Friday, March 16, 2018

Total Dick - Dick Tracy Vs. Crime Inc.

The final Dick Tracy Republic Serial is titled Dick Tracy Vs. Crime Inc. and later was released in the 50's under the title Dick Tracy Vs. Phantom Empire. This 1941 movie is easily the least of the four serials dedicated to the adventures of Chester Gould's comic strip hero, and that's despite a pretty good villain named "The Ghost" who can use science to make himself invisible.

The scenes in which this gimmick is used are pretty darned good and unfortunately the highlight of a serial which borrows from too many earlier movies to make a coherent effort of telling a story. Cliffhangers are borrowed from earlier Tracy serials and other Republic efforts. Maybe if I'd not just seen those I'd have been less annoyed, but all it all it felt like a hodge-podge effort as the creators twist and turn to make the yarn fit up to the already selected disasters they want to unleash. Much of the movie is spent trying to find out who the Ghost is, one of a small cadre of respected men who form a secret council that Tracy is the head of.

More Dick Tracy tomorrow.

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