Alpha Video

Dick Tracy (2-DVD)

Starring: Ralph Byrd Director: Alan James & Ray Taylor
The complete "Dick Tracy" serial on two DVDs.
Rating 4.5
6 ratings
Movie on IMDb
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Item:  ALP 9533D
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DVD Features:

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1937
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring
Directed by &

Description by OLDIES.com:

America's greatest G-man, Dick Tracy, is hot on the trail of the evil Spider Ring and their ruthless leader, The Lame One, in this Republic serial classic. When his brother is turned against him, Dick Tracy will stop at nothing to solve the Spider Ring mystery and save the world from the clutches of evil. Putting his life on the line each and every episode, he narrowly escapes death and must rely on his sharp wit and physical prowess to see him through. Ralph Byrd brings Dick Tracy from the strip to the silver screen for the very first time, battling evil henchmen, and solving mind-bending mysteries.

Product Description:

Ralph Byrd stars as the titular detective in this 1937 serial version of the classic comic strip. In this adventure, Tracy is on the trail of the evil Spider Ring and their leader, the Lame One.

Plot Keywords:

Detective | Detectives | Good Vs. Evil | Serial

Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating: Rating 4.5
Based on 6 ratings.
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Rating 4.5 Ralph Byrd delivers old school action...and may have inspired James Bond Movie Lover: from Grand Rapids, MI US -- January, 25, 2009

This 1937 adventure serial has amazing stunts, incredible gadgets, and a dashing hero in its leading man Ralph Byrd who played Tracy in 2 Republic serials, 2 films, and a short lived TV series. In this, his first adventure, Tracy is out to foil the Spider, a mysterious villain out to smuggle, steal, or blow up anything to serves his evil plans as well as destroy anyone that stands in his way. The Spider has a giant, incredible airplane he uses to hijack blimps, attack bridges, and steal experimental aircraft and Tracy has to locate it’s secret base in order to end the Spider’s reign of terror. Not only that, the Spider has abducted Tracy’s brother and managed to turn him against him through a diabolical operation that erases his memory and makes him suseptible to the Spider’s evil will. If all this sounds far removed from the Chester Gould comic strip it’s of little concern. In fact, the story is like a James Bond adventure set in 1937. (Ralph Byrd even looks like Bond leading me to wonder if Ian Fleming got his idea for the character here.) This version of Tracy is an FBI agent, not just a detective. He has a secret knife in his ring, uses radio devices, and remote controled airplanes. One particular action sequence with motor boats was obviously lifted from this serial and used in Steven Speilberg’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Republic knew how to make these serials better than anyone. Maybe they’re a bit rough compared to modern action films and there are too many random fist fights among the more elaborate action, but this is pretty exciting stuff just the same. Perhaps in a nod to the Chester Gould comic strip a couple of the villains have physical deformities that honestly make them seem like awkward stereotypes more than menacing villains, but I think it will only be offensive to the most sensitive viewers (after all, 1937 was not the most enlightened time and at least there are no racial stereotypes here). Ralph Byrd played the character for over a decade and audiences identified him with the character (a temporary replacement was not accepted very well by audiences when they got around to doing the regular films and Byrd was brought back). According to Wikipedia, Byrd died shortly after taking the character to television, a tragedy that is compared to the strange death of George Reeves who similarly played a comic strip character (Superman) in serials, movies, and finally television. This serial along with the film, **** Tracy Meets Gruesome (costarring Boris Karloff) are my favorites of Byrd’s Tracy films so far.


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Product Info:

  • Sales Rank: 8,598
  • UPC: 089218953391
  • Shipping Weight: 0.27/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 2 items

Dick Tracy DVD Series:

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Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.

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