Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome Details


Befitting his status as a genre star, Boris Karloff earns top billing over leading man Ralph Byrd in RKO's final Dick Tracy caper. The former Ralph Byrd monster plays an escaped convict masterminding a daring bank robbery. To get in and out of the bank without being noticed, the gang uses an asphyxiating gas that leaves anyone inside momentarily frozen in place. Everyone, that is, except for bank customer Tess Truehart (Anne Gwynne), who is able to contact Dick Tracy (Byrd) from a phone booth in the bank. With little or no clues, Tracy and his man Friday, Pat Patton (Lyle Latell), question the bank customers but none can shed any light on the mysterious goings-on. The disappearance of Dr. A. Tomic (Milton Parsons) and the odd behavior of his associate, Dr. I.M. Learned (June Clayworth), crack the case wide open, however, and Tracy is eventually able to track down both Gruesome and the surprising identity of his boss, L.E. Thal (Edward Ashley). According to some reports, RKO wanted to release Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome as "Dick Tracy Meets Karloff" but that title was vetoed by Karloff himself. The legendary horror star apparently later accepted his own box-office value and a 1949 Universal comedy was released as Karloff. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi


Ralph Byrd
as Dick Tracy
Boris Karloff
as Gruesome
Lyle Latell
as Pat Patton
Anne Gwynne
as Tess Trueheart
June Clayworth
as Dr. I.M. Learned
Skelton Knaggs
as X-Ray
Tony Barrett
as "Melody" Fiske
Joseph Crehan
as Brandon
Jim Nolan
as Dan Sterne
Robert Clarke
as Fred, police analyst
Milton Parsons
as Dr. A. Tomic
William Gould
as "Pop", hospital desk sgt.
Ernie S. Adams
as Bartender at Hangman's Knot
Lex Barker
as City hospital driver
Sean McClory
as Officer Carney
Lee Phelps
as Detective in car
Bert Roach
as Crandall, a customer
Jason Robards, Sr.
as Mr. Fax, bank vice pres.
Harry Strang
as Officer Tim
Edward Ashley
as Dr. Lee Thal
Bela Lugosi
Morgan Conway
Anne Jeffreys
Edward Ashley
as Dr. Lee Thal


John Rawlins
Herman Schlom
Robertson White
Frank Redman
Paul Sawtell
Composer (Music Score)
Constantin Bakaleinikoff
Musical Direction/Supervision
Elmo Williams
Albert S. D'Agostino
Production Designer
Albert S. D'Agostino
Art Director
Darrell Silvera
Set Designer
Gordon Bau
Constantin Bakaleinikoff