DICK TRACY (1937)
Article #551 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-17-2002
Posting date: 2-10-2003
Dick Tracy goes up against a supervillain known as The Lame One and his Spider Gang. What he doesn’t know is that his own brother has been turned evil by an operation and is now part of the gang.
I mostly remember Dick Tracy from the daily comic strips in the paper; this was primarily during the sixties and seventies, so I have no idea what the strip was like in the thirties when this was made. I do know that this serial is lacking some of the science fiction gadgetry that was a Dick Tracy hallmark; no two way wristwatches are to be found. Instead, we have a fairly conventional G-Man adventure, though I will say that the villains are a fun and memorable bunch. This is the first serial that I’ve seen from Republic at this point (as far as I know), and I’ve heard that they were responsible for the best serials; certainly, this one looks like a lot more real care and effort was put into it than I usually find in serials. So I’ll just settle back and say that I quite enjoyed this one, even if it does have a few cheating cliffhangers. And though it was quite impossible for them to find someone who really resembles Dick Tracy (let’s face it; that jaw does not occur in nature), I will have to say that Ralph Byrd’s jaw is about as close as you can get to it without looking completely unnatural.