Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dick Tracy 2 on 1|
Actors: Ralph Byrd, Joe Devlin, William Woodson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television
Unexpectedly Good Quality in Budget 'Dick Tracy' DVD
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 08/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originated by Chester Gould's syndicated comic strip, Dick Tracy has been a durable cinematic character with appearances ranging from 1930s serials to an over-hyped 1990 blockbuster-style motion picture starring Warren Beatty and Madonna--but the character's film appearances are perhaps most fondly recalled from the 1940s RKO Pictures series. Written with stacco dialogue and seldom running more than an hour, they were welcome "B" movies at almost every matinee. This "two on one" DVD by Treasure Box Collection brings together two of the most appealing titles from the series: DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME and DICK TRACY'S DILEMMA.
The 1947 DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME is very typical of the series in terms of style, plot, and Ralph Byrd, who frequently played the character; it is atypical in the sense that it also features a major star, none other than Boris Karloff, who appears as Gruesome. In this particular tale, the criminal Gruesome is taken to meet a mysterious professor--and through him stumbles onto a chemical that makes people freeze in their tracks for several minutes. It's an ideal weapon for a bank heist, but Gruesome runs afoul of Tess Trueheart (Anne Gwynne, popular WWII pin-up and "B" actress in such titles as FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE and HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN), who is on the scene and unaffected. Tess manages to alert Tracy and the manhunt is soon underway. Although I would not call it pristine, the film has been cleaned up quite a bit; both picture and sound quality are quite good.
The same cannot be said for DICK TRACY'S DILEMMA, which finds the picture somewhat unstable, particularly in the first ten minutes or so of the film. Nonetheless, this particular title is probably the best of the series. A fur heist and insurance scam turns deadly when a criminal employs "The Claw"--and not only does the movie rack up an impressive body count, it has considerably more suspense than the usual Dick Tracy flick. Ralph Byrd, who frequently played Dick Tracy, is quite good, but the edge of this film comes from the supporting cast: Jack Lambeth's the Claw is memorably dark; Ian Keith, a noted stage actor whose film credits include QUEEN CHRISTINA, scores as the comic Vitamin Flintheart; and Bernadene Hayes proves memorable in the brief role of Longshot Lillie. The cast is very nicely rounded out by Kay Christopher as a particularly appeal Tess Trueheart and such character actors as Lyle Latell, William B. Davidson, Tony Barrett, and Tom Keene.
"High Art" it isn't, but the Dick Tracy films are fun things, and if you are curious about the films this double feature would be an excellent way to start without too much of an investment. Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"