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Every one-star review for every number one box-office movie of the 1990s

Dick Tracy

Directed byWarren Beatty
Produced byWarren Beatty
Written byJim Cash
Jack Epps Jr.
Based onCharacters
by Chester Gould
StarringWarren Beatty
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyVittorio Storaro
Edited byRichard Marks
Touchstone Pictures, Silver Screen Partners IV, Mulholland Productions
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release dateJune 14, 1990 (Lake Buena Vista)June 15, 1990 (United States)
Running time105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$46 million
Box office$162.7 million

Dick Tracy is a 1990 American comedy action crime film based on the 1930s comic strip character of the same name created by Chester GouldWarren Beatty produced, directed, and starred in the film, whose supporting cast includes Al PacinoMadonnaGlenne Headly, and Charlie KorsmoDick Tracy depicts the detective’s romantic relationships with Breathless Mahoney and Tess Trueheart, as well as his conflicts with crime boss Alphonse “Big Boy” Caprice and his henchmen. Tracy also begins fostering a young street urchin named Kid.

Development of the film began in the early 1980s with Tom Mankiewicz assigned to write the script. The screenplay was written instead by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., both of Top Gun fame. The project also went through directors Steven SpielbergJohn LandisWalter Hill, and Richard Benjamin before the arrival of Beatty. It was filmed mainly at Universal StudiosDanny Elfman was hired to compose the score, and the film’s music was featured on three separate soundtrack albums.

Dick Tracy premiered at the Walt Disney World resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on June 14, 1990. It was released nationwide a day later to mixed reviews, but was a success at the box office and at awards time. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations, winning in three of the categories: Best Original SongBest Makeup, and Best Art Direction.

Dick Tracy’s one-star IMDb reviews

A Confused Slight to Moviegoers Young and Old

drqshadow-reviews – 26 January 2012

A boldly literal interpretation of what was, at the time, sixty-year-old source material, Dick Tracy was dated before it had even commenced filming. In today’s world, it’s a painful reminder of what happens when badly misread cultural trends, aging showbiz producers and a full committee of writers collide on-screen. Visually it’s a day-glow disaster, combining recklessly outlandish wardrobe, distractingly obvious matte-painting backdrops, startlingly grotesque makeup effects and an odd mix of kids’ primary colors with ink-black noir lighting. The cast is so stale, weak and one-dimensional throughout that not even an A-list staff of Hollywood’s elite is able to play life preserver: Dustin Hoffman, James Caan and Al Pacino are lost amidst the flood of stilted dialog, Madonna sleepwalks through a rotten performance as, basically, herself, and Warren Beatty is so squeaky clean and unrelentingly straightforward in the leading role that it almost works on a purely satirical level. Clearly someone, somewhere, saw the runaway success of Tim Burton’s Batman around the corner and chose to grant a similar treatment to a character they recalled from the funny pages of their own youth, without stopping to consider if Tracy’s story was as relevant and trans-generational as Bruce Wayne’s. The splashy colors and simple, hackneyed plot make it a no-sell to adults, while the abundance of sex and violence also makes it tough to buy as a kid’s movie. Genuinely awful from start to finish, I had to watch in three installments because it kept putting me to sleep.8 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?