Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947)

A new bad guy is in town and it is up to Dick Tracy to stop him.  Gruesome is the mastermind criminal who has come up with the perfect plan to rob banks.  He has teamed up with a doctor who has invented a gas that temporarily paralyzes its victims.  With this gas, Gruesome has become the number one criminal for Tracy to catch.

Boris Karloff plays Gruesome and he does a great job.  Karloff got top billing over Ralph Byrd who played Tracy.  The movie is carried by Karloff.  He is perfect as a Dick Tracy villain.  The bone structure of his face is even reminiscent of a criminal in the original Tracy comics.  Gruesome shows no passion for anyone.  This becomes most evident when he shoots and kills a woman at point blank.  It was rather shocking for 1947 I thought.  

One great thing about "Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome" is the humor that is spread throughout.  There is one scene where Tracy's assistant says of Gruesome "You would think we were dealing with Boris Karloff!"  Of course, it was Karloff playing Gruesome.  I love those kind of inside jokes.  I also like the names given to characters to describe their personality or profession.  Examples are X-Ray for the guy who wears thick glasses and a doctor named A. Tomic.  Those were funny as well.

"Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome" is a very fun movie to watch.  All of the acting is well done, but it is Karloff that steals every scene.  

B+  I recommend it.

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