Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Dick Tracy”

Warren Beatty in "Dick Tracy" (Touchstone Pictures, 1990)

Warren Beatty in “Dick Tracy” (Touchstone Pictures, 1990)

This week’s pic is the 1990 film adaptation of Chester Gould’s classic comic strip Dick Tracy. Starring Warren Beatty as the title character (Beatty also produced and directed the film), the film takes Chester Gould’s characters and puts them in a color-saturated live action setting. The production design is stellar and unique, created with a blend of CG graphics and good old-fashioned matte painting. All of the characters have makeup and prosthetics to match what they looked like in the comic strip (the film won an Oscar for Best Makeup along with Best Art Direction). It’s really a marvel to look at. The story and the acting, however, are all hit and miss (OK, mostly miss). Al Pacino’s performance of Big Boy Caprice is fun, but mostly just over the top. And Madonna as bad girl Breathless Mahoney looks smoking hot, but her acting is a hot mess (so what else is new). Also stars Glenne Headly, Mandy Patinkin, Dick Van Dyke, Paul Sorvino, James Caan and Dustin Hoffman, among others. I saw this film at an opening day midnight screening in 1990 along with many others across the U.S.A. (check out this article about it–although I’m not sure if I still have the t-shirt “ticket” or not) and my thoughts are still about the same–enjoy the gorgeous visuals, but don’t expect much beyond that. Original songs by Stephen Sondheim (who won an Oscar for Best Original Song). Soundtrack by Danny Elfman. Written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. Directed by Warren Beatty. “You don’t know if you want to hit me or kiss me. I get a lot of that.”