21 Feb

Dick Tracy’s Dilemma (1947)


The movie “Dick Tracy’s Dilemma”, released in the United Kingdom as “Mark of the Claw”, is a 1947 American pulp action film based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester Gould. Ralph Byrd stars as Dick Tracy, reprising the role after Republic Pictures’s 1937 Dick Tracy serial and it’s three sequels. The film is the third installment of the Dick Tracy film series.

Steve Michel (Jack Lambert) and his henchmen hijack a valuable shipment of furs, but botch the job by killing a night watchman. Police detective Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd) is brought in to investigate the fur thefts connected with murder with the assistance of his partner Pat Patton (Lyle Latell) as well as the flamboyant Vitamin Flintheart (Ian Keith) and “Sightless” (Jimmy Conlin). This leads him to look into possible higher-ups who may have ordered the robbery. Tracy soon learns that the person behind it all is Steve Michel, a hook-wielding criminal who calls himself “The Claw.” Before Tracy can unravel the bigger picture and the larger forces at work, the Claw dispatches more victims in a gruesome manner. Finally, when Tracy shows up to arrest him, the two engage in a high-speed chase. While on the run, the Claw electrocutes himself by plunging his hook into electrical wires while trying to kill Tracy.

Directed by John Rawlins, produced by Herman Schlom, written by Chester Gould (characters) and Robert Stephen Brode (screenplay), starring Ralph Byrd as Dick Tracy ( the tough, square jawed detective), Kay Christopher as Tess Trueheart (Tracy’s love interest), Lyle Latell as Pat Patton (Tracy’s bumbling assistant), Jack Lambert as Steve ‘The Claw’ Michel (A quiet, compulsive killer. His right hand is a steel hook, and his left leg is lame. He has an extreme fondness for cats), Ian Keith as Vitamin Flintheart (Tracy’s thespian friend, who joins him because of guilt over the death of Sightless), Bernadene Hayes as Longshot Lillie (the Fence), Jimmy Conlin as Sightless the ‘Blind’ Begger (a little beggar who fakes blindness to sell pencils. Participates as Tracy’s paid spy and is exposed and killed by The Claw), William B. Davidson as Peter Premium (V.P. Honesty Insurance), Tony Barrett as Sam (a henchman) and Tom Keene as Fred (a henchman).


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