Dick Tracy's Dilemma (1947)

60 mins | Drama | 12 July 1947

Director:

John Rawlins

Producer:

Herman Schlom

Cinematographer:

Frank Redman

Editor:

Marvin Coil

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Lucius O. Croxton

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Dick Tracy vs. The Claw . Dick Tracy's Dilemma was the third film in RKO's Dick Tracy series. Ralph Byrd, who had starred in Republic's 1937 Dick Tracy serial, took over the title role from Morgan Conway for the production. He also played Tracy in the fourth and last picture of the RKO series, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome . Early pre-production HR news item lists Douglas Walton as a cast member, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. For more information on the series, See Entry for Dick Tracy and consult the Series ... More Less

The working title of this film was Dick Tracy vs. The Claw . Dick Tracy's Dilemma was the third film in RKO's Dick Tracy series. Ralph Byrd, who had starred in Republic's 1937 Dick Tracy serial, took over the title role from Morgan Conway for the production. He also played Tracy in the fourth and last picture of the RKO series, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome . Early pre-production HR news item lists Douglas Walton as a cast member, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. For more information on the series, See Entry for Dick Tracy and consult the Series Index. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 May 1947.
---
Daily Variety
13 May 1947.
---
Film Daily
20 May 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Mar 46
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 46
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 46
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 47
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 May 1947.
---
New York Times
14 Jul 47
p. 14.
Variety
14 May 47
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the comic strip "Dick Tracy" created by Chester Gould, distributed by Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate (Oct 1931--).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Dick Tracy vs. The Claw
Release Date:
12 July 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 12 July 1947
Production Date:
28 October--mid November 1946
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
21 May 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1070
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
60
Length(in feet):
5,400
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
12092
SYNOPSIS

After his cohorts, Sam and Fred, steal furs from the Flawless Furs warehouse, Steve Michel, a vicious, crippled killer known as The Claw, uses his prosthetic hook to murder the watchman. At the crime scene, police detective Dick Tracy interviews fur company owner Humphries, Peter Premium, the head of the insurance company that insured the furs, and Cudd, the insurance company's investigator. Premium and Cudd are anxious to catch the thieves quickly as Humphries' policy states that if the stolen goods are not found within twenty-four hours, the insurance company must pay a penalty. While examining the watchman's body at the morgue, Tracy and his bumbling assistant, Pat Patton, find a scribbled note and, with the help of the forensics laboratory, decipher it. The note indicates that the robbers are three men driving a truck with the name "Daisy" on it. Before Tracy can track the truck, however, the robbers change its facade at their junkyard hideout. The robbers then go to the Blinking Skull bar to telephone their boss and are overheard making plans to unload the furs that night by Sightless, a beggar who poses as a blind man. While eavesdropping, Sightless, a police informant, makes enough noise to attract the robbers' attention and barely escapes from The Claw. Sightless rushes to Dick Tracy's house with his tip, but Vitamin Flintheart, Tracy's pretentious but goodhearted friend, answers the door. Assuming that the terrified beggar is a raving pest, Vitamin sends him on his way after listening to his message about the robbers' rendezvous with a fence. Later, Vitamin passes on Sightless' tip, and Tracy and Pat apprehend the would-be fence, Longshot ... +


After his cohorts, Sam and Fred, steal furs from the Flawless Furs warehouse, Steve Michel, a vicious, crippled killer known as The Claw, uses his prosthetic hook to murder the watchman. At the crime scene, police detective Dick Tracy interviews fur company owner Humphries, Peter Premium, the head of the insurance company that insured the furs, and Cudd, the insurance company's investigator. Premium and Cudd are anxious to catch the thieves quickly as Humphries' policy states that if the stolen goods are not found within twenty-four hours, the insurance company must pay a penalty. While examining the watchman's body at the morgue, Tracy and his bumbling assistant, Pat Patton, find a scribbled note and, with the help of the forensics laboratory, decipher it. The note indicates that the robbers are three men driving a truck with the name "Daisy" on it. Before Tracy can track the truck, however, the robbers change its facade at their junkyard hideout. The robbers then go to the Blinking Skull bar to telephone their boss and are overheard making plans to unload the furs that night by Sightless, a beggar who poses as a blind man. While eavesdropping, Sightless, a police informant, makes enough noise to attract the robbers' attention and barely escapes from The Claw. Sightless rushes to Dick Tracy's house with his tip, but Vitamin Flintheart, Tracy's pretentious but goodhearted friend, answers the door. Assuming that the terrified beggar is a raving pest, Vitamin sends him on his way after listening to his message about the robbers' rendezvous with a fence. Later, Vitamin passes on Sightless' tip, and Tracy and Pat apprehend the would-be fence, Longshot Lillie. While Tracy and Pat are questioning Lillie, who is unable to identify the robbers, The Claw kills Sightless in his apartment. The Claw then starts to make a telephone call in Sightless' building, but is scared off when Pat and Tracy arrive. Although Pat is unable to catch the fleeing Claw, he does shoot and wound him. Tracy notices that The Claw left scratch marks on the telephone dial indicating the first part of the number he was calling, and assigns Pat the task of discovering the missing digits. Tracy then visits Premium and Cudd and accuses them of stealing the furs. After the insurance men deny Tracy's charges, an exhausted Pat bursts in and announces that the phone number belongs to Humphries. From his home, meanwhile, Humphries, who hopes to sell the insurance company his own furs at a cut rate and collect the penalty money, contacts the robbers at the Blinking Skull, and they then call Premium and tell him to bring $50,000 to the bar. There Fred and Sam try to double-cross the wounded Claw, but he attacks and kills them. Their murder is witnessed by Vitamin, who, out of guilt over Sightless, is posing as a blind beggar. From his hiding place, Vitamin then overhears The Claw telephoning Humphries and telling him the location of the furs. After Humphries, who is being held at gunpoint by Pat and Cudd, alerts The Claw to his situation, Vitamin inadvertently attracts the killer's attention. Vitamin is saved by the arrival of Tracy, who then pursues The Claw to the junkyard. There Tracy corners The Claw next to a high-voltage generator, and the killer accidentally touches a charged wire with his hook and electrocutes himself. At home, Tracy is about to embrace his patient sweetheart, Tess Trueheart, when he is called to duty once more. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.