Dick Tracy vs Cueball
Sid Rogell, Herman Schlom (executive) for RKO
directed by Gordon Douglas
starring Morgan Conway, Dick Wessel, Anne Jeffreys, Rita Corday, Byron Foulger, Lyle Latell, Douglas Walton, Esther Howard, Ian Keith, Joseph Crehan, Milton Parsons, Skelton Knaggs, Trevor Bardette, Harry Cheshire, Jimmy Crane, Jimmy Clemons, Phil Warren
screenplay by Robert E.Kent, Dane Lussier, based on a story by Luci Ward & the comic strip by Chester Gould
Dick Tracy, Dick Tracy (Morgan Conway), RKO's Dick Tracy
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Jewel importer Abbott (Trevor Bardette) is supposed to deliver a
priceless gem to his employer Sparkle (Harry Cheshire), but instead he is
killed by a thug (Dick Wessel) called Cueball (guess why - because
he's bald), & the gem is stolen.
Dick Tracy (Morgan Conway)
immediately figures that someone from Sparkle's company must be behind it,
& immediately suspects Sparkle's secretary Mona Clyde (Rita Corday)
& his diamond cutter Simon Little (Byron Foulger), whom Dick & his
partner Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) immediately start following around ...
& of course Dick is right, too, as the pair of them are in cahoots
with antiques dealer Priceless (Douglas Walton), who has the right
contacts to sell the stone. However, despite Tracy's & Patton's best
efforts, any hard evidence fails to show up & Cueball stays elusive
But then Priceless tries to pull a fast one on Cueball, who is far
less naive than he looks, & later Cueball's landlady Filthy Flora
(Esther Howard) tries to steal the stone ... Cueball strangles both of
them in cold blood ... but through the hatband he has strangled them with,
Dick can at long last find out Cueball's identity - but not his
So Dick has to retreat to one of these typical
B-crimethriller-plans to get hold of Cueball, & Mona Clyde & Simon
Little too ... he has his girlfriend Tess (Anne Jeffreys) disguise as a
society lady & try to buy some priceless gem or the other from
Sparkle, but leave unsatisfied ... all in earlength from Mona, who then
tries to sell the diamond she has to her ... it sould all have been so
perfect, wouldn't Cueball have had other ideas ... he kills Little &
snatches Tess from right under Dick tracy's nose, & - believing her
pretense that she wants to buy the diamond - tries to make the deal on his
own ... only at the very last moment can Dick find out where Tess &
cueball are, save her (Cueball has already started strangling her) &
chase Cueball across some railroad tracks, until Cueball (another
B-thriller mainstay) catches his foot in a switch & is neatly run over
by a train.
Despite some nice elements (like the brutish thug
who strangles with a hatband & stays on top of the game almost till
the very end), this is a rather boring crimethriller, & Morgan Conway
in his second & last appearance as Dick Tracy again
fails to bring any kind of charisma to the story's hero.
The main heavy
(Dick Wessel as Cueball) & some supporting players (like Esther howard
as dishonest landlady, Ian Keith as eccentric Englishman) do give solid
performances though to sve the film from total failure.