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Dick Tracy [DVD] 
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Warren Beatty's adaptation of the detective comic strip displays a big-screen comic book look of its own. In a 1930s American city, Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) takes a stranglehold on all underworld activities, disposing of his main rival Lips Manlis (Paul Sorvino) and nabbing his girlfriend Breathless Mahoney (Madonna). Dick Tracy (Beatty) is entrusted with the task of cleaning up the city, but problems on the home front, with the adoption of a young orphan, and the seductive come-ons of Breathless threaten to ruffle his composure.
A flawed but stylish adaptation of the Chester Gould comic strip by director Warren Beatty, who also stars in the title role. The minimalist plot involves a battalion of baddies who confront the intrepid detective in a series of strung-together vignettes. Al Pacino is a comedic if overblown standout as Big Boy Caprice and Madonna simply smoulders as aggressive blonde bombshell Breathless Mahoney. It matters not that the plot is Spartan, as this dazzling eye candy is much enhanced by Stephen Sondheim's songs, including the Academy Award-winning ditty, "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)". Beatty took his cue from the source material and concentrated on the relationships between these people, whether strained, romantic or hateful. The performances are subtle and more amusing than you would expect from such a visually bold picture. Shot in bright, primary colours, this also won Oscars for Best Art/Set Direction and Makeup (for those inventively hideous criminals). Watch for well-known names, such as Dustin Hoffman and Dick Van Dyke, in cameo appearances and supporting roles. --Rochelle O'Gorman
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Top Customer Reviews
Punk Rock band X-Ray Spex once sang about The Day The World Turned Day-Glo, Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy was exactly that. The live action cartoon is a feast for the eyes, as the city backdrop for this cops and gangsters tale is a fountain of bright, lurid primary colours. The characters are drawn brilliantly, where the good guys are very much human, but the bad guys are a bunch of grotesques, like a mutant gathering under one coalition banner. All star casting, striking costuming, amazing effects work, quality songs and a brisk musical score (Elfman reworks his score for Batman from the previous year), Dick Tracy as a production is grade "A" stuff. It also did very well at the box office, where although it didn't reach Disney's expectation levels financially, it coined to the tune of over $100 million in profit Worldwide. Not bad for a film some still think was a flop!
It's a film that feels a lot better watching it now than it did back on release, to be able to view it as a smart technical accomplishment for the time it was made. The cast factor also makes it something of a fascinating experience, watching legends like Pacino and Hoffman absolutely buy into the cartoon excess on show. However, the old problem with it just will never go away.Read more ›
The film is a cult favourite and deserved more respect at the time and now on dvd deserves a second outing.
After Reds (a courageous hymn to socialism, he made right at the start of the Reagan era), he shocked everyone again, by turning to a completely different genre, comics, by producing and directing a really intellectual yet very entertaining and playful adaptation of Dick Tracy.
Real high quality standards and state of the art production values, a photography by Vittorio Storaro that reflects (like no one before) the true spirit and essence of comic books, and over the top portray of comic characthers (especially the bad guys) who also reflect an uncommon meditation on how power and money spoil people and turn them into monster, a fine soundtrack.
A fine intellectual operation disguised as an entertaining film.
A must have movie, not just for comic books fans.
Blu ray is pretty fantastic
I was attracted to this film because of the reviews I'd read (I think in SFX magazine) and because I recall both the strip and the Warner Bros cartoon parody "Duck Tracy" It is a comic strip universe (NOT a graphic novel universe) of grotesques and primary colours...I see that Beatty didnt go in for outlandish make up as Tracy (who had a chin so angular you could play a gramophone record on the point of it) but the villains are as wierd a set of goons as you could wish for (and Dustin Hoffman is so CUTE)
Its well worth a watch to compare it with the earlier Batman flicks, also in an intensely unreal setting....
Oh, and Madonna is brilliant as Breathless Mahoney. The lady can act as well as look fantastic, but then she a Beatty were an item at the time, methinks?
Like I say well worth a watch (with or without a built in W/T)
He is currently on the hunt for crime boss Big Boy Caprice who recently killed off former crime boss Lips Manless.
Now Big Boy is rallying up all of the criminals in the city who are not only trying to make the city bow to Big Boy's wishes but to eliminate Tracy.
Tracy is faced with issues, as he is trying to not only track down Big Boy, but to keep his girlfriend Tess Trueheart, take care of a nameless orphan and dodge seductive club dancer Breathless Mahoney and a mysterious gangster.....
The film is beautiful to look at, and it's obvious that it really has had a lot of attention given to it regarding the sets and costumes, but it sticks to the back of ones mind knowing that this is one of the biggest vanity projects ever made.
Whenever Beatty is on close up, it's as if someone is shining a torch in his face, to make him look that little more pretty, and alluring to the ladies.
And this becomes the bane of the film, because you really start to lose interest in the titular character, so thank goodness for the wealth of support and great turns from Pacino and even Madonna.
The story is light and so is narrative, for the majority of the film, we just see Tracy being chased by gangsters, or being chased by women, and once or twice having a musical interlude or a fight.
But Kudos to Beatty for making such an entertaining and still very fresh vanity project/blockbuster.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic film that both my partner and I remember watching when we were kids. More stars than you might remember!!Published 6 months ago by KatieMc
A great movie, with great actors playing amazing characters. A must have DVD!!!!Published 7 months ago by Paige
Very thin stuff not saved by some technical games. I saw this when it first came out and was impressed. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer