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Saturday, October 18, 2008 07:42 PM
On the Viewer - Dick Tracy
 by Fëanor

From 1945 to 1947, the Dick Tracy comic strip was adapted into four short feature films: Dick Tracy, Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, Dick Tracy's Dilemma, and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome. We rented them all recently through Netflix. They're not really high quality movies, but they're pretty fun detective adventure stories, always reasonably exciting and visually interesting. The series of movies is very much inspired by film noir, with great, big, dark, angular shadows and ugly, creepy, twisted characters, including a guy with a hook for a hand, and, in the last film, Boris Karloff as the brutal, ruthless Gruesome. There are some silly attempts at comedy, including a vaguely amusing running gag in which Tracy's sidekick Pat Patton is constantly getting slugged in the back of the head and knocked out pretty much every time Tracy leaves him alone. Another running gag sees Tracy called out on a case whenever it looks like his girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, is about to have a moment alone with him (you'd think she would have left the guy by now - but I guess that's why they call her Trueheart). We found it a little disturbing that the actors who play Tracy and Tess are replaced by new actors in the third movie, with Tess being replaced yet again in the fourth movie. I can't say for sure which actors were better, but we were used to the first group, so we missed them in the later films (although neither Tracy looked anything like my vision of the character).

Anyway, all-in-all they're a pretty decent collection of detective movies, and worth a rental if you're bored.
Tagged (?): Dick Tracy (Not), Movies (Not), On the Viewer (Not)
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