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Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (1946)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Mystery | 18 December 1946 (USA)
Expensive diamonds are stolen but before the thief can fence them he is strangled by ex-con Cueball, who then takes the gems and continues murdering people he believes are trying to swindle... See full summary »


Gordon Douglas (as Gordon M. Douglas)


Dane Lussier (screen play by), Robert E. Kent (screen play by) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Morgan Conway ... Dick Tracy
Anne Jeffreys ... Tess Trueheart
Lyle Latell Lyle Latell ... Pat Patton
Rita Corday ... Mona Clyde
Ian Keith ... Vitamin Flintheart
Dick Wessel ... Cueball
Douglas Walton ... Percival Priceless
Esther Howard ... Filthy Flora
Joseph Crehan ... Chief Brandon
Byron Foulger ... Simon Little
Jimmy Crane Jimmy Crane ... Junior
Milton Parsons ... Higby
Skelton Knaggs ... Rudolph


Expensive diamonds are stolen but before the thief can fence them he is strangled by ex-con Cueball, who then takes the gems and continues murdering people he believes are trying to swindle him. Dick Tracy allows his girlfriend Tess to act as a buyer for the gems but his plan backfires when she is captured by the homicidal Cueball. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE'S TERRIFIC! Your Favorite Crime Crusader!


Action | Crime | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

18 December 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dick Tracy contre Cueball See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ian Keith as "Vitamin Flintheart" is doing a wicked, but devastatingly accurate impersonation of John Barrymore. See more »


Keep an eye on an early scene when Mona Clyde places a note under the shop door to the Priceless Antiques shop. It appeared that she placed it entirely under the door, but when Tracy comes by to retrieve it, a large portion of the note is visible before it's picked up on the other side. See more »


[Tess objects to Junior reading about a gory murder in the newspaper]
Dick Tracy: Tess is right, Junior. Say, how would you like a lifetime job showing Junior what to read?
Tess: Why, Dick Tracy. Proposing so early in the morning?
Junior Tracy: Why don't ya just marry him so he can stop proposin'?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits list 'Introducing' Cueball (see also entry under 'Trivia'. See more »


Followed by Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

And the winner is!
5 August 2005 | by sol1218See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** after serving ten years at the Rocky Mountain Penitentiary Harry Lake alias Cueball, Dick Wessel,is back out on the street. The first thing he does is get hooked up with this group of of jewel thieves in a $300,000.00 rip-off of Lester Abbott,Trevor Bardette, a representative of Fine Jules inc.

Getting himself on the ship SS Palmora, where Abbott was on board, Cueball strangles the Jewel dealer when he offers resistance and takes off with his gems.Not expecting anything violent to happen the group of crooks now become involved in something they never had in their plans murder. Those involved in this crime include antique dealer Precival Priceless, Douglas Walton, together with Fine Jules.inc owner Jules Sparkle, Harry Clemons, secretary Mona Clyde, Rita Corday,and diamond cutters Simon Little, Bryon Foulger, and his partner Rudolph, Skelton Knaggs, who looks like a cross between Alfalfa of the Little Rascals and Mister Moto.

Things start to go sour for the jewel thieves when top cop Dick Tracy, Morgan Conway, and his bumbling sidekick Pat Patton, Lyle Latell, get on the case. Little chickens out but it's too late for him and all the other crooks when Cueball realizes that he's been short-changed, by Priceless & Co., in the split of the $300,000.00 value of the gems. Cueball ends up getting only $10,000.00 with the rest of the gang, mostly Pricless & Clyde, taking what's left in the laundering of the stolen diamonds.

Feeling that he's been taken for a sucker by his associates Cueball takes it upon himself to go solo, instead of being a team player. Wanting his take it the jewel robbery to be doubled to $20,000.00, which his fellow thieves don't have, Cueball ends up murdering, with his hat-band, both Priceless and the owner of the "Dripping Dagger" bar "Dirty" Flora, Easter Howard, who at first help him hide out in her joint. Flora fond where Cueball hid the stolen jewels and tried to rip him, of all people, off of his loot; not a very bright idea on her part.

In the end it was Cuball's greed and brutality that got the best of him when he fell for a trap that Dick Tracy and his girlfriend Tess Trueheart, Ann Jeffereys, set. After kidnapping Tess who pretended to be the rich socialite blue-blood Blyth Belmonte, interested in buying the stolen jewels, he's caught in a police dragnet and ends up being chased into a railroad yard, by Dick Tracy. Cueball gets his foot caught between the rails and is crushed to death by an oncoming locomotive.

One of Dick Tracy's most formidable foes Cuball just let his violent and paranoid nature cloud and distort his thinking. Suspecting everyone of trying to double-cross him and fleece him out of his share of the money in the jewels that he stole. This made Cueball lose the edge that he had in coolly calculating things and not letting his emotions take over like it did here.

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