[[caption-width-right:296:[[SugarWiki/SoCoolItsAwesome Yeah]].]]

->''I'm on my way.''

In 1990, Creator/TouchstonePictures took Chester Gould's relatively simple crime-drama [[ComicStrip/DickTracy comic strip]] and reimagined it as a big-budget extravaganza with big-name actors, colorful costumes, special effects and plenty of music. Creator/WarrenBeatty both directed the film and starred in the title role.

The setting is a Chicago-like city sometime in the early 1930s. Detective Dick Tracy (Beatty) is the most dogged plainclothes cop on the street, dividing his time between punching out {{mooks}} and making sure young delinquents get sent to the orphanage. A new challenge to his authority soon emerges in the form of up-and-coming gang boss Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino), who unites all his former rivals into a citywide gangland coalition. Now Tracy's only hope in foiling Big Boy's schemes lies with nightclub singer Breathless Mahoney (Music/{{Madonna}}), who is prepared to help the detective....for a price.

The movie also starred Glenne Headley as Tess Trueheart and Charlie Korsmo as the nameless "Kid." It won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Makeup, and Best Original Song (StephenSondheim's "Sooner or Later"). Pacino was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (in a Playboy interview, he actually listed it among his top 5 performances).

One of the striking features of the film was its attempt to replicate, in live action, the flat colors and limited palette of the comic strip. Every yellow thing was the same bright yellow as Dick Tracy's trademark outfit, every blue thing was the same blue, every red thing the same red, and so on. And unlike, say, ''Film/SinCity'', which did it with computer tinting, ''Dick Tracy'' did it by actually painting and dying the physical objects those colours.%%It feels like there ought to be a trope that covers this, but if so I haven't found it.

For some reason, many people seem to be under the impression that the movie bombed at the box office, when [[http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=dicktracy.htm in fact it made double its budget back in America, and triple when you factor in the rest of the world.]] In fact, it was actually the highest grossing film of Warren Beatty's career. However, a combination of performing under Disney's expectations and a decades-long battle over the rights between Beatty and the Tribune Co. put the kibosh on any immediate follow-ups.

!!Tropes include:

* AccidentalKidnapping / AssholeVictim: Big Boy fills both tropes when he unknowingly kidnaps [[spoiler: Tess]], thanks to The Blank. Big Boy, thinking Tracy is intentionally framing him, suitably freaks out.
* AlasPoorVillain: Arguably, Big Boy in the climax.
* AntiVillain: Even if they're criminals, Breathless Mahoney and Lips Manlis (despite his limited screen time) are fairly sympathetic characters. And the Blank pursues ostensibly good goals (bringing down the city's crime syndicate) through evil means, a classic AntiVillain move.
** [[spoiler: There's also the fact that the Blank, a.k.a. Breathless Mahoney, was being pressured by Tracy to testify against Big Boy Caprice, which would mean her death if she did or possible incarceration if she didn't. She became the Blank to rid herself of both of them, thus preserving both her life. and her freedom.]]
* AnAssKickingChristmas: It's not immediately obvious but a good portion of the plot is set around Christmastime judging from some of the decorations seen (in particular in the clothing store). This means the party the gangsters are having at the end is a New Year's Eve bash.
** As Big Boy uses the underground cart to escape [[spoiler: with Tess]], he mutters to himself, "What a way to start the new year."
* AwardBaitSong: All five of the songs written for the film by StephenSondheim. "Sooner Or Later" took home the oscar for Best Original Song.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Largely inverted. The gangster's villainous monikers are all actually rather unflattering; Pruneface, Itchy, etc. There are some exceptions, like Big Boy Caprice.
* BadassInANiceSuit: The majority of the bad guys, the good guys too.
* BadassLongcoat: Being about the same color as a banana does nothing to make it any less badass.
* BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork: [[spoiler: The Blank.]] (also good example of VillainousRescue)
* BigBad: Big Boy.
** [[spoiler:BiggerBad: The Blank.]]
* BigEater: The Kid.
* TheBlank: Trope namer, in this case a faceless (literally) mystery man who undermines Big Boy's operation, and Tracy's career, too.
* BluffTheImposter: The villains do this to Tracy.
* BoomerangBigot:
-->'''Kid:''' I don't like dames.
-->'''Tess Trueheart:''' Neither do I.
* BullyHunter:
** Tracy, when attacking a hobo who's been abusing the Kid.
** The Blank as well, although perhaps more of a VigilanteMan.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "I'm on my way."
* CementShoes: In this case, it's an entire cement ''suit''.
* TheChanteuse: Breatless Mahoney is a classic example - a sultry nightclub singer and a FemmeFatale who is involved with the villain.
* ChekhovsGun: Big Boy never bothering to check his attic.
* CoDragons: Itchy and Flattop. This is a big change from the comics, in which Flattop was probably Tracy's ArchEnemy.
%%* CommLinks
* CompositeCharacter: The Blank and Breathless Mahoney were completely different characters in the original comic, The Blank being a disfigured mobster and Mahoney the stepdaughter of the gangster Shakey who kills her mother over Shakeys loot.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: How Mumbles is interrogated at the police station.
* CowboyCop: Tracy show signs of it, though he'll usually try to avoid excessively violent methods.
* DaChief: Actually the District Attorney, but he fills the same role of breaking Tracy's balls. Averted by the ''actual'' chief, who is completely supportive of Tracy.
%%* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster
* DarkIsNotEvil: Played with. The Blank can either be seen as evil, or an AntiVillain.
%%* {{Deathtrap}}
* DeadMansHand: In the opening scene in which several gangsters are playing poker in a warehouse, one of them mentions "aces and eights" several times -- right before Big Boy's goons bust in and gun them all down.
* DeadMansTriggerFinger: When Big Boy's minions try to break past the police cordon, Flattop comes out of his car shooting a tommy gun at the cops. He's riddled with bullets, and as he falls to the ground he continues to fire his weapon in the air.
* DemotedToDragon: Flattop Jones was one of the most well known villains of the comic strip, but has been demoted to Big Boy's hitman in this version.
* DemotedToExtra: The gangsters that get gunned down in the opening are all iconic villains from the comic strip, among them Little Face, The Brow and The Mole, reduced to a brief cameo. This is especially noteable with The Brow, who rivals Pruneface and Flattop in notoriety.
* DirtyCoward: Big Boy instructs all his men to gather in their cars and drive out into the street in front of the Club Ritz to meet the police in a final showdown - but himself chickens out at the last minute, attempting to flee across the river with Tess as his hostage.
** Although a smart move on his part; the criminals get [[CurbStompBattle mowed down easily since they're bottlenecked coming out of the garage.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: Subverted, as Big Boy is ''pushed'' over a ledge.
* DistressedDude: Tracy winds up as this on more than one occasion.
* TheDon: Big Boy Caprice.
* ElectiveUnintelligible: Mumbles.
* EnemyMine: Ultimately subverted in the case of The Blank.
** "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy." [[FridgeLogic But]]....if the first enemy is the enemy of his second enemy, then that makes his second enemy his friend. But he can't be his friend, because he's his ''enemy''. [[LogicBomb But that means....]]
* EvilAlbino: Mumbles (possibly).
* TheFagin: "Steve The Tramp" has "Kid" steal for him. Dick Tracy tracks Kid back to Steve's shack and beats Steve up, freeing Kid.
* FeigningIntelligence: Big Boy Caprice tosses out profound (but bogus) quotes from famous people to appear educated.
* FemmeFatale: Breathless loves playing with this trope.
* FlippingTheTable: Big Boy does this at the end of yet another rant after his men fail to kill Tracy (again).
* FollowTheLeader: Although Beatty's development of the film had been in the works as long as Tim Burton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'', it still retained a lot of elements that drew comparisons since ''Batman'' was released a year earlier. Peter Travers of ''Rolling Stone'' noted that they both contained: "a loner hero, a grotesque villain, a blond bombshell, a marketable pop soundtrack and a no-mercy merchandising campaign." That also didn't factor in the Art Deco-insipired set design, the original working script being worked on by Tom Mankiewicz (both films would basically discard them), and Danny Elfman as composer (and Travers noted that his ''Tracy'' score was incredibly similar to his one for ''Batman'').
* {{Foreshadowing}}: In the movie's opening action sequence, we see five hoodlums playing poker in a warehouse. One of them draws aces and eights - the "DeadMansHand" - just before a car crashes into the warehouse and all five men are violently shot to death.
* {{Frameup}}: Tracy is framed for murder.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Holy crap, for a PG film you have Breathless in a sheer nightdress, wearing barely anything at all bordering on NippleAndDimed. Then there's the fact seemingly every line she throws at Tracy is a DoubleEntendre and doing things like getting on all fours on Tracy's desk.
** Unlike earlier incarnations, this movie knows very well that ''Dick'' Tracy isn't exactly an innocent name anymore, when your movie includes this line: "30 seconds, no more Dick! 30 seconds, no more Dick!", yeah it knows exactly what it's talking about.
* GoldDigger: The nightclub song "More" pretty much says it all: "Got my diamonds/Got my yacht/Got a guy I adore/....Something's better than nothing, yes/But nothing's better than more, more, more!"
* GoodIsNotNice: [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]]. The most unsavory thing we see Tracy do... is maybe get [[DistractedByTheSexy distracted by]] [[TheVamp Breathless Mahoney]]. He can also act like...well, a [[IncrediblyLamePun dick]] when it comes to interrogating criminals but tends to stray away from violent methods unless it's really necessary.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: D.A. Fletcher uses a long black cigarette holder. No points for guessing he's corrupt.
* GreasySpoon: The Diner Tracy and Tess hang out at.
* HandyCuffs: After being framed for murder, Tracy is being moved from the police holding cell to the county lock-up. His fellow police officers handcuff him in the front, [[LampshadeHanging Tracy comments on the lapse in procedure]]. As it turns out the move was a ruse to allow Tracy the time needed to [[ClearMyName clear his name]].
* HeroesWantRedheads: Not that the blonde didn't put up a hell of a fight....
* TheHyena: Flattop.
* ImpersonatingAnOfficer: Several of Big Boy Caprice's henchmen dress up as police officers, "arrest" Lips Manlis and take him to a warehouse to be murdered.
%%* IronicNickname
* JabbaTableManners: Lips Manlis noisily sucking oysters down his throat by the mouthful.
* KickTheDog: Big Boy smashes the fingers of 88 Keys in a piano when he becomes frustrated with the slow progress made by his performers during a rehearsal at the Club Ritz.
* KillHimAlready: The Blank has the chance to drill Tracy and escape scot-free, but doesn't. This is fully [[JustifiedTrope justified in the context of the story.]]
* LargeHam: Many of the villains have their moments, but Big Boy Caprice in particular takes the cake. Then again, it is Al Pacino.
* LastKiss: Between Tracy and [[spoiler:Breathless Mahoney]] just before her death.
* LeanAndMean: A number of the thugs, most notably Itchy.
* ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'': "Schtick Tracy."
-->'''Schtick Tracy''' ''(in the scene where the villains have him trapped in a room with a boiler about to explode)'': [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim But why don't you just shoot me?]]
-->'''Flat Crop''': In the comics, they dragged this kind of thing out for weeks, so out of respect we've got to drag out your death in this scene!
* MonochromeCasting: Except for a Chinese shop owner who gets shaken down during the extortion scenes.
* MoreDakka: This movie has more tommy-gun use than most movies of its rating, although most of it is cartoonish; in the opening scene, Flattop even uses one to [[CartoonPhysics write a message on the wall.]]
* MsFanservice: Madonna.
* NiceHat: Tracy's unmistakable butter-colored chapeau.
* OfficerOHara: Okay, so the cop's name is actually "Moriarty." But he still tends to, [[{{Oireland}} aye, tawk loike this, boyo]].
* OhCrap: Mumbles when Tracy slows down the interrogation recording to make his mumbling coherent: [[spoiler: "Big Boy did it."]]
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: So many of the criminals seen in this film are literally inhumanly grotesque. But not only do they not feel shunned or isolated from "normal" humans; they actually are quite proud of themselves, and even consider themselves pillars of the community! An especially striking example is when Tracy busts into the Club Ritz in an attempt to arrest Big Boy Caprice for illegal gambling: Pruneface acts offended, and swears that he would ''[[Film/{{Casablanca}} never]]'' [[Film/{{Casablanca}} set foot inside]] [[FamilyValuesVillain any establishment that]] [[BlatantLies allowed such a thing]]!
* OutsideRide: Kid's specialty.
* PerpSweating: Tracy to Mumbles.
* PopTheTires: While Big Boy's thugs are trying to escape the police cordon around his nightclub, Dick Tracy fires his Tommy gun at the tires of one of their cars, causing it to crash.
* PrettyInMink: Breathless Mahoney.
-->'''Big Boy Caprice:''' Around me, if a woman don't wear mink, she don't wear nuttin'.
-->'''Breathless Mahoney:''' Well, I look good both ways.
* RedRightHand: ''Every criminal in the city''
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:The Blank.]]
* TheReveal: Turns out the Blank is really...wait, who was he again? [[TheUnreveal I forgot...]]
* TheRoaringTwenties: The Club Ritz is [[TwoDecadesBehind stuck in this era (since it's technically supposed to be the Thirties)]], with Charleston-dancing flappers and [[GRatedDrug illegal booz - er, gambling]].
** On the other hand, gambling, and periodical reform movements to eliminate it, ''were'' a big part of Chicago history.
* SamusIsAGirl
* SceneryPorn: Virtually every one of the reviews for the film, positive and negative, heaped a lot of praise on the art direction, set design, and color scheme, with some like RogerEbert even saying it outdid Tim Burton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'' in the eye-candy department.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: Or rather, Creator/WarrenBeatty is shooting at you with a ''tommy gun''. See the movie poster above.
* SoftGlass: An inversion; Tracy catapults himself through a skylight onto a roof, going through the glass head-first.
* TheStarscream: The Blank, to Big Boy Caprice. And, ironically, Big Boy himself: he betrayed his former friend and mentor Lips Manlis and took over his criminal empire.
* StrawNihilist: Big Boy spouts Nietzsche quotes at the least provocation. Or none.
* TakeAThirdOption: Dick Tracy desperately wants Breathless Mahoney to take the witness stand when they bring Big Boy Caprice to trial, although she points out that this will probably result in her death. Caprice, meanwhile, fully expects Mahoney to stay silent, if for no other reason than sheer terror. Mahoney ultimately decides to [[spoiler: become The Blank and set ''both'' Tracy and Caprice up for a fall]].
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Itchy and Flattop.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Big Boy likes walnuts.
* TrainEscape: The Kid pulls one to lose Tracy during TheChase.
* TheTropeKid: Kid.
* TheUnintelligible: Mumbles
* TheVamp: Breathless Mahoney.
* TheVoiceless: Played with. Mumbles CAN talk, but since no one can understand him it doesn't matter. He actually intentionally screws with people in this way, at one point giving a full confession to the cops, gleefully certain that they have no idea what he's saying. A later scene makes it clear [[ObfuscatingStupidity He does it on purpose]] and is perfectly capable of speaking coherently if he wants to.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:After finding out he's being framed, Big Boy Caprice]] has one so severe that he ends up frantically running around while [[InelegantBlubbering speaking nonsensical gibberish]].
* WeCanRuleTogether: [[IncorruptiblePurePureness But Tracy will have none of it.]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Poor officer Pat Patton. After Dick Tracy has him jump down into the Club Ritz attic to catapult Tracy out of the locked room and back onto the roof, he's never mentioned again. We never see Tracy tell any fellow officers to go get him, so for all we know he's still trapped there...and then {{Subverted|Trope}} when he radios to Tracy when Tracy's in the diner in the last scene.
* WoundedGazelleGambit: While The Blank and 88 Keys are framing Tracy for D.A. Fletcher's murder, 88 Keys loudly protests that Tracy (actually The Blank in Tracy's yellow coat) is threatening to shoot him.
%%* WretchedHive