Sunday Matinee: Dick Tracy

Chester Gould’s popular comic strip character Dick Tracy made the leap to action serial in 1937. Republic produced the movie and Gould approved the many changes that were made to his characters.

Dick Tracy was a detective in the comics with a long list of colourful villains. Here Tracy is a G-Man working against an evil criminal organization called The Spider Ring with the evil group run by The Lame One aka The Spider.

Ralph Byrd was cast as Tracy and became synonymous with the role. He went to star as Dick Tracy in four serials, two full length feature films and a short lived TV series. The film was such a success that Republic made three sequels. Under a legal loophole Chester Gould was only paid for the first film.

The stunts are amazing in the film and a couple of the cliffhangers have been reused in other movies in particular the boat chase scene and crash in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. How can you go wrong with an adventure film that features plane chases, sonic weapons, boat chases and brain surgery?

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.