Dick Tracy vs. Cueball (1946)

Genres - Action, Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Superhero Film  |   Release Date - Nov 22, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 62 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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A so-called film historian once listed Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball among the "Fifty Worst Films of All Time." Pay absolutely no notice! A delightful whodunit very much in the spirit of Chester Gould's original comic strip, this sometimes rather violent humdinger of a Grade-B film shouldn't be found on any "Worst Films" list at all and is actually more entertaining than Warren Beatty's critically acclaimed but over-produced blockbuster of 1990. Here are deliciously juicy performances by Ian Keith as Vitamin Flintheart, a character very much based on the latter-day John Barrymore; Esther Howard as the old waterfront hag Filthy Flora; and, of course, Dick Wessel as the rampaging title character, whose eventual demise remains a shocker. Although not popular with contemporary audiences, Morgan Conway's Tracy is actually considered the definitive version by some notable modern aficionados and if he doesn't quite resemble his comic strip alter ego, Conway's jaw-punching portrayal is perhaps closer to Gould's no-nonsense crime fighter than competitors Ralph Byrd and Warren Beatty. Anne Jeffreys, meanwhile, repeats her spirited Tess Truehart from Dick Tracy and Lyle Latell adds his usual bumbling comic by-play as sidekick Pat Patton.