Hot Picks

- Ready for My Close Up 2019

- Talk of the Dead 2016

- The Arrangement 2020

- Love Letters from the Dead 2020

- Lake Artifact 2019

- The Never Was 2020

- Eullenia - Persist in the Face of All Obstacles 2018

- The Mad Fox 1962

- No Turning Back 2019

- Stained 2019

- Coven 2020

- The Hospital Bed 2020

- Genevieve 2020

- Inferno of Torture 1969

- Homewrecker 2019

- Elodie 2019

- Battlefield 2025 2020

- Grave Caller 2017

- The Runners 2020

- Awesomely Righteous and Radical 2020

- Deany Bean is Dead 2018

- Why Don't You Just Die! 2018

- Ouija Blood Ritual 2020

- Blood Tide 1982

- The Flower People 2020

- A Drunk Scorpion Will Sting Itself to Death 2020

- Vampire Dad 2020

- The Prince 2019

- Ouija Shark 2020

- The Departure 2020

- Autopilot 2020

- Wrestle-massacre 2018

- We Are the Missing 2020

- Impossible to Imagine 2019

- The Accompanist 2019

- Strange Files - Ring Toss 2020

- Verotika 2019

- Don't Run 2019

- Tainted 2020

- Andrew Buckner's Big Screen Memories 2020

- Choke 2020

- The Dark Lullaby 2020

- Ravenstein 2020

- Henrietta and her Dismal Display of Affection 2020

- Angelfish 2019

- First Impressions Can Kill 2017

- A Killer Conversation 2014

- Star Crash 1979

- Strangler of the Swamp 1946

Dick Tracy

USA 1937
produced by
Nat Levine for Republic
directed by Ray Taylor, Alan James
starring Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Lee Van Atta, Smiley Burnette, John Piccori, Carleton Young, Fred Hamilton, Francis X.Bushman, John Dilson, Richard Beach, Buddy Roosevelt, Byron Foulger, Milburn Morante, Monte Montague, Kit Guard, Wally West, Ed 'Oscar' Platt, Lou Fulton
screenplay by Barry Shipman, Winston Miller, based on the comic strip by Chester Gould, special effects by Jack Coyle, Ellis Thackery, Howard Lydecker, Theodore Lydecker

Dick Tracy, Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd), Republic's Dick Tracy, Oscar & Elmer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Quick Links

Abbott & Costello

Alice in Wonderland

Arsène Lupin



Black Emanuelle

Bomba the Jungle Boy

Bowery Boys

Bulldog Drummond

Captain America

Charlie Chan


Dick Tracy

Dr. Mabuse

Dr. Orloff

Doctor Who


Elizabeth Bathory



Flash Gordon


Frankie & Annette Beach Party movies

Freddy Krueger

Fu Manchu





El Hombre Lobo

Incredible Hulk

Jack the Ripper

James Bond

Jekyll and Hyde

Jerry Cotton

Jungle Jim


Kekko Kamen

King Kong

Laurel and Hardy

Lemmy Caution


Lone Wolf and Cub

Lupin III


Marx Brothers

Miss Marple

Mr. Moto

Mister Wong


Nick Carter

OSS 117

Phantom of the Opera


Robin Hood

Santa Claus

El Santo

Schoolgirl Report

The Shadow

Sherlock Holmes


Star Trek

Sukeban Deka



Three Mesquiteers

Three Musketeers


Wizard of Oz

Wolf Man

Wonder Woman




The Spider Ring, led by the mysterious Lame One, is taking over the gangster syndicates of California, & everyone opposing the organisation is killed. Initial investigations lead G-Man Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd) nowhere, but when one of his acquaintances, millionair Elliott Brewster (John Dilson), who was secretly in cahoots wioth the ring, is killed too & evidence points at the Spider Ring, Tracy knows he might have a lead. & when his brother Gordon (Richard Beach) is kidnapped when he wants to get further evidence handed to him by Brewster, his suspicions are confirmed.

The Lame One meanwhile has decided to use Gordon as a weapon against his brother & has his hunchbacked surgeon Moloch (John Piccori) transform mild-mannered Gordon into a ruthless criminal (as now played by Carleton Young).

Dick Tracy, along with his colleague Steve (Fred Hamilton) & his superior Clive (Francis X.Bushman), his secrtetary Gwen (Kay Hughes), his inept sidekick (beware - bad comedy by Smiley Burnette !) & the nosy kid Junior (Lee Van Atta, playing pretty much the same role as in Undersea Kingdom) now have to investigeate Gordon's disappearance & at the same time tryto spoil each & every devillish crime the Spider Ring commits with the help of Gordon (unbeknowest to Tracy & company) & their futuristic airplane, the Flying Wing (looking remarkably like a Northrop B-35 that wasn't put into operation until 10 years later).

And crimes there are many, & they vary remarkably in scale: First the criminals want to destroy the Bay Bridge by using sonic waves, later they want to steal a shipload of furs or a most valuable necklace from an airborn blimp, a secret alloy that was developed by the military & chased after by many foreign powers. A western goldmine owned by old duffer Death Valley Johnny (Milburn Morante), a newly developed jet plane to sell to a foreign power and a gold shipment are also among the things the Spiderring whants to get their hands on. But of course the FBI is always hot on their trail & in a series of chases by car, boat, plane & blimp, & Dick Tracy always manages to save the day.

At the same time though, Dick & company fail to get any nearer to the core of the Spider Ring (& with it the identity of the Lame One) itself or find Gordon - that is until the Spider Ring wants to abduct an engraver in order to help them forge money, & Dick disguises as that man to infiltrate the Ring. Dick's cover is of course soon blown & Moloch prepares him for brain surgery, but he had enough time to transmit the location of the Spider Ring's headquaters to the FBI, who soon close in on the Ring, while the Lame One reveals his identity to Dick - he is in fact mild-mannered philanthropist Odette (Edwin Stanley), who only played a small part in the previous proceedings - before he sets a time trigger to blow up his headquarters, & Dick with it. But Dick of course is always in hot pursuit of Odette & the explosion in the end only takes out Moloch.

Odette soon has Gordon drive him to safety, but Gordon starts to remember his past life again, starts to distinguish between good & evil again - & when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Junior & Gwen run in front of his car, his conscience kicks back in full swing, & instead of running the 2 of them over, he drives the car (& with it himself & Odette) over a cliff to certain death. Dying, he says a last farewell to his brother ...

Ed 'Oscar' Platt & Lou Fulton make another appearence as the comical backwood yokels Oscar & Elmer.


For many, Dick Tracy is the finest serial produced by Republic, maybe the finest serial ever as it looks extremely polished & was the first serial to bring the newly developed formula for serials to full effect - which meant essentially that a serial would no longer tell one story chopped up into 10 to 15 episodes, but tell one story per episode (always culminating in a cliffhanger that is resolved in the beginning of the next episode before the next story begins) , & these stories loosely connected by an overall theme. & in my view, this started the downfall of the serial itself long before the competition of television would put an end to this sort of movies. Fact is that while earlier serials cheerfully went out of their way to make a story exciting, fascinating & suspenseful over it's 10- to 15-episodes run, full of plot developments & often with exhilerating results, later serials (circa from the 40's onwards) would tell 10 to 15 seperate stories that would adhere to more or less the same formula, & each in about 20 minutes time, & only in the final episode try to tie it all up neatly - or not so neatly indeed.

Be that as it may, Dick Tracy was an enourmous success for Republic, causing them to make 3 (!) more serials about the comic-book-G-Man. & when in the mid 1940's RKO tried to make a series of B-movies about Dick Tracy starring Morgan Conway, they had to replace him with Ralph Byrd after only 2 movies, as Byrd's popularity in the role was too overwhelming. Shortly before his death, Byrd also starred in a Dick Tracy-tv-series in 1952.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there !!!

Find Dick Tracy
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Dick Tracy here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Dick Tracy at

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD