Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (December 18, 1946)
Released December 18, 1946: Dick Tracy needs a high society police woman to use as bait for capturing a strangling murderer and his girlfriend Tess Truehart volunteers.
Produced by Herman Schlom
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Written by Chester Gould, Luci Ward, Dane Lussier and Robert E. Kent
The Actors: Morgan Conway (Dick Tracy), Ann Jeffreys (Tess Trueheart), Lyle Latell (Pat Patton), Rita Corday (Mona Clyde, Sparkle's secretary), Ian Keith (Vitamin Flintheart), Dick Wessel (Harry 'Cueball' Lake), Douglas Walton (Percival Priceless, antique store owner), Esther Howard (Filthy Flora, Dripping Dagger Proprietor), Joseph Crehan (Chief Brandon), Byron Foulger (Simon Little, Sparkle's Diamond Cutter), Jimmy Crane (Junior Tracy), Milton Parsons (Higby, Clerk at Priceless'), Skelton Knaggs (Rudolph, Little's Assoicate), Trevor Bardette (Lester Abbott, Passenger with Diamonds), Jack Cheatham (cop), Harry Cheshire (Jules Sparkle, Jeweler), Jimmy Clemons Jr. (Butch, Junior's pal), Ralph Dunn (the cop at Pat's car wreck), Lee Frederick (Purser on the S.S. Palomar), Raoul Freeman (cop), Kit Guard (bar customer), Perc Launders (Police Sergeant), William Newell (piano player), Jason Robards Sr. (Captain Mason on the S.S. Palomar), Max Wagner (Max, the Dripping Dagger bartender), Bill Wallace (doorman at the Carlton Arms), Phil Warren (Doctor Martin, the Coroner at Abbott's autopsy)
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Dick and the Demented Strangler
As our adventure opens, Cueball, a bald bad guy just out of prison is trying to rob a diamond buyer of his stash of priceless diamonds. When Cueball demands that the fellow give him the diamonds, the fellow resists. This leads to that and Cueball strangles the diamond delivery man and runs away with the diamonds.
When Cueball visits the fellow that is supposed to pay him for delivery of the stolen rocks he gets a surprise . . . . The diamond cutter that is part of the deal tells Cueball that the whole deal is off . . . . The diamonds now have blood on them and the thieves don’t want any part of them.
Now, I think you have enough ‘tease’ to interest you in watching this movie, so if you permit, I’d like to comment on the difference between 1945 and today. If you are what folk commonly call a ‘Millennial baby’, you may see an entirely different story than if you are a ‘Baby Boom’ child of the last century.
There are few movies that illustrate what a very different world we live in today, and this is one of them.
Consider . . . . Villain Cueball strangles and murders several people in this story, and two little boys excitedly read the stories of gruesome death in the local newspaper. Adults around them are not terribly concerned that the young boys are exposed to such graphic violence.
Consider. . . . Police Homicide Squad Detective Dick Tracy needs a break in the case, and it happens when a youngster named Butch points two very real-looking pistols at Policeman Dick Tracy, and the policeman’s reaction is to smile and raise his hands in surrender.
No, this movie would never be filmed in the same way today, but back in 1945 this was a different America . . . Not a particularly better one . . . . Not a particularly worse one . . . . Just different. Some, like me, might think that it was more fun back then, but old folk tend to only remember the fun times and not the rough times.
If you are of a certain age you may remember those days, and if you are too young to remember those days you will see a very different time that you might not recognize. In either case, pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Morgan Conway as Detective Dick Tracy
Ann Jeffreys and Ian Keith
Ann Jeffreys and Dick Wessel
Anne Jeffreys and Morgan Conrad
Byron Foulger and Dick Wessel
Byron Foulger and Dick Wessel
Byron Foulger and Harry Cheshire
Byron Foulger, Lyle Latell and Morgan Conway
Dick Wessel and Esther Howard
Douglas Walton and Dick Wessel
Douglas Walton and Max Wagner
Ian Keith and Lyle Latell
Jimmy Clemons Jr.
Jimmy Crane and Jimmy Clemons Jr.
Milton Parsons and Ian Keith
Morgan Conway and Jimmy Clemons
Morgan Conway and Lyle Latell
Rita Corday and Dick Wessel
Rita Corday, Lyle Latell and Byron Foulger
Rita Corday and Morgan Conway