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Dick Tracy

A movie directed by Warren Beatty

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Comic Strip Come to Life.

  • Apr 1, 2002
DICK TRACY is not a great movie. However, nor is it a bad movie. It's just a decent, good movie. It appeals most to boys, and is basically a toned down version of the of the blow-em-up cop movies of the modern era. Nevertheless, there is a romantic element that appeals to girls (besides the usual love story there's also Tess' tortured soul over her love for Tracy and a desire for a "normal" life; and there's also the love triangle with Breathless Mahoney).

The plot of the movie is fairly simple. Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) is slowly taking over the city, picking off rival crime bosses and forces others to join his gang. His only problem is that Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) is always hot on his tale. Then a new villian, The Blank, arrives in town and makes a proposal that Big Boy can't refuse.

The costumes and scenery are bright and colorful and look like a Dick Tracy comic strip come to life. Beatty does a decent job at both acting and directing. His Tracy does seem a bit emotionless at times, but that's the way Tracy is: he's a perfect cop who shows hardly any emotion.

Madonna doesn't do too bad of a job as Breathless Mahoney. Her acting isn't nearly as bad as the critics complained. She had all the seductivity of Mahoney, but seemingly not enough of her intelligence (a flaw she corrected in EVITA).

Stephen Soundheim wrote the movie's songs and won an Oscar for one. The musical score was composed by Danny Elfman and is quite reminiscent of BATMAN (I kept waiting for the bat signal to come on because the score is so similar). Also, the makeup is fantastic (see how many Hollywood stars you can find behind the silicone and latex wonders).

Overall, though the movie is somewhat outlandish, it is stylish. DICK TRACY isn't a thinking movie, but it is an interesting one. It proves to be an enjoyable piece of mind candy that doesn't take too long to chew.

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January 22, 2011
Nice review for this near-forgotten comic book film. Thanks! Featured.
January 24, 2011
Glad you enjoyed it. I watched the movie again recently and it's still not too bad of a mind-candy movie.
September 02, 2010
I just saw this again for the first time in years and it's as much fun as I remember but yeah it could have been better.
More Dick Tracy (1990 movie) reviews
review by . December 16, 2010
Probably the most stylish and unique comic book films ever made, but not one of the most developed.      The story is pretty simple. There is a guy, his name is Dick Tracy, he is a detective, and he wants to get rid of this other guy who is a gangster named Big Boy Caprice. That is pretty much it. Two guys trying to get rid of each other, not much beyond that.      The characters are also very thin. Dick Tracy was not interesting at all, he just seemed like …
review by . September 02, 2010
In 1989, everyone remembers Batman roared onto the movie scene in the summer, made a bundle, sold lots of t shirts and toys, had a Danny Elfman score and a striking if drab grays and charcoals and black color scheme as well as a big name cast.  Next year came Dick Tracy, a colorful as hell movie in the summer of 1990 that made a bundle, sold lots of t shirts and toys, had a Danny Elfman score and a very bright and cheery color palette and had a huge ensemble to big names and character actors.  …
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2010
Great and colorful comic movie chock full of stars thats long on color and visuals but comes up a little short in some of it's characters.
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About this movie


Dick Tracy is a 1990 American pulp action film based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester Gould. Warren Beatty produced, directed, and starred in the film, which features supporting roles from Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, and Charlie Korsmo. Dick Tracy depicts the detective's love relationships with Breathless Mahoney and Tess Truehart, as well as his conflicts with crime boss Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice. Tracy also begins his upbringing of "The Kid".

Development of the film started in the early 1980s with Tom Mankiewicz assigned to write the script. The project also went through directors Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Walter Hill, and Richard Benjamin before the arrival of Beatty. Filming was entirely at Universal Studios. Danny Elfman was hired to compose the film score, and the music was featured on three separate soundtrack albums.

Dick Tracy was released in 1990 to mixed reviews, but was generally a success at the box office and at awards time. It picked up seven Academy Award nominations and won in three of the categories: Best Original Song, Best Makeup and Best Art Direction. A sequel was planned, but a controversy over the film rights ensued between Beatty and Tribune Media Services, and the lawsuit still goes on, so a second film has not been produced.

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Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: June 15, 1990
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 1hr 45min
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