Militia, the Rangers or the Highway Patrol.
These are the stories of the men whose training, skill and courage have enforced and preserved our state laws."
Three different readings of these words appear in 155 episodes. But the words in the pilot episode are slightly different - please see the sounds page.

Are there really 'duly authorized organizations' with all the above names?
The names 'State Police', 'State Troopers', and 'Highway Patrol' are all used (plus the name 'State Patrol'). Please see the organizations page for a map. The state 'militia' began in colonial America, but fell into disuse between 1865 and 1910, when their functions were slowly taken over by the National Guard. Can anyone else give more history on the state militia ? The Texas Rangers were organized into a permanent law enforcement agency in 1901 and merged with the Texas Highway Patrol in 1935. Both the National Park Service and the National Forest Service have ranger units.

Who played Chief Dan Mathews ?
Broderick Crawford, who had won an academy award in 1949 for All the King's Men.
Chief was the highest position in the CHP up until 1947, when they went to having a commisioner. So, the indication was he was the head of the Highway Patrol. If you notice, he never had a boss. However, in real life, his rank would have been probably that of captain, since he was still in the field.

Was any other actor considered for the role ?
Yes. A pilot was made with Mike Connors, who, being clean-cut and lean, was the preference of the CHP.

Did Dan Mathews ever deal with lawyers or judges?
No.

Did Dan Mathews have a girlfriend or a wife?
No.

Did Dan Mathews have any hobbies?
Yes. He goes fishing in Dan's Vacation. He plays golf in The Seventh Green.

Were there any regular characters besides Dan Mathews?
William Boyett played Officer Johnson in 21 episodes during the first 3 seasons, except for a few at the end when he was suddenly promoted to Sgt. Ken Williams. He continued to play Williams in every 4th season episode. A few more recurring actors are listed on the episodes page.

Did the officers in the show depict California Highway Patrol officers?
No; they portrayed officers in an arbitrary "large western state", and the show claimed that the stories were "based on the experiences of Highway Patrol officers in all 48 states". However, for the first 3 seasons the actors (except Broderick Crawford) wore actual CHP uniforms, though the arm patch and badge were slightly altered, deleting the word "California". A photo of the patch is available. Sometimes the logo on the cars was the actual CHP logo, as in this screen capture from Plant Robbery. So it was obvious to all viewers that Dan Mathews and his officers represented the CHP. For more about this controversial matter see TV's Original "Highway Patrol" and "Trivia for Highway Patrol".
In the fourth season, the patch design was changed. An image with all 3 patches is available. A photograph of replicas of badges from year 4 is available.

What was Broderick's relationship with law enforcement like during his Highway Patrol days?
It was very positive. He used to carry a card given to him for his support of the California Highway Patrol. Several PR shots from Highway Patrol are displayed in the CHP Academy's museum in Sacramento. In addition, Broderick often attended community fundraisers for hospitals and other charitable groups.

Where was the show filmed ?
Mostly in Griffith Park and in San Fernando and Simi valleys, which at the time were sparsely populated, rural areas. When Broderick Crawford had his Driver's License suspended for DUI, private roads were often used for the driving scenes. The show was also filmed at Ziv Studios, at 7950 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. A photograph of the studio site, before it was purchased by Ziv, is available.

Was Broderick ever injured during filming ?

"Running around filming in helicopters and fast cars for three years you're bound to have accidents, and I've certainly had my share. So far I've fractured my skull, broken an arm and an ankle and taken hundreds of falls." - Broderick Crawford

What cars were used ?
1954 Olds 88, 1955 Buick Century, 1955 Ford four-door (used in Hitchhiker), 1956 Mercury, 1956 Buick Super Riviera four door, 1956 Buick Special, 1956 Dodge Coronet, 1956 Olds 88, 1957 Buick Special, 1957 Dodge Coronet, 1957 Mercury, 1958 Buick Special, 1958 Dodge Coronet, 1959 Dodge Coronet, and a 1959 Plymouth four-door (used in Dan Hostage). Of all these cars, only the '54 Olds 88 and '55 Buick Century actually were real California Highway Patrol cars on loan to ZIV.
A collage of some of these cars is available.

What motorcycles were used ?
Harley Davidsons mostly, as shown in this promotional poster. Clint Eastwood and his pals rode them in the episode Motorcycle A.

What guns were used ?
The highway patrolmen packed Smith & Wesson Model 10 Military & Police revolver, with 6" barrel [thanks to Bill Cawthon for this information]. Mathews' gun was a Smith & Wesson Model 10, with 2" barrel (snub nose) 38 Special. It was holstered on his left hip for a right hand draw. The uniformed officers had snap away holsters on their right side. Both revolvers held 6 bullets, which sometimes the show took liberties by extending the amount to 8 or more! The accuracy range on Dan's gun is about 25' or so. However, Dan was a dead eye. He could hit suspects off roofs, from the helicopter and even hiding in the mountains using a one handed grip and no site! He also had a keen ability to "call for the coroner" without even checking the suspect for vitals. The .38 is still a favorite of many officers today - as noted in this NY Times article.
Criminals carried handguns, shotguns, and even a bazooka !

What kind of hat did Dan Mathews wear?
A felt fedora, esp. the Stetson Temple style. He switched to smaller bands towards the end of the series.
A photograph of Broderick Crawford buying a hat (in 1950) is available.

Why didn't he wear a uniform?
Please see the above question - What was Mr. Ziv's personal opinion about Highway Patrol ?

Where did Brod like to buy his clothes?
At Malibu Clothes on Beverley Dr. in Beverly Hills. Brod's autographed photo to the owner is on the wall. They still remember him there!

What were some radio call signs and their meanings ?
"10-4" means "OK". "10-20" means "location". "11-79" means "Traffic Collision - ambulance responding". These were authentic CHP call signs in the 1950s. Other codes are listed at E.T.'s List of Radio Codes, and in this 8-page document in MS-Word format. CHP regulations also stipulated that you added 2000 to your I.D. number when broadcasting. Since Chief Dan Mathew's badge number was 150 (the same as CHP Commissioner Bernard Caldwell) his radio I.D. was "21-50".

How long did each episode take to film, and what was the production cost ?
Each episode required at least 16 hours of filming, which included one day at the studio and two days in the field. The cost was about $20,000. However, episodes with a helicopter took slightly longer and cost much more.

Can you tell me more about the helicopters ?
A Bell Model 47 was used in all episodes. The helicopter pilots were Roy Bourgois and Bob Gilbreath. Bob was also a pilot for Desilu's Whirlybirds. Unfortunately, both men died in helicopter crashes soon after doing Highway Patrol. National Helicopter Service, founded by brothers Dick and Robert Hart, did all the helicopter work for ZIV and Desilu studios in those years.

Which advertisers/products sponsored the show during the original run? And were there different sponsors in different areas of the country, since the show was syndicated?
A partial list: Ballantine Beer, Wiedeman Beer, The Kroger Company, Pfeiffer Brewing, Carnation Company, Lion Oil Company, and Safeway Stores. For some of the different areas of the country, please see this image, and others near it on the photos page.

Who are some actors who appeared in Highway Patrol and later became famous ?
Clint Eastwood, Dyan Cannon, Robert Conrad, Barbara Eden, Leonard Nimoy, Stuart Whitman, Paul Burke, Guy Williams, Ted Knight

What about writers ?
Gene Roddenberry wrote Oil Lease under his own name, and wrote Reformed Criminal, Human Bomb, Mental Patient, and Prospector under the pseudonym Robert Wesley.
Robert Shaw wrote Train Robbery, Breath of a Child, and Dan Hostage.

How many safety messages (tag lines) were there ?
Eleven. See the sounds page for the complete list.

Why was there no 5th season ?
ZIV/UA wanted to do a 5th season but Broderick killed the idea to take some time off and come back with a new jazzier ZIV/UA series King of Diamonds, in which Broderick played John King, an international diamond theft insurance investigator.


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