Dick Tracy, Detective [DVD] [1945]

Dick Tracy, Detective (originally just Dick Tracy) was the first of four RKO Radio B-pictures based on Chester Gould's classic comic strip. Though Ralph Byrd is most closely associated with the role of Tracy, the title character is played herein by Morgan Conway (Byrd would be seen as Tracy in the last two series entries). The jut-jawed detective takes on a vicious criminal named Splitface (Mike Mazurki), who upon escaping from jail vows to murder all 12 of the jurors who found him guilty. He manages to knock off three of the jurors before the police force figures out what's happening. Galvanized into action, Dick Tracy and his partner Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) track Splitface to a deserted riverboat (a leftover set from the 1945 RKO feature Man Alive) where the villain is holding Tracy's girlfriend Tess Truehart (Anne Jeffreys) and adopted son Junior (Mickey Kuhn) captive. Jane Greer, an RKO contractee on the verge of bigger things, appears briefly as one of Splitface's intended victims (the film's publicity misled filmgoers into believing that both Greer and Anne Jeffreys would be in the villain's clutches by the end of the picture, when in fact Greer disappears from the proceedings in reel four!) On the plus side, Dick Tracy, Detective admirably recreates the larger-than-life milieu of Chester Gould's comic strip, with bizarre camera angles, slightly unreal sets, and character names like Deathridge the Coroner; on the minus side, the film is cheap in the extreme, with a script that seems to have been made up as it went along. When asked about Dick Tracy Detective in 1990, Anne Jeffreys flatly denied she'd ever played Tess Trueheart until she caught up with the film on videotape (she'd completely forgotten the whole experience)!
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Overview

Synopsis

Dick Tracy, Detective
Dick Tracy, Detective (originally just Dick Tracy) was the first of four RKO Radio B-pictures based on Chester Gould's classic comic strip. Though Ralph Byrd is most closely associated with the role of Tracy, the title character is played herein by Morgan Conway (Byrd would be seen as Tracy in the last two series entries). The jut-jawed detective takes on a vicious criminal named Splitface (Mike Mazurki), who upon escaping from jail vows to murder the jurors who found him guilty and their alternates. He manages to knock off three before the police force figures out what's happening. Galvanized into action, Dick Tracy and his partner Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) track Splitface to a deserted riverboat (a leftover set from the 1945 RKO feature Man Alive) where the villain is holding Tracy's girlfriend Tess Truehart (Anne Jeffreys) and adopted son Junior (Mickey Kuhn) captive. When asked about Dick Tracy Detective in 1990, Anne Jeffreys flatly denied she'd ever played Tess Trueheart until she caught up with the film on videotape. She'd completely forgotten the whole experience. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Morgan Conway
    Morgan Conway - Dick Tracy
  • Anne Jeffreys
    Anne Jeffreys - Tess Trueheart
  • Mike Mazurki
    Mike Mazurki - Splitface
  • Jane Greer
    Jane Greer - Judith Owens
  • Lyle Latell
    Lyle Latell - Pat Patton
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