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Dick Tracy

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Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy 1990 poster.jpg
Genre: Action
Directed By: Warren Beatty
Produced By: Warren Beatty
Written By: Jim Cash
Jack Epps Jr.
Based On: Dick Tracy by Chester Gould
Starring: Warren Beatty
Al Pacino
Glenne Headly
Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro
Distributed By: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Tombstone Pictures
Release Date: June 14, 1990 (Lake Buena Vista)
June 15, 1990 (United States)
Runtime: 105 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $46 million
Box Office: $162.7 million
Franchise: Dick Tracy
Sequel: Dick Tracy 2 (Cancelled)

Dick Tracy is a 1990 American action crime film based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester Gould. Warren Beatty produced, directed, and starred in the film, whose supporting roles include Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, and Charlie Korsmo.


In 1938, a comic strip detective named Dick Tracy, finds his life vastly complicated when Breathless Mahoney makes advances towards him while he is trying to battle Big Boy Caprice's united mob.

Good Qualities

  1. While it may not be 100% faithful to the Dick Tracy comic strips, it stays faithful to the spirit of it.
  2. Very beautiful setting with it 1930s era city, as well as vehicles in the movie itself, even with nice-looking models of the city set as well.
  3. Having a film about a detective namde Dick Tracy, based on the comic book of the same name, is a pretty decent concept for this movie.
  4. Warren Beatty's performance as the title character is pretty decent.
  5. It's still faithful to the comic books of the same name, though less so than the original.
  6. Fantastic soundtrack that was composed by the legendary Danny Elfman, who also composed the soundtrack from Batman a year earlier.
  7. Decent acting, especially from Warren Beatty, but there were also good performances from Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, and Charlie Korsmo.
  8. Amazing cinematography.
  9. The scene where Dick and the other police officers were at the shootout against the criminals driving vehicles is absolutely badass and very exciting to watch.

Bad Qualities

  1. The movie has not aged well, especially the production design that's fairly mediocre.


Dick Tracy was released on June 15, 1990, and was decently received from critics and fans of the comic series, earning a 63% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 54 reviews, with an average rating of 5.83/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Dick Tracy is stylish, unique, and an undeniable technical triumph, but it ultimately struggles to rise above its two-dimensional artificiality." Metacritic scores a film a 68/100, based on 24 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Roger Ebert gave the film four stars in his review, arguing that Warren Beatty succeeded in creating the perfect tone of nostalgia for the film. Ebert mostly praised the matte paintings, art direction and prosthetic makeup design. "Dick Tracy is one of the most original and visionary fantasies I've seen on a screen," he wrote.

Cancelled Sequel

There was going to be a sequel to Dick Tracy, but not after the release, there was controversy over the film rights ensued between Beatty and Tribune Media Services. The lawsuit was resolved in Beatty's favor in October 2013. However, no plans for a sequel or follow-up have been publicly disclosed.



  • There was supposed to be a 135 minutes cut, on top of that, it was confirmed by Warren Beatty in a 2002 interview. He was forced to cut the film to the current 105-minute version at the insistence of then-chairman of Walt Disney Pictures, Jeffrey Katzenberg, prior to the release.
  • One of the hardest characters for the make-up artists to create was "Littleface" Finney, one of the hoodlums killed in the garage shoot-out at the beginning of the film. The character, as created in the comics, has a normal-sized head, with a face no bigger than the average adult nose. In order to create this effect, a child was cast as Finney and then fitted into an over-sized body and made-up head as shown by behind the scenes photos. His voice was dubbed in the film, and cut-away shots where you only see his back was done with an adult actor.
  • This is the highest-grossing film of Warren Beatty's career of the 1990s.
  • The "gangsters' boardroom" scene features an on-screen reunion between Al Pacino and James Caan, who played the Corleone brothers in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974).
  • According to the trailer, right before it got its PG-13 rating, it was originally going to be released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, but was moved to the Touchstone Pictures banner because executives were worried it was going to be "too sexy and violent for their brand".


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