Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (September 26, 1947)

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Boris Karloff as Gruesome
 

Released on September 26, 1947: Gruesome uses an experimental chemical gas to temporarily paralyze people as frozen statues while he robs banks.

Produced by Herman Schlom

Directed by John Rawlins

The Actors: Boris Karloff (Gruesome), Ralph Byrd (Dick Tracy, police homicide detective), Anne Gwynne (Tess Trueheart, Dick's girlfriend), Edward Ashley (Dr. L.E. Thal), June Clayworth (Dr. I.M. Learned - Irma), Lyle Latell (Pat Patton, police detective), Tony Barrett ('Melody' Fiske, piano player at the Hangman's Knot), Skelton Knaggs (X-Ray, henchman), James Nolan (Dan Sterne, reporter), Joseph Crehan (Police Chief Brandon), Milton Parsons (Dr. A. Tomic), Ernie Adams (bartender at the Hangman's Knot), Phil Arnold (sneezing bank customer), Lex Barker (city hospital driver), Eddie Borden (bank customer), Robert Bray (Sarge), Robert Clarke (Sarge), George Cooper (Stone, bank teller), Suzi Crandall (blonde bank customer), William Gould ('Pop' hospital desk Sergeant), Ben Hall (Luke, police stooge), Harry Harvey (Humphrey, bank guard), Tom Keene (Dr. Frankley), George Lloyd (manager of the 'Hangman's Knot'), Robert Malcolm (Dr. Carver, police doctor), Sean McClory (Officer Carney), Lew Meehan (police driver in montage), Bruce Mitchell (Police Sergeant in montage), Lee Phelps (detective in car), Lorin Raker (insolvent bank customer), Bert Roach (Crandall, bank customer), Jason Robards Sr. (Mr. Fax, bank V.P.), Harry Strang (Tim, Tracy's hospital guard), Tex Swan (policeman)

 

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Dick, the Smoking Corpse and the Gas Bomb

Gruesome has discovered a new chemical gas that will make people freeze in their place for fifteen minutes, as if they are dead, and then come back to life without any recollection of being unconscious. We get a special treat in this one because the actor that plays the part of Gruesome is none other than the great Boris Karloff! In fact, his fame is mentioned in the movie in a conversation early in the movie. It was very rare . . . I can't remember any movie before this one that used this technique . . . when talking about seeing Gruesome, the detective says that the fellow was so horrible looking, if he didn't know better, he'd swear it was Boris Karloff!

As our movie begins, Gruesome is heading to the bar called 'Hangman's Knot' to meet an old buddy, 'Melody' a bar piano player. Gruesome has just gotten out of jail and is ready to start a new crime wave. Melody takes him to visit a scientist's lab where one of the men there will help them with some crime jobs. While waiting, Gruesome snoops around the office, and when he finds a test tube with a cork in it, he removes the cork to smell what is inside. The gas inside makes Gruesome dizzy, finally falling to the ground, apparently dead. While in the morgue, Gruesome wakes up from his frozen condition and gets away. He immediately realizes the value to such a drug, and soon we find him robbing a bank after paralyzing almost everyone in the bank with a small vial of the potent gas. Fortunately, Dick Tracy's girlfriend, Tess Trueheart, is in a phone booth ;when the gas paralyzes everyone in the bank, and she is smart enough to pretend to be paralyzed also when the robbers enter and steal all the money

The chase is on between Dick Tracy and this new band of criminals, and Dick narrowly avoids death a couple of heart-stopping times before the final showdown between him and the ominous Gruesome. The Dick Tracy comic strip in newspapers nationwide was so popular that several motion pictures were created to exploit his fame on the big screen, and this one is one of the best, following the comic strip tradition of being just one notch away from realistic. Sit down with your bowl of hot buttered popcorn and enjoy a quick romp through the streets of the big city with those awesome old autos and enjoy an exciting adventure of Detective vs. Master Criminal!

Anne Gwynne
Boris Karloff as Gruesome
Ralph Byrd as Dick Tracy
Ralph Byrd as Dick Tracy
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Anne Gwynne
Ben Hall
Ben Hall
Boris Karloff and Tony Barrett
Boris Karloff and Tony Barrett
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
Edward Ashley
Edward Ashley
Edward Ashley
Edward Ashley
George Lloyd
George Lloyd
Harry Harvey and Ralph Byrd
Harry Harvey and Ralph Byrd
James Nolan and Ralph Byrd
James Nolan and Ralph Byrd
James Nolan
James Nolan
Jason Robards Sr.
Jason Robards Sr.
Joseph Crehan and Ralph Byrd
Joseph Crehan and Ralph Byrd
Joseph Crehan and Ralph Byrd
Joseph Crehan and Ralph Byrd
Joseph Crehan
Joseph Crehan
June Clayworth
June Clayworth
June Clayworth
William Warren and Peter Cookson
June Clayworth
June Clayworth
Lyle Latell and Harry Harvey
Lyle Latell and Harry Harvey
Lyle Latell and Ralph Byrd
Lyle Latell and Ralph Byrd
Lyle Latell and Ralph Byrd
Lyle Latell and Ralph Byrd
Lyle Latell and Robert Bray
Lyle Latell and Robert Bray
Lyle Latell
Lyle Latell
Milton Parsons
Milton Parsons
Phil Arnold
Phil Arnold
Ralph Byrd
Ralph Byrd
Ralph Byrd and Milton Parsons
Ralph Byrd and Milton Parsons
Ralph Byrd and the sketch of Tony Barrett
Ralph Byrd and the sketch of Tony Barrett
Ralph Byrd
Ralph Byrd
Sean McClory and Lyle Latell
Sean McClory and Lyle Latell
Skelton Knaggs and Boris Karloff
Skelton Knaggs and Boris Karloff
Skelton Knaggs and Boris Karloff
Skelton Knaggs and Boris Karloff
Skelton Knaggs
Skelton Knaggs
Tony Barrett
Tony Barrett
William Gould
William Gould