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 »
Intrepid detective Dick Tracy tangles with a bizarre rogue's gallery of villians. But as always our stoic officer of the law, virtuous to a fault, proves himself up to the task of putting the criminals behind bars.
When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.
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
While none of the four Dick Tracy films made by RKO in the 1940's are particularly extraordinary they're fun, the actors are charming, and the atmosphere of the films is nice and seedy. Plus, they often mixed in a little sci-fi and some comic strip style humor (such as characters named Dr. A. Tomic and I. M. Learned) in with the bargain basement film noir that manages to set the films somewhat apart from other crime-themed B-films of the time.
The final film in the series, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, is probably the best of the four, mostly due to the absolutely wonderful cast. Boris Karloff is dependably creepy and charismatic as the main villain. Minor 1940's B-movie icon, Ann Gwynne is the sexiest Tess Trueheart of the early films. The incomparably menacing, ghostly Skelton Knaggs plays X-Ray and, like he always did, steals every scene he's in. Everyone is great.
The story, concerning Karloff using a gas that puts people into temporary suspended animation to rob a bank, moves at a gallop and is delivered with humor and style. There's not a dull moment in the film and it's more than worth the vintage B-movie enthusiast's time.
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