A gang of criminals, which includes a piano player and an imposing former convict known as 'Gruesome', has found out about a scientist's secret formula for a gas that temporarily paralyzes anyone who breathes it. When Gruesome accidentally inhales some of the gas and passes out, the police think he is dead and take him to the morgue, where he later revives and escapes. This puzzling incident attracts the interest of Dick Tracy, and when the criminals later use the gas to rob a bank, Tracy realizes that he must devote his entire attention to stopping them. Written by
Filmed April 1-late April 1947, the last of RKO's four classic Dick Tracy features, and the only one in which Ralph Byrd takes second billing. He would continue playing the character on television, until his untimely death in 1952. See more »
Lex Barker, soon to become Tarzan is here in an ambulance driver role. He looks so good everyone forgets the plot. Meanwhile Gruesome gets away.
The chatty bank guard is good.
Boris Karloff wanted to be gruesomer than usual so he decided to copy Moe's hairstyle from the Three Stooges. It works. Karloff is excellent but you wouldn't want Gruesome for a piano bar date. The piano player/mobster never plays piano. They should have had Liberace in that role. It really would have worked.
The newspaper reporter could have tried for a spin-off.
I see this movie all the time at the 99 Cent Store. It is a great bargain. It is a good print of the film. The car chases are much better than today's chases. In the forties if a policeman saw a car driving away from somewhere, he could just shoot at it or shoot out the tires so it would crash into a taxidermy shop. Today they don't shoot at big crowds of people. Everyone in this movie has a gun.
All the sets are fun to imagine as being real. The hospital, the chemist's lab, the conveyor belt. The cars were beautiful back in the '30s and '40s. There is a lot to enjoy here. I saw this when I was a kid of about 8. It was great then, it is fun today.
Now get that cat out of the bank.
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