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. As the serial begins, Dick's brother Gordon (Richard Beach) is being controlled by a criminal genius known as "The Spider."
by Hal Erickson synopsis