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Dick Tracy (1945)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Film-Noir | 20 December 1945 (USA)
Police detective Dick Tracy must identify and apprehend a serial killer known as Splitface.



(original screenplay), (based on the cartoon strip by)

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Complete credited cast:
Lyle Latell ...
Pat Patton
Prof. Linwood J. Starling
Steve Owens
Deathridge - the Undertaker
William Halligan ...


Dick is faced with a series of brutal murders in which the victims, all from different social and economic backgrounds, are viciously slashed to pieces. Suspects abound but Tracy, getting a clue that there will be fifteen murders in all, must find the common thread among the victims before more are killed. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dick Tracy takes on the scar-faced, dirty-thug known as "Splitface"! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dick Tracy, Detective  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Jane Greer, See more »


Dick Tracy says a murder was committed with a kind of knife that morticians use to perform postmortems. Morticians don't perform postmortems unless they are also coroners, and a police officer like Tracy should know that. See more »


Featured in Sprockets: Masters of Menace (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Where is Ralph Byrd when you need him???
11 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

DICK TRACY has the film noir look of the '40s and some interesting plot devices involving a slasher out for revenge. With its brief running time and low-budget values, it's strictly the kind of fare that used to play the lower half of double bills for the Saturday matinee crowds.

Still, it's not bad as far as these B-pics go (some excellent B&W photography)--but MORGAN CONWAY is nobody's idea of what the famous sleuth should look like. RALPH BYRD was a much better choice in those Tracy serials--he must have been busy when they got to making this one. Anne Jeffreys is pert and pretty as Tess but has little to do. (Did Hollywood ever give her a substantial role?) Little Mickey Kuhn (he was Beau Wilkes in GWTW and the young man Vivien Leigh flirted with in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE) is delightful as the boy detective who helps solve the case.

For the villain of the piece, we have Mike Mazurki wearing a scar that looks like a decent make-up job and hulking in the shadows whenever the next murder takes place.

Not bad, and certainly one of the better entries in the DICK TRACY films of the '40s--but what it needed was square-jawed RALPH BYRD in the title role.

Summing up: a good programmer.

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