Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome

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Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome
Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by John Rawlins
Produced by Herman Schlom
Written by Characters:
Chester Gould
William Graffis
Robert E. Kent
Starring Boris Karloff
Ralph Byrd
Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography Frank Redman
Edited by Elmo Williams
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release dates
  • September 26, 1947 (1947-09-26) (U.S.)
Running time
65 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (also known as Dick Tracy Meets Karloff and Dick Tracy's Amazing Adventure (UK) ) is a 1947 thriller film starring Ralph Byrd, Anne Gwynne, and Boris Karloff. The film is the fourth and final installment of the Dick Tracy film series released by RKO Radio Pictures.[1]


Just out of jail, Gruesome goes to the Hangman's Knot saloon, where his old crime crony Melody is now playing piano. Gruesome takes him to a plastics manufacturer, where X-Ray and a mysterious mastermind are in possession of a secret formula and hatching a sinister plot.

Ignoring a warning not to touch anything, Gruesome sniffs a nerve gas that paralyzes him. He appears to be dead and is taken to the city morgue.

Dick Tracy is at headquarters speaking with college professor Dr. Tomic, a scientist who suspects someone has been following him. At the morgue, Tracy's sidekick Pat has his back turned when Gruesome wakes up and knocks him out. Pat describes him to Tracy as looking a lot like the actor Boris Karloff.

At a bank where Tess Trueheart happens to be, Gruesome and Melody use the nerve gas to incapacitate the customers and security guard. They rob the place of more than $100,000 and shoot a cop on the sidewalk before Tracy and his men arrive. Gruesome demands half of the loot from X-Ray .... or else.

Tracy tries to learn the secret of the formula from Dr. Tomic's top assistant, Professor Learned, before going after Gruesome and his gang. It all ends in a shootout, with Gruesome shot by Tracy, and then back at headquarters, where Tracy ends up frozen by nerve gas just as he's about to kiss Tess.



  • In 2007, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome was shown on the horror hosted television series Cinema Insomnia.[2] Apprehensive Films later released the Cinema Insomnia episode onto DVD.[3]
  • On October 16, 2014, writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton introduced a version of the Gruesome character into the Dick Tracy comic strip.[4] They introduced a character inspired by Melody (Mel. O. Dee) on October 27th of that year. [5]
  • American band Poet Named Revolver, from Nashville, TN, released an album called "Meets Gruesome". Recorded in 2007, first released in 2008, and reissued in 2014 by No Kings Record Cadre, with visual references to the film.[6]


  1. ^ Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 322-323
  2. ^ "Cinema Insomnia". Cinema Insomnia. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome DVD". Apprehensive Films. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.gocomics.com/dicktracy/2014/10/16
  5. ^ http://www.gocomics.com/dicktracy/2014/10/27
  6. ^ http://nokingsrecord.co/post/81305994716/nk50-poet-named-revolver-meets-gruesome-c30

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