Dick Tracy

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Screening followed by a conversation between critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Charles Bramesco, author of Colors of Film: The Story of Cinema in 50 Palettes and book signing!

The film version of Dick Tracy represents one of the most spectacular acts of movie star chutzpah of the ’90s, and remains one of the most stylistically bold comics adaptations ever made. Released by the Walt Disney Company a year after the mega-success of Tim Burton’s Batman, it was a labor of love for Warren Beatty, who had been trying to bring Chester Gould’s strip about a square-jawed crimefighter to the screen since 1975. Produced, written, and directed by Beatty, it’s a $46 million pop art spectacular done almost entirely in primary colors and deep blacks, with cinematography by Vitorio Storaro), production design by Dean Tavoularis, costumes by Melina Canonero, a score by Danny Elfman, and songs by Stephen Sondheim. Wildly inventive miniatures and matte paintings fuse a dreamy Old Hollywood aesthetic with what was then the latest in technology. The plot finds Tracy torn between two women (Madonna’s sultry underworld-connected nightclub singer Breathless Mahoney and Glenne Headly’s straight-arrow Tess Trueheart) while mentoring a street urchin known only as the Kid (Charlie Korsmo) and battling a crime syndicate full of grotesques (Al Pacino presiding over a thug squad that includes James Caan, Paul Sovrino, Dustin Hoffman and William Forsythe). But this is mainly a vibe movie that has more in common with Metropolis and Blade Runner than with the standard-issue Hollywood comics adaptation.

Presented as part of the series Movies with MZS – Spring 2023

  • Year 1990
  • Running Time 105 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Director Warren Beatty
  • Cast Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.