Thursday, March 15, 2018

Total Dick - Dick Tracy's G-Men!

The third Dick Tracy Republic Serial titled Dick Tracy's G-Men came out in 1939 and in many ways is the most fully satisfying of the four films. Ralph Byrd returns but none of the comedy relief characters from the earlier films is present. This time it's just Dick Tracy and his "G-Men" agents against a remarkable dangerous spy named Zarnoff (Irving Pichell) who starts off the story on death row and escapes by faking his own death.

It's a pretty grotesque and atmospheric beginning and while the serial doesn't manage to keep that tone all the way through, the plot in this one hangs together better than most serials and Zarnoff is sufficiently interesting enough to hold the stage without benefit of any other mystery. One land, sea,and air the battler is raged and the ending comes really out of nowhere and is surprisingly satisfying for a serial, which often seem to care little about the finale all that much.

One more Dick Tracy serial to come tomorrow.

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  1. That lobby card (from a re-release) noted Phyllis Isley's change of name to Jennifer Jones.

    Was this serial the one that borrowed the newsreel footage of the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse? Or the one with the Manhattan-flood footage from "Deluge"?

    1. That's the next and final serial - Dick Tracy Vs. Crime Inc. That one is overwhelmed by the stock footage they keep attempting to make sense of.

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