Dick Tracy - 75th Anniversary Edition Original Serial
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Cartoonist Chester Gould created this action hero in the early 1930's and by the middle 30's the FBI and gangsters were in all the newspaper & radio headlines. So Gould countered with Dick Tracy G-man (in the movie serials) & Dick Tracy cop hero in the comic strip.
The "Dick Tracy" (1937) Republic Pictures 15 episode action serial launched Ralph Byrds career as the super crime solving G-man/Sherlock Holmes sleuth. The movie version was always the international view while the comic strip was the local city crime storyline.
Thanks to VCI Entertainment for a great restoration job & super loaded 2 DVD package.
This 15 episode action packed serial is over 290 mins long and is presented with great picture & sound.
Extra features include: a background Commentary by famous Dick Tracy writer Max Allan Collins who penned the comic strip for 15 years after Goulds retirement. Special photo montage & Photo Gallery. Bonus 1945 Radio Show: Dick Tracy in B-Flat - a musical rendition of Dick Tracy with the voice of Bing Crosby as Tracy, Dinah Shore as Tesh Trueheart, Bob Hope as Flathead and many more big radio stars of the 40's. This is fun stuff.
Summary: Action serials are always more about the action packed journey & how our hero escapes the bad guys at the cliff hanging ending chapters than the actual story. We need to have a thrill filled 20 minutes each week and then painfully wait until next week for the continuing saga to take us to more excitement until the finale on chapter/week 15.
Dick Tracy delivers all we expect in an action hero and this being one of the first serials gives us a taste of the world of 1937. Enjoy.
Anyone who has seen FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS will notice lots of similarities and for this reason, I suggest getting DICK TRACY first. The other serial used a lot of footage from this one. The flying wing, the hunchback scientist, Carleton Young, the crushing ship chapter ending are all in the later serial.
Ralph Byrd is the definitive Dick Tracy. I didn't remember his being a G man, but the serial does predate my acquaintance with the comic strip.
All in all, this is definitely one of the better serials. As an earlier Republic serial, you won't see as much stunt action, choreographed fights and telegraphed chapter endings as in the later ones, but the elements are still there. This is one of the times I wish there was a 4 and a half star designation.
Republic's writers made a number of changes from the comic strip, with Dick Tracy as an FBI agent. In this serial he is on the trail of the Spider Ring, a gang led by a mysterious criminal known as "The Lame One." The FBI becomes involved due to a series of murders of disloyal associates of The Lame One, each marked with the image of a spider. The gang has also abducted Tracy's brother Gordon (Richard Beach), attorney for one of the murder victims. The Spider Ring's scientific aide, Moloch (John Piccori) performs an operation on Gordon's brain which erases his memory and renders him unable to tell good from evil, making him subject to The Lame One's will, and altering his appearance (to Carleton Young) so even his brother will be unable to recognise him.
This is my favorite of the four Dick Tracy serials for its darker atmosphere, weird villains and science-fiction elements, though it lacks the polish of the later Republic serials with their better-choreographed fist fights, pulse-pounding music and elaborate if sometimes far-fetched cliffhangers. While some of the dialogue is awkwardly written, the story is presented well, the acting is generally good and having Dick Tracy unaware that he is in conflict with his own brother provides a better mystery than the usual question of the chief villain's identity.Read more ›
Solid Gold for a classic film lover!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of confusion in these reviews about what this actually is. Some people here are reviewing other DVD sets of Dick Tracy and released by other companies. Read morePublished 3 months ago by A. Gaster
Tons of fun, perfect for a rainy Saturday afternoon, popcorn and pinot noir!Published 19 months ago by Steven Clarke
Dick Tracy, 1937 film
The ‘Dick Tracy’ comic strip was very popular in its era (1930s to 1970s) with both young and old. Read more
This is head and shoulders the best of the Dick Tracy serials. I bought this on VHS years ago and became a disciple. Read morePublished on January 16, 2013 by Jason Guice
IF YOU LIKE OLD-TIME MOVIES, BE SURE TO GET THIS ONE, LOTS OF FUN TO FINIALY SEE ALL FIFTEEN EPISODES OF THIS SERIALPublished on August 31, 2012 by Carol J. Wooldridge
Dick Tracy - 15-Episode Serial is four hours, forty-nine minutes, and fifty-four seconds and was released in theaters on February 20, 1937. Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by Michael Patrick Boyd
Not the greatest serial and not the greatest quality release! The serial is just weak! The villains are really pathetic and it really gets old seeing them get bettered by Tracy's... Read morePublished on July 8, 2009 by Thomas M. Kurdyla
Brought back old memories...1948 Saturdays at The Codman Square Theater Dorchester, Mass. The cartoon, then the Dick Tracy Serial and intermission always brought forth the Duncan... Read morePublished on August 29, 2008 by John M