Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome
|Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome|
|Directed by||John Rawlins|
|Produced by||Herman Schlom|
Robert E. Kent
|Screenplay by||Robertson White
|Music by||Paul Sawtell|
|Edited by||Elmo Williams|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
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.
Just out of jail, Gruesome (Boris Karloff) goes to the Hangman's Knot saloon, where his old crime crony, Melody (Tony Barrett), is now playing piano. Gruesome takes him to a plastics manufacturer, where X-Ray (Skelton Knaggs) and a mysterious mastermind are in possession of a secret formula and hatching a sinister plot.
Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd) is at headquarters speaking with college professor Dr. A. Tomic (Milton Parsons), a scientist who suspects someone has been following him. At the morgue, Tracy's sidekick Pat (Lyle Latell) 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 (a gag cribbed from Arsenic and Old Lace).
At a bank where Tess Trueheart (Anne Gwynne) happens to be, Gruesome and Melody use nerve gas to incapacitate the customers and the 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 (June Clayworth), 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.
- Ralph Byrd as Dick Tracy - The tough, square-jawed detective
- Anne Gwynne as Tess Truehart - Tracy's girlfriend, who witnesses the bank robbery
- Boris Karloff as Gruesome - A corpse-like gangster.
- Skelton Knaggs as Rudolph X-Ray - Gruesome's spectacled henchman
- Edward Ashley as Dr. Lee Thal - an interested party.
- June Clayworth as Dr. I.M. Learned - Prof. Tomic's assistant
- Lyle Latell as Pat Patton - Tracy's bumbling sidekick
- Tony Barrett as 'Melody' Fiske - A greedy, piano-playing thug
- Jim Nolan as Dan Sterne - A nosy newspaper reporter
- Joseph Crehan as Chief Brandon - Tracy's reliable boss
- Milton Parsons as Dr. A. Tomic - a State U. physicist
- In 2007, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome was shown on the horror hosted television series Cinema Insomnia. Apprehensive Films later released the Cinema Insomnia episode onto DVD.
- On October 16, 2014, writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton introduced a version of the Gruesome character into the Dick Tracy comic strip. They introduced a character inspired by Melody (Mel O. Dee) on October 27th of that year.  The cartoonists carry the joke further. Gruesome had had plastic surgery done to change his appearance, by a Dr. Einstein. And Gruesome gets drafted to portray Jonathon Brewster in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace.
- 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.
- Stephen Jacobs, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, Tomohawk Press 2011 p 322-323
- "Cinema Insomnia". Cinema Insomnia. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- "Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome DVD". Apprehensive Films. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
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