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Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy(1945)


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This was the first picture in RKO's "Dick Tracy" series. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, RKO brought Morgan Conway from Broadway to star in the title role. A news item in New York Times adds that RKO paid $10,000 to Gould's representative for the rights to make this film. The series, based on Chester Gould's square-jawed comic strip crime fighter, consisted of four pictures and ran from 1945-1947. The first two starred Conway as Tracy. Ralph Byrd, who starred as Tracy beginning with the 1937 Republic serial, replaced Conway in the final two films. In addition to Tracy, all of the films featured Lyle Latell as Tracy's right-hand man, "Pat Patton." Joseph Crehan played police chief "Brandon" in several of the films and Ann Jeffreys played Tracy's sweetheart "Tess Trueheart" in two. The last film in the RKO's series was Dick Tracy's Dilemma . According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Gould and the Famous Artists Syndicate were interested in resuming the series in 1948 with the specification that Conway be restored to the title role, but the series was not revived.
       Tracy first came to the screen in 1937 when Republic began the production of the first of four serials that would star Byrd as the detective. The 1990 Touchstone film Dick Tracy, starring Warren Beatty, Madonna and Al Pacino, was also based on Gould's comic strip character. The character Dick Tracy also spawned two television series. The first ran from 1950-1951 on ABC and starred Ralph Byrd in the title role. The second was an 1961 cartoon show that consisted of 130 episodes and featured Everett Sloane as the voice of Tracy.