A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective’s brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick Tracy.
Chapter 9: The Stratosphere Adventure
Chester Gould’s jut-jawed plainclothesman Dick Tracy first came to the screen in this 15-chapter Republic serial. Ralph Byrd stars as Tracy, a role which both brought him fame and typecast him for life. For the purposes of cliffhanging suspense, the Republic writing staff altered the Tracy “mythos” as set forth in Gould’s daily comic strip.
Cartoonist Chester Gould created this action hero in the early 1930′s and by the middle 30′s the FBI and gangsters were in all the newspaper & radio headlines. So Gould countered with Dick Tracy G-man (in the movie serials) & Dick Tracy cop hero in the comic strip.
The “Dick Tracy” (1937) Republic Pictures 15 episode action serial launched Ralph Byrds career as the super crime solving G-man/Sherlock Holmes sleuth. The movie version was always the international view while the comic strip was the local city crime storyline.
All in all, this is definitely one of the better serials. As an earlier Republic serial, you won’t see as much stunt action, choreographed fights and telegraphed chapter endings as in the later ones, but the elements are still there. This is one of the times I wish there was a 4 and a half star designation.
Cast and Crew:
Directors: Alan James/Ray Taylor
Production Company: Republic Pictures
Audio/Visual: Mono, black & white
Date Release: 1937
Cast: Ralph Byrd/Dick Tracy, Kay Hughes/Gwen Andrews, Smiley Burnette/Mike McGurk
Additional details in: IMDB
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Filed Under: Dick Tracy