9 June 2005 | Snow Leopard
Karloff Excels in a Solid Dick Tracy Feature
Ralph Byrd is well-suited to the role of Dick Tracy, and this is a solid B-feature overall. But it is Boris Karloff, in the role of "Gruesome", who lifts the movie above the norm for its genre. He makes his character come vividly to life, and makes him into a believable and formidable foe for Tracy.
The story is enjoyable, if a bit on the wacky side, with a gang of criminals taking advantage of a gas that is supposed to cause temporary paralysis in anyone who breathes it. Tess and Pat also get their moments as they help Tracy track down the gang.
Karloff was an impressive and unusual talent, using his appearance, voice, and mannerisms in all kinds of ways, generally relying on the little things and on understated actions to create his character. He was certainly in a number of movies of far greater stature than this one, but in this, as in almost all of his roles, he is very interesting to watch, and he adds a great deal to the movie.