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Dick Tracy's Dilemma

USA 1947
produced by
Herman Schlom for RKO
directed by John Rawlins
starring Ralph Byrd, Jack Lambert, Jimmy Conlin, William B.Davidson, Charles Marsh, Al Bridge, Lyle Latell, Bernadene Hayes, Ian Keith, Kay Christopher, Tony Barrett, Tom Keene (as Richard Powers), Wade Crosby, Jason Robards sr, William Gould, Sean McClory
screenplay by Robert Stephen Brode, based on the comic strip by Chester Gould, music by Paul Sawtell

Dick Tracy, Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd), RKO's Dick Tracy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mr Humphries' (Charles Marsh) fur shop is robbed, which by itself wouldn't be much of a case, but since the night watchman (Jason Robards sr) was killed in the process, it is a case for Homicide, & before long, Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd) & Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) start investigating, but immediately have very little to go on but some bits of information by their informer Sightless (Jimmy Conlin), who is soon killed off though, the testimony of Longshot Lillie (Bernadene Hayes), who was supposed to be the fur-thieves fence but in fact knows very little, & then there's a clue that proves that the killer had an iron claw instead of a right hand ... & after going through the records, Dick soon learns that the killer can only be a recently escaped convict with the fitting name The Claw (JAck Lambert). But since the Claw is known to be little more than a brutal thug, Dick still has to figure out who his employer is ... & soon hooks up with Humphries' incurance agent Premium (William B.Davidson), who, Dick figures, will soon get a call from Claw after the deal with the original fence, Lillie, fell through.

Needless to say, Dick's hunch was right, & somehow, from there Dick can also figure out who was behind robbing Humphrie's fur-store ... none other than Humphries himself, who was planning a big inxurance scam.

Humphries is soon arrested, now all that's left to do for Dick is to hunt down the Claw, who finally loses his life when he is chased into a powerstation, & - once there - his iron claw gets caught up in a few cables, which leads to instant electrocution ...

 

After 2 rather disappointing Dick Tracy-features starring Morgan Conway (Dick Tracy, Detective & Dick Tracy vs Cueball), Ralph Byrd, Dick Tracy in 4 Republic serials was hired to once again play his most popular role. & in direct comparison, of course, Byrd is better than the uncharismatic Morgan Conway. But apart from that this Tracy-entry differed little from the two previous, featuring a rather lame murder mystery that gives away everything way too soon& pretty much goes out of its way to not surprise the audience. Rather boring.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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