Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome

Overview

Befitting his status as a genre star, Boris Karloff earns top billing over leading man Ralph Byrd in RKO's final Dick Tracy caper. The former Frankenstein monster plays an escaped convict masterminding a daring bank robbery. To get in and out of the bank without being noticed, the gang uses an asphyxiating gas that leaves anyone inside momentarily frozen in place. Everyone, that is, except for bank customer Tess Truehart Anne Gwynne, who is able to contact Dick Tracy Byrd from a phone booth in the bank. With ...
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Overview

Befitting his status as a genre star, Boris Karloff earns top billing over leading man Ralph Byrd in RKO's final Dick Tracy caper. The former Frankenstein monster plays an escaped convict masterminding a daring bank robbery. To get in and out of the bank without being noticed, the gang uses an asphyxiating gas that leaves anyone inside momentarily frozen in place. Everyone, that is, except for bank customer Tess Truehart Anne Gwynne, who is able to contact Dick Tracy Byrd from a phone booth in the bank. With little or no clues, Tracy and his man Friday, Pat Patton Lyle Latell, question the bank customers but none can shed any light on the mysterious goings-on. The disappearance of Dr. A. Tomic Milton Parsons and the odd behavior of his associate, Dr. I.M. Learned June Clayworth, crack the case wide open, however, and Tracy is eventually able to track down both Gruesome and the surprising identity of his boss, L.E. Thal Edward Ashley. According to some reports, RKO wanted to release Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome as "Dick Tracy Meets Karloff" but that title was vetoed by Karloff himself. The legendary horror star apparently later accepted his own box-office value and a 1949 Universal comedy was released as Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Boris Karloff's unforgettable visage was always larger than life and his stalking appearance in Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome remains very much in the spirit of Chester Gould's comic strip. Gone, however, are most of the noir touches that lifted the three previous films out of the rut. Like Karloff's presence, the freezing gas is much in line with Gould's latter-day story-telling but that too is more mindful of action serials than hard-boiled detective fiction. The climax, where Boris Karloff almost becomes the victim of a runaway conveyor-belt, also points in that direction. By 1947, a bit of mental fatigue had set in and instead of fully developed supporting villains, RKO made do with punning character names such as Dr. A. Tomic, Dr. I.M. Learned, L.E. Thal, and Y. Stuffum. The last appears on a sign advertising a taxidermist!
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/17/2015
  • UPC: 874757053998
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: American Pop Classic
  • Time: 1:05:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 96,212

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ralph Byrd Dick Tracy
Boris Karloff Gruesome
Anne Gwynne Tess Trueheart
Lyle Latell Pat Patton
June Clayworth Dr. I.M. Learned
Skelton Knaggs X-Ray
Tony Barrett "Melody" Fiske
Joseph Crehan Brandon
Jim Nolan Dan Sterne
Robert Clarke Fred, police analyst
Milton Parsons Dr. A. Tomic
Harry Harvey Jr. Humphrey, a guard
William Gould "Pop", hospital desk sgt.
Ernie S. Adams Bartender at Hangman's Knot
Phil Arnold Sneezing customer
Lex Barker City hospital driver
Sean McClory Officer Carney
Lee Phelps Detective in car
Bert Roach Crandall, a customer
Jason Robards Sr. Mr. Fax, bank vice pres.
Harry Strang Officer Tim
Edward Ashley Dr. Lee Thal
Bela Lugosi
Morgan Conway
Anne Jeffreys
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Conductor
Technical Credits
John Rawlins Director
James Altwies Set Decoration/Design
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Gordon Bau Makeup
Russell A. Cully Special Effects
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director, Production Designer
William H. Graffis Original Story
Walter E. Keller Art Director, Production Designer
Robert Kent Original Story
James Lane Asst. Director
Frank Redman Cinematographer
Paul Sawtell Score Composer
Herman Schlom Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Eric Taylor Screenwriter
Robertson White Screenwriter
Elmo Williams Editor
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