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Dick Tracy (1937)

Approved  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  20 February 1937 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 425 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective's brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick.

Directors:

,

Writers:

(based on cartoon strip by), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Dick Tracy (1937)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Byrd ...
Kay Hughes ...
Smiley Burnette ...
Lee Van Atta ...
Junior
John Picorri ...
Moloch (as John Piccori)
Carleton Young ...
Fred Hamilton ...
...
John Dilson ...
Ellery Brewster [Chs. 1, 12]
Richard Beach ...
Wedgwood Nowell ...
H.T. Clayton [Chs. 8-9]
Theodore Lorch ...
Patorno [Chs. 1, 12]
Edwin Stanley ...
Walter Odette
Harrison Greene ...
Cloggerstein / Durston
Herbert Weber ...
Tony Martino [Ch. 1]
Edit

Storyline

A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective's brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ACE G-MAN --- WAGING A ONE-MAN WAR ON CRIME! (original 11x14 lobby card) See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventures of Dick Tracy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The background comic art (panels) shown on most of the original posters for this serial came from the Sunday "Dick Tracy" comic page of December 6, 1936. See more »

Quotes

[the Spider's henchmen have kidnapped Gordon, Dick Tracy's brother, and Moloch prepares to begin a mind-altering medical procedure]
The Spider: Hmm, his condition seems critical.
Moloch: What if should die?
The Spider: Then we will eliminate a very dangerous enemy.
Moloch: He won't die, but by means of this operation - a simple altering of certain glands - he will be unable to distinguish between right and wrong.
The Spider: In that event, he will be very useful to us, Moloch, very useful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Oscar & Elmer" are given final cast credits in the opening sequence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Hurricane Neddy (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A special effects zinger!
5 August 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Republic Pictures were clearly hitting their stride in superior (and super) serial production with this quite sensational 15 chapter crime-terrorism drama made in 1936, released in early 1937. For any faults: too long as 12 chapters would do; the tedious antics of the infantile Smiley Burnette, there is a dozen truly astonishing and eerie/creepy moments that easily compensate. The first episode is so weird, and on a huge screen in a giant old theater full of screaming kids (or even adults) has several hair raising scenes where master evildoer The Lame One has maximum effect. The first chapter ending sees The fabulous Lydecker Brothers in full big budget special effects mode on a thrill set piece aboard the Golden Gate Bridge. The opening two chapters also features an astonishing triangular flying wing plane (looks like a cross between a stealth bomber and a flying sandwich) which for its day is a genuine masterpiece of inventive and graphic/realistically clever sci fi imagination. The recent film SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW owes a huge debt of imagination to this one flying apparatus alone. Republic clearly intended this serial to play to adults and it is not a G rated serial at all...given the menace, action and violence. It has three great villains one of whom is Gordon Tracy (Dick's brainwashed bro) who, after getting the treatment, sports a very fetching Bride Of Frankenstein hair stripe along with a mean scar. Another hideout menace is Moloch, a cat patting hunchback akin to a lost Uncle of Peter Lorre. Incredible action stunt sequences abound and very inventive use of miniatures and special effects..the chapter endings of 9 and 10 especially with a huge blazing Zeppelin and then a sheet of hull metal swinging from a repaired ship are very well thought out. Often the resolves cheat with Dick just getting up and running off, or rolling out of the way, but given the very high standard of the rest of all parts of this huge and complex production it was a major step forward for Republic at the time proving their willingness to make a serial for all ages that employed excellent craftsmen...especially the incredible Lydecker Brothers they inherited in their merger with Mascot Pictures. Remove them and the serial industry would have been all chases and fights. No wonder this serial was so successful it offered a big marker for two more Dick Tracy epics in 38 and 39. Excellent! Beware of dud dvds though, the one I saw was awful and bleached, in good quality this 15 chapter pre-noir horror serial must be a knockout.


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