Dick Tracy


(out of 5)

‘s recreation of Chester Gould’s thirties comic strip is nothing short of a work of art. Working with the same seven colours that comic-book printers had to work with back during the original publishings, Beatty’s production is dazzling enough to make up for the weak narrative. He directs himself as the title character, the sunshine in his dark world in a yellow coat and fedora who brings justice to the law-abiding citizens of the big city. He’s also trying to maintain his relationship with the adoring and adorable Tess Trueheart (. who is wonderful) while Breathless Mahoney (a deliciously wry ) comes along to put it all to the test. His crime-fighting plans involve his quest to get rid of the city’s biggest menace, Big Boy Caprice (a very funny ). Everyone who was anyone in Hollywood in 1990 parades through this film in a small or large cameo, but what worst most against the film having the sheen of a classic is that Beatty, when given no moral failings, is not all that interesting to watch.  Milena Canonero’s gorgeous costume work and the phenomenal makeup designs of Doug Drexler, Jr. and John Caglione are well worth checking out, though.

Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV, Touchstone Pictures

USA, 1990

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on characters created by

Cinematography by

Produced by Warren Beatty

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards
Best Art Direction (art direction: Richard Sylbert; set decoration: Rick Simpson)
Best Makeup (John Caglione, Doug Drexler)
Best Music (Original Song) (“Sooner Or Later (I Always Get My Man), music and lyric by Stephen Sondheim)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Al Pacino as “Big Boy Caprice”)
Best Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro)
Best Costume Design (Milena Canonero)
Best Sound (Chris Jenkins, David E. Campbell, D.M. Hemphill, Thomas Causey)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Al Pacino)
Best Original Song-Motion Picture (“Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)” music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)
Best Original Song-Motion Picture (“What Can You Lose”, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim)


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