Movie News

Warren Beatty Speaks from The Hero Complex Fest! Dick Tracy coming to Blu-Ray! A sequel is in the works!

Published at: June 10, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

 

 

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with my first night of reporting from the Hero Complex Festival put on by the LA Times’ Geoff Boucher. Last year I had a great time at the fest, seeing films like Star Trek IV with Nimoy in attendance, Insomnia and The Dark Knight with Christopher Nolan and Blade Runner and Alien with Ridley Scott.

This year’s Hero Complex kicked off with Warren Beatty showing a really nice HD transfer of Dick Tracy. I was a little disappointed not to get a 35mm screening, but I have to say the digital print was pretty gorgeous, although a lot of credit for that could go to the production design and cinematography.

I saw Dick Tracy when it came out back in 1990. Of course I did, I was 9 years old and a fiend for big screen comic adaptations after Tim Burton’s Batman. However I haven’t seen the movie since, save for one cable viewing in my teens. I liked it then and after watching it tonight I think I might just love this thing.

It’s nuts. Crazy wacko out of this world how-did-this-get-made nuts. Tim Burton’s Batman looked kind of like a gothic comic strip, but Dick Tracy flat out FEELS like a moving comic strip, down to the bright one-tone colors in the wardrobe, sets and lighting.

The basic action plot is simple… Hero cop tries to stop an evil mobster from taking over the city. The emotional drama hit home for me a lot more than it did for the kid-me… Ultimately Tracy is wrestling with the concept of settling down and starting a family. He’s got the perfect wife-to-be in Tess Trueheart (the ever adorable Glenne Headly) and is suddenly saddled with an orphaned kid, played by the go-to child actor in those days Charlie Korsmo, who did this film, Hook and What About Bob? all within a three year period.

 

 

Their dysfunctional little family unit, where bickering is replaced with a great noir-ish rapid-fire wit-battles, is threatened by the introduction of Madonna’s Breathless Mahoney is more femme fatale than I remembered, with some truly filthy double entendres. I mean, there’s literally one where Tracy thinks Tess is at the door and asks what kind of ice cream she got and when he opens the door there’s Madonna with a smile and a “Fresh peach… and it’s starting to drip.” No shit! That’s the filthiest thing I’ve ever heard! This is a kid’s movie!

Not to mention you clearly, CLEARLY see Madonna’s nipples the first time Tracy goes backstage at The Ritz. There’s even a medium shot and there they are, poking through the transparent mesh she’s wearing… clear as crystal.

 

 

So you have a resonating emotional subplot, an exciting action main plot, considerably adult dark humor, snuck in nudity and that’s not even getting to the flat out amazing cast. The sheer amount of stars and brilliant character actors in this thing is unbelievable. Al Pacino as the main bad guy, for starters, but then you have William Forsythe, Seymour Cassel, Charles Durning, Charles Fleischer (aka Roger Rabbit), Mandy Patinkin, Paul Sorvino, Marshall Bell, R.G. Armstrong, Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Dick Van Dyke, Colm Meaney (for a few seconds anyway), James Caan, Henry Silva, Cahterine O’Hara, Michael J. Pollard, Estelle Parsons, Mike Mazurki and Mary Woronov… All in one movie! And in some of their cases buried under a ton of prosthetics.

My favorite has to be Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles. That casting cracks me up so much… you take one of the most brilliant actors of our time, a man who was on the cusp of winning his Oscar for Rain Man, and give him a character who speaks in run-together gibberish for the entire runtime of the movie. He only has two lines in the whole movie that are at all coherent and I love that.

And God… Pacino sets the bar for scenery chewing here. The dude hams it up big time as Big Boy Caprice. But unlike something like Batman & Robin, the over-the-top tone is perfect for this universe, which is brought to life visually by the amazing cinematographer Vittorio Storaro with some help by the matte painting master Harrison Ellenshaw, who was also in attendance. I wish I could have cornered him. I’d so do an AICN Legends piece on this guy (He did the matte painting on Star Wars, Empire, Pete’s Dragon, The Black Hole and was the effects supervisor on the original Tron). Maybe I can make that happen.

I know I’ll probably get slammed with the “nostalgia” curse by some of you, but honestly nostalgia only goes so far. I don’t know how I could like it MORE now than I did as a kid and have that be a result of nostalgia.

The movie is goofy, but earnest, broad but with some nice sublte touches here and there… There’s an amazing ensemble cast that feels like they’re having a blast, some crazy (Oscar winning) make-up work and true sense of watching a moving comic strip. Not to mention a helluva score by Danny Elfman, fresh of his iconic Batman music.

Beatty came out after and ended up doing an hour and a half Q&A… sometimes responding only “I’m not going to answer that,” but I got the sense that he wanted to give everybody in the theater a chance to ask a question, despite his people trying to wrap things up for the last half hour or so.

I’m going to go over the bullet points below, the highlights of the very long talk.

 

 

 

 

- A Blu-Ray for Dick Tracy is in the works. “I don’t want to get out ahead of whatever they want to do,” so no more details.

- Any possible making of for Dick Tracy on a coming Blu-Ray? Beatty isn’t fond of them, doesn’t see the point. He wants to let the film speak for itself.

- Sequel? “I’m gonna make another one.” To applause. Then when pressed on information Beatty said, “I think it’s dumb talking about movies before you make them. I just don’t do it. It gives you the perfect excuse to avoid making them.”

- Have you started the sequel? “Define ‘start’?” “I take so long to get around to making a movie that I don’t know when it starts.”

- The conversation about the look of a sequel is still going “on and and on and on.” Beatty might have let something slip here because he said he talks with Ellenshaw and DP Vittorio Storaro about the look of the sequel (how much digital vs. practical, etc) about this stuff, which would indicate they’re involved. He also said that Ellenshaw’s matte paintings in Dick Tracy move him. God, I’d love to see a return of hand-painted mattes especially in a universe that can be as stylistic as Dick Tracy’s.

- Dick Tracy was the first comic strip Beatty got into as a kid.

- “This picture does make me laugh, I have to tell you. I’m disgusting because I really do like it a lot.”

- “I always think of making a movie like vomiting. I don’t like to vomit, but I get to a point sometimes where I think, ‘Okay, I better go ahead and do this and I’ll feel better.’ When I finally get around to making a movie, that is why. ‘I’ll feel better if I make this movie,’ rather than ‘Oh, God… every day I gotta do this!’”

- Pacino wasn’t the first choice for the main bad guy. Beatty was having trouble getting this actor and just happened to be having lunch in Burbank when he sees Pacino. He goes over, tells him his casting troubles and describes the part and asks who he’d cast. Pacino says he’ll think on it and calls the next day asking, “Are you serious about wanting me to play this part?” Beatty responded, “Well, I am now!”

 

 

- To convince Pacino to take the part, Beatty recalled that Pacino had done a play called Artuo Ui (by Bertolt Brecht) that hadn’t been well-attended. “I said, why don’t you just bring what you did for Artuo Ui and bring that to this character. You gotta admit, that was very cagey of me! And that’s what he did!”

- Beatty purposefully cast Hoffman and Pacino in the same movie because in their youth they would always get confused for each other. “In the cutting room for Dick Tracy we had a cartoon that was from The New Yorker and the caption on the cartoon was “If Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino are not the same person, how come I’ve never seen them in a movie together?”’

- Beatty kinda tricked Hoffman into playing the part of Mumbles because they had a habit of doing an imitation of a mutual friend and Beatty told Hoffman that he was going to hire Harry Dean Stanton to play Mumbles, but ask him to talk like this impersonation. Hoffman objected and took the part. (Hint: Beaks leaned over at this point and said that imitation was Bob Evans).

 

 

- The day they filmed the interrogation scene between Tracy and Mumbles Hoffman had a fever of 102 and it was the day after winning his Oscar.

- Dick Van Dyke did a fall in the movie (presumably when he was shot) where he hurt himself. Beatty sent him a stair-climber because he felt guilty.

- “Casting is writing to me. As soon as you cast somebody it is a rewrite even if you don’t change the words.”

- Color scheme inspired by comic strip coloring process. Primary colors were positioned in the strips by the artists including numbers. For instance, if Yellow was 1, the artist would put a 1 on a car and a 1 on the flowers to note that they would be yellow. Which is why you see solid reds, yellows, greens and whites in the movie, with very little overlap or mixed colors. That’s the way they were used in comic strips.

- Dick Tracy was a big financial success, costing “in the upper 30s” and did well over $100 million domestically in its day. Also made over $60 million on home video. Of which Beatty got a chunk. “I was very happy with my chunk,” he said with a grin.

- Elia Kazan said to Beatty when he was young and spoke blithely about actors, “You know, the older you get the more respect you’ll have for actors.”

- “Character is plot. Casting, particularly in movies, is character. So, in a way casting becomes plot.”

- Beatty doesn’t know if it’s really possible to direct and act at the same time. “It’s the job of an actor to be at least somewhat out of control. It’s the job of a director to be at least somewhat in control.” But “At least you know you always have one actor who sort of agrees with you!”

 

 

- Charlie Korsmo is now teaching law.

- Beatty has always had final cut on his directorial efforts.

- Jeffrey Katzenberg was extremely supportive during Dick Tracy and tried to get Beatty to do a sequel right afterwards. Beatty said he didn’t want to do a sequel, he was preparing Bugsy at the time.

- Beatty made a comment to Boucher complimenting his diplomacy in mentioning his parent company (The Tribune Company) who Beatty had been in a huge legal battle with for the rights to Dick Tracy. Beatty won.

- “I never talk about things that I passed on.” So don’t expect to hear him discuss Kill Bill.

- Beatty doesn’t like Dick Tracy being compared to Batman. He likes the movie, complimented Burton’s work and Nicholson’s work, but he feels that Tracy “has more sentiment” and isn’t really a fair comparison. Tracy doesn’t do the same kind of action, the film didn’t cost nearly the same as Batman, which he thinks should more be compared with Superman.

- Any issues with the ratings process? Didn’t have any trouble at the time, but Beatty had some thoughts on the current ratings system. He called it “archaic” in this day and age when every 10 year old has a laptop and is exposed to the internet, for good or ill.

- Recalled a story of sitting in a screening room with a Catholic church representative/censor and going over a shot of Faye Dunaway running down steps in Bonnie & Clyde. They ran it back maybe 16 times because the censor could swear he could see her breast when in fact it was just her blouse.

- Beatty supports the idea of a “variable ticket price.” He said, “I believe it’s nonsense that we charge the same price for every movie.” He doesn’t like exhibitors using 3-D to charge more, he thinks different movies should be more expensive. I, for one, completely disagree with this. I love that box office is the great equalizer and that you pay the same amount for your ticket to the movie that cost $10,000 to make that you to for the movie that cost $300,000,000. But Warren Beatty is way cooler than me, so what do I know?

 

 

- Then Beaks, the biggest Ishtar fan I know, got to throw a question out to Mr. Beatty. Beaks asked if his stance on not talking about a film before it was made had anything to do with the hatchet job done on Ishtar pre-release. Beatty loves Ishtar and that it had three of the most successful previews either he or Dustin Hoffman have ever had on a movie. They fully expected the LA press on the junket day to have the same reaction, but it played cold.

Turns out a producer named David Puttnam was put in charge of Columbia in the place of the guy who greenlighted the movie and it seems he and Dustin had some troubles in the past. The day before the LA press screening Puttnam did an interview in the LA Times (which Beatty said with a bit of emphasis, nodding to Boucher) where he “sliced and diced Hollywood… the prices of films, the salaries of stars, etc. It was really an attack. Ishtar he talked a lot about, said it had been so self-indulgently made.”

This interview was waiting for every one of these critics the morning of the press screening and as a result “everyone had read this attack on these self-indulgent, horrendous people and how much money they make.” The screening bombed.

- The overall critical reception to Ishtar was good and Beatty feels it’s kind of sad how it’s viewed today.

- Boucher suggested doing an “apology screening” of Ishtar with Beatty, Elaine May and Dustin Hoffman to make up for that nasty interview. Much applause.

- When pressed, Beatty said that early Disney animated movies spurned his love of cinema. Except for one in particular. “Fantasia scared the hell out of me!” But he loved Bambi as a small child. He also liked Laurel and Hardy.

 

 

And that was about it. Have to say, Beatty was incredibly charming and funny, genuinely engaging with audience members as they asked questions. I was very impressed with his Q&A here and I can’t wait to get Dick Tracy on Blu-Ray! This is something I don’t think I would have said yesterday, but after this refreshing viewing of the film I absolutely am on board for a resurgence of Dick Tracy love! Just don’t color over Madonna’s nipples.

Tomorrow brings a double feature of Wrath of Khan with director Nicholas Meyer in attendance and JJ Abrams’ Star Trek with Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindeloff on hand to talk about it.

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • June 10, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Sequel?!?! Warren... you're a tad um... OLD.

    by impossibledreamers

  • June 10, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Nathan Fillion should play

    by wattos new hat

    John Hamm

  • June 10, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    As long as Madonna is not involved.

    by disfigurehead

  • June 10, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    I like Beatty...

    by yeah i'm a jerk!

    I don't like this movie. I think it would be better to get someone who understands the character of Dick Tracy to make a film more in line with Chester Gould's creation. This movie was a garish and ridiculous eyesore. And who cares if you see Madonna's nipples, it's Madonna. Everyone has seen Madonna's nipples. The problem is she can't act and really ain't that hot.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Madonna's nipples gotta eat!

    by kafka07

    I don't like this movie either, it's crap. I was a kid when it came out and thought it was crap then, so I'm not just referring to my adult cynicism.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Dick Tracy wasn't that good

    by ChicagoRonin

    The film has a couple of virtues. It looked great. It's attempt at a direct transfer of the comic universe to film has only one real competitor, and that's Sin City. I also think the make-up for the villains and supporting performances are all solid. But, the plot is way too loose and meandering, and Beatty is just dull, dull, dull in the role. Even if he was aiming at a clever emulation of 40s B-movie actors of sterotypical Humphrey Bogart-style toughness, it just doesn't work for me. It also didn't feel much like the Dick Tracy strips for me (which I read in the Chicago Tribune as a kid for years). It needed more intricacy to the criminals' actions and detective work and less of Tracy's love life and Breathless Mahoney. If he's really going to do a sequel, please just produce it. Get Max Allen Collins to write the script and someone who can inject some real verve to direct.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:30 a.m. CST

    Dustin Hoffman's impression of Bob Evans

    by ryderdvs

    Can be found on the DVDs for MARATHON MAN, and THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST

    As Beatty says, the BATMAN comparison isn't fair but..

    by ChaosReigns

    ...back in 1990, TRACY was expected to be the phenomenon BATMAN was the year before. I remember the stacks of TRACY merchandise available to buy - and most of it stayed on the shelves.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Nice job.....I liked Tracey. I still remember the Toy

    by BikoQue

    tie in with McDonalds

  • June 10, 2011, 8:36 a.m. CST

    "Incredibly charming and funny."

    by tonagan

    And that's why he was able to sleep with all of the actresses in Hollywood.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Yay for the Blu-ray release! Now for the Rocketeer...

    by Spyhunter

    Anyone going to the Rocketeer screening on the 21st in LA? Joe Johnston & Bill Campbell are gonna be there. I'm hoping for a Blu-ray announcement from them, but I'm not holding my breath. Wish I could be there. :( http://tinyurl.com/6jw3n83

  • June 10, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    This was one of those winking adaptations

    by rev_skarekroe

    It's based on a comic strip, so we'll make it look like a comic strip! Stupid idea. Ang Lee did that with The Hulk, and it's one of the reasons that film didn't work either. It's like you're apologizing for the source material. They wouldn't have a curtain open and close with every scene change in a film of "The Glass Menagerie" or show pages turning during "To Kill A Mockingbird" but for some reason filmmakers felt it necessary to frame things like panels or use a four color palette for comic movies. Thankfully recent comic adaptations - Nolan's Batman films and the Marvel Studios movies in particular - have realized that you don't have to be embarrassed by the source material.

  • June 10, 2011, 9 a.m. CST

    Re: "The Kid" In This Movie...

    by Autodidact

    Fuck you kid!

  • June 10, 2011, 9:03 a.m. CST

    'a producer named David Puttnam'

    by penhapus

    I'd give David Puttnam as much kudos as Warren Beatty regarding what works and doesn't in movies... http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0701298/

  • June 10, 2011, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Sequel

    by enderandrew

    He's been saying for 20 years that he is working on a sequel and nothing has changed, except the fact that he is getting older. Beatty still insists on playing the part himself.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Some great Sondheim material in Dick Tracy.

    by cookylamoo

    Run out and find a copy of the "Sondheim at the Movies" cd and, sans Madonna, you can appreciate how good songs like "Back in Business" and "More" really are.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Warren, Ishtar was never good

    by Tristan

    No amount of on-set blowjobs will reconcile this.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    "bigboydidit! bigboydidit!"

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    God I loved Mumbles...

  • June 10, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    "Turns out a Producer named David Putman"

    by Righteous Brother

    That would be David Putman, producer of Bugsy Malone, The Duellists, Midnight Express, The Killing Fields and The Mission. Was probably right about the ego-wank-fest that is Ishtar.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Bulworth was really good, though. Kind of a lost lefty gem now.

    by Tristan

  • June 10, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I liked this movie and am up for a sequel

    by Spandau Belly

    but Beatty is kinda old. He should maybe just direct and recast the lead role. Hoffman can still play Mumbles. Who will replace Madonna? Lady Gaga?

  • June 10, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    I've been evangelizing this movie for years

    by Arteska

    Cool to see it getting some time in the sun. I predict the BD will be spectacular and will turn lots of heads.

  • The Sega Genesis game (that let you tommy gun people in the background and ride on the side of a police car), and the McDonald's scatch and win game.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:24 a.m. CST

    How about directing Reds II:John Reed Rising?

    by Samuel Fulmer

  • June 10, 2011, 9:25 a.m. CST

    I remember Loving this movie

    by Wcwlkr

    I do remember loving this movie. A sequel though I'm seriously hoping he has someone else playing Tracy. But I loved Pacino's performance, and now that you pointed it out yeah it had some Madonna saying some filthy stuff LOL but it totally flew over my head when I was younger.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    "winking adaptation"

    by fatmoshe

    rev_skarekroe doesn't like that it looks like a comic strip- as if it is apologizing for the source material. Not every movie needs to be grounded in Nolan-esque reality. Some properties just don't work in that type of world. Green Lantern is an example and so is Dick Tracy. Honestly, I didn't really like Thor because it forced a fanciful character into a semi-practical world, thus making it impossible to consistently explore the character within the world he was inhabiting. In fact, I felt like Kenneth Branagh was apologizing for Thor's source material. Dick Tracy could never exist in a "grounded" reality. I would love to see a sequel. Perhaps it would take on the feel of the Incredibles, which created a "modern" world as seen through the lens of a 1960's futurist. I just hope the sets and effects stay practical. CGI is ruining the magic of films (I say this as a computer animator, not an outright hater). CGI has its place in the industry (wire removal, set extension, sky replacement- within reason). Once we get back to the business of creating tangible sets and creatures, only then will films like Super 8 carry the gravity of the films they seek to imitate/pay homage to.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:26 a.m. CST

    I remember going to see this in the theater in 1990...

    by Cletus Van Damme

    ...I think a lot of us were expecting BATMAN in a yellow trenchcoat, but I'm happy they went the way they did. Every now and then I'll catch it on HBO or some movie channel and give it a re-watching. The set design, costumes and cast made it good for me. My ass will be in a seat for the sequel.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I had the midnight showing ticket Tshirt

    by bah

    I might still, in my box of painting clothes. I mainly didn't like the treatment of the villains. All these cool bad guys, looking great, and they're nothing but cannonfodder. Don't even get most of their names.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Man, I thought Dick Tracy was torture.

    by Laserbrain

    I'm glad it's got some fans cause I like Beatty and know his heart was in the right place but, Lordy - what a gaudy, fragmented, tensionless eyesore of a film it was to me on first (only) viewing. Maybe it was working on some kind of satirical level I missed the first time round? Was it clever or meta or anything more than what it was marketed as at the time? Should I give it another shot?

  • June 10, 2011, 9:47 a.m. CST

    UGH

    by Norton833

    This movie was hopelessly lame, watchable solely for Al Pacino's portrayal of one of the multiple villains. It was one of those movies that immediately vaporized in one's memory upon leaving the theater. Might as well sequelize Howard The Duck.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Needed a better villain.

    by cookylamoo

    It was probably Pacino's most bizarre performance and it just didn't work.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:53 a.m. CST

    I can't remember...was it any good?

    by trekguy1966

    I know I saw Dick Tracy at one point. For the life of me I can't remember most of it. That might answer my own question, I guess.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this a flop?

    by JamesWest

    Didn't this one bomb at the box office the first time??

  • June 10, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    DICK does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Granted, i've only seen it once but my memory of this film was that it is was REALLY shit. And yes, the notion of Warren Beatty playing a comic book action star at his age (or indeed in a couple of years time when this would be shooting) is farcical. Quint, your resurgent love for dick is probably best not mentioned again eh.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Great fucking film.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    1989-1991 was a great run of summer films. Very impressionable on a young CHOP.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Gorgeous film

    by gaygoonie

    The colors and production design. And the music's great. Quit bashing Madonna. She may not be the greatest singer, but no one sings with more heart - it's WHY her songs worked. I actually like that this movie is a standalone. Today it would have to have a heinous sequel and prequel and spinoff and Shia LaDouche would have to play "the kid" because that's what he plays in every mother loving movie.

  • June 10, 2011, 9:58 a.m. CST

    When do we eat?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • June 10, 2011, 10 a.m. CST

    I love everything about this film.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Great score. Cinematography. Pacing. Songs. Cast. Makeup. Madonna's best role. Art Direction. It literally is a live action comic strip and i love the look of how it looks like a studio backlot. The limited use of the basic color scheme. Excellent.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:09 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Choppah, so I tried dick once when I was younger and didn't like it. Are you suggesting I should try dick again?

  • June 10, 2011, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Cobra-Kai

    by fatmoshe

    That was funny.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Choppah demands a ROCKETEER and DICK TRACY blu upgrade

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    like now!

  • June 10, 2011, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Cobes

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Knock yerself out.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Anthony Weiner

    by fatmoshe

    Anthony Weiner has an affinity for dic pics too-- I can joke because my last name is also Weiner (pronounced Whiner, though-- still hard growing up-- pun intended)

  • June 10, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Chop, "when do we eat" - just to clarify, are you referring to dick?

  • June 10, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Another great Robert Evans impression by Hoffman

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    WAG THE DOG

  • June 10, 2011, 10:28 a.m. CST

    spyhunter

    by ultragoregrind

    "the rocka-who?" Shit, was that flick ever even released on DVD? I don't think i've seen it since it was in the theater as a kid.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:44 a.m. CST

    People like this movie?

    by daggor

    As we get into the era of kids from the 90's fapping over their youth, I'm not gonna enjoy the shit they drag up as being "classics." I had already seen Madonna's tits all-out in playboy before Dick Tracy came out, so In guess whatever floats a 9-year-old's boat is going to bring back misty, sticky memories. I do miss Madge's old cans - back when she had some meat on her bones. Sigh.. I need to do me some 80's fapping.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Stupid banana raincoat-wearin' Dick...

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    The Angry Video Game Nerd review of the NES Dick Tracy game is hilarious.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:50 a.m. CST

    I wasn't disappointed...

    by Polo Chavez

    ...because I was 12, and going to the movies at the time was a treat in itself to see this. The following summer, T2 made me forget Dick Tracy. Other than that, Madonna's noirish/fashionista Fincher videos make me nostalgic like a motherfucker. Good times. I miss those days. I do remember the Dick Tracy toys being peg warmers at that time. I did want the Flat Top figure though, because he was bad ass. Madonna...those haters of yours can go fuck themselves. Everyone after you stole your act.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Madonna ruined this movie for me..

    by Jeditemple

    Like she does with anything she touches -- it turns to crap. It could have been really good, but it suffered from too much weirdness and self-awareness. I couldn't even stand Pacino in this. Most of the characters were annoying as hell -- especially the kid.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Did Dick Tracy ever make it to beta-max

    by Samuel Fulmer

    If not, it should now. It should come with special features like an image of the movie's poster on the tapes slip-case. That would rock!

  • June 10, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Warren must be suffering early-stage dementia.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    There's not going to be a sequel.

  • Even though I actually liked BATMAN better. I guess DICK TRACY was on more.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    ticket tshirt

    by EddieBlake

    I still have that, too. In fact, I still wear it every now and then just because it still fits.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    NOT a fan of the DICK TRACY movie

    by Continentalop

    And I'm a huge fan of DICK TRACY comic strip (even as a kid in 1990, remember reading reprints in the library). If you think about it, it wasn't a very faithful adaptation as people think. Chester Gould's comic strip was very grim and hard-boiled police procedural compared to this movie. And great villains like Pruneface and Flattop were treated as disposable thugs instead of interesting personalities (these villains were, after all, the inspiration for Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman foes like the Joker, Two-Face and Penguin). And as for the color palette, well yes it copied the Sunday edition, but the majority of Dick Tracy comic strips were in b&w and looked dark and gritty.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this the film...

    by Major Hockshtetter

    ...with the controversial action figure that got pulled from the shelves? I believe it was a figure based on the bum character that was out to beat on "the kid." If memory serves, this particular toy became quite the collector's item for a while. Oh and in regards to the film itself? Loved it then, love it now. It's a very pure expression of a certain era of comics and film and, as such, is a double whammy of sentiment... as an homage to the 30's as well as a lovely snapshot of the summer of '89.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:35 a.m. CST

    One of the worst movies ever

    by SmokingRobot

    Every single second of this film you're aware you're watching actors on a sound stage. The art/color design just doesn't work. Beatty just didn't bring anything to the main character. Glenne Headly was the only good thing in this movie.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST

    true conti

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    There was a little more violence in the comics..I remember people's heads put in vices and such. Pretty brutal for the 30s I suppose.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    My biggest problem with this film: Beatty's too good looking.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    In the strip, every character is drawn in a wildly exaggerated style, including the women and Dick Tracy himself. Just look at that guy's nose and chin. But for this movie, they only kept that style with the villains. Tracy's too pretty and normal-looking. But Elfman's score is awesome and sure, the art direction is great, too.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Very brutal chops

    by Continentalop

    When you realize almost every crook who faced Tracy either drowns, is brutally shot, burned alive, buried alive, frozen to death, etc. Crime definitely DOES not pay in Dick Tracy (unlike Batman: the Joker and the rest keep coming back again and again).

  • June 10, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Good luck with that sequel, though.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I guess there's more demand out there for more dick than I thought there was.

  • June 10, 2011, 11:53 a.m. CST

    If it's a sequel and NOT a reboot..

    by professor murder

    Who are some villains to put into the movie? It's been so long since I've seen this movie, I don't even remember who met their demise the first time around. What I DO remember though, was the McDonalds ad campaign and happy meal toys for this movie, haha!(me being in 5th or 6th grade at the time).

  • June 10, 2011, noon CST

    Beatty on ticket prices, etc.

    by jorson28

    'Gotta go with Quint on this one, and may I say, I'm surprised at Beatty's attitude. There he is in Bullworth rapping about the virtues of socialism, another alleged "equalizer," yet when it comes to ticket sales that might actually affect HIS income, he's suddenly sounding like the ultimate capitalist - not to mention elitist. I guess Hollywood can afford to slam the capitalist system since most have already made enough money to live on - if they manage it properly, anyway, and unfortunately, that's usually a big IF, just as it is with most in America. As for Dick Tracy - I was 11 and I loved it for months. I still like it, I guess, and agree with Quint about a return to hand-painted mattes, etc., but the movie, on whole, does seem a bit... unremarkable, in the grand scheme of things. BATMAN, for better or worse, is still widely remembered and talked about - which could be because the Batman comics were and still are in-print and popular for far longer than the Dick Tracy newspaper strips and, of course, we've got the current films to compare it to - but rewatching it as I did about a month or so back, I got the feeling that even if Beatty liked the material, he either lacked the intention or the ability to put his own stamp on it. Instead, it just feels like a very straightforward, almost literal translation of the comic strips. The fact that it works at all, I think, has more to do with the integrity of the original material than it does with Beatty and his crew, however immensely talented are the cinematographer and people like Ellenshaw, etc. By the way, Danny Elfman states in the liner notes to his first "Music for a Darkened Theater" album that a lot of his original score for the movie was cut or watered-down - that it was originally a lod "darker," in his words (predictably, I suppose).

  • June 10, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Can someone YouTube Donners Q&a on Sunday for me? Cheers.

    by SmokieGeezer

  • June 10, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    "Spurred" his interest

    by snappy

    Not spurned it. To spur = encourage To spurn = reject

  • June 10, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    I will never forget Big Boy Caprice...

    by zinc_chameleon

    as a dance instructor. That scene felt like something improvised by Pacino; Madonna was totally put in her place by real acting talent.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Warren Beatty

    by professor murder

    What ever happened to him? I haven't seen him since Bulworth, and that was a LONG time ago.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Dick the book

    by gksquire9

    I remember reading the book-adaptation as a 13 year old a few weeks before the movie came out. I was so excited when I finished that I found out all these stupid facts and would tell anyone who would listen. It astonishes me even to this day that he used only 7 primary colors and just made the movie seem like it popped off the comic page. And who doesn't remember asking their parents if we'll ever have phone watches? I need to re-visit the film, and after this write-up I'm going to do just that. Also, Bale for Savage in Bio-pic!

  • June 10, 2011, 12:38 p.m. CST

    when do we eat?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • June 10, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Pacino nominated for Supporting Actor?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    two years apart the man is grabbing 4 nominations and one (undeserved) win.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:44 p.m. CST

    They should make a Batman 3 with Burton/Keaton

    by Jake Pantlin

    Have it come out the same summer that this "sequel" to Dick Tracy comes out. That would be ... nostalgic!

  • The story here is a chore to slog through... just really poorly constructed and lurching. It goes nowhere interesting, and climaxes in the most pointless shoot-out in movie history where Tracy's entire rogue's gallery is mowed down one after another. I swear the script must have read "Tracy and the police stand still, firing machine guns, as one-by-one the villains ride into the gunfire and die. Keep doing this for 5 minutes." Lots of talent on display in the film... no compelling reason for any of it to exist within the story, however.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    One thing I remember more than the movie was a...

    by v3d

    crazy review that claimed it was a statement on fascism. Dick Tracy as the handsome (Aryan?) hero is pitted against evil, ugly(to the point of being deformed) villians. WTF? It was a crazy visual take on an old comic strip and radio show. Amazing what people read into things.

  • June 10, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Other movies released around 'Dick Tracy' time

    by professor murder

    Home Alone Ghost Dances with Wolves Pretty Woman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Hunt for Red October Total Recall Die Hard 2 Kindergarten Cop Back to the Future 3 Presumed Innocent Days of Thunder Now, you have just been Aged! haha

  • June 10, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    oh yeah, and..

    by professor murder

    I noted Total Recall in that list. Back in 1990, this movie budget was 65 mil. Oh my have we inflated!

  • June 10, 2011, 1:25 p.m. CST

    When do we eat?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • June 10, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST

    I eat right..

    by professor murder

    ..NOW! It's lunchtime!

  • June 10, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Beatty's films are like Beatty himself.

    by cookylamoo

    Vague and shallow.

  • June 10, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Movie ignorance rules AICN - "A producer called David Puttnam"

    by catlettuce4

    Er... The Mission, The Killing Fields, Memphis Belle, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, The Duellists, Bugsy Malone, Litzomania, Midnight Express

  • June 10, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    cooklylamoo

    by Continentalop

    Well, the ones he directs haven't always been the greatest, but the ones he produced and/or acted in, like Bonnie & Clyde, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Shampoo and Parallax View, are all master pieces.

  • June 10, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    If Dick Tracy was made today it would look like the Spirit

    by alienindisguise

    and would totally suck balls

  • June 10, 2011, 2:24 p.m. CST

    one of the best comic book films+Sondheim

    by Tasteflex

    Nice interview. I still think this is one of the best attempts to put a comic on screen. It's really simple and spare and clever. In the modern comic book adaption (those by the likes of Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan) try and cram too much in, they are overproduced and just end up looking like television. I know I'm in the minority with my criticism of Nolan. (He is cut happy though, to a fault). To the fellow who called Beatty's films vague and shallow, i would implore you to watch "Reds" or "Bugsy". Both are pretty complex and interesting films made by clearly a very intelligent man. I'm glad to hear Beatty loves Ishtar. It is one of the most underrated comedies ever produced. Elaine May is one of America's most underrated filmmakers. Quint, i feel there is one major aspect of this film that you have overlooked, the songs by Stephen Sondheim. Classic movie tunes, every last one. I haven't seen this movie in years and I can still recall the music. -tasteflex http://rotar.tumblr.com/ (my burgeoning film blog)

  • June 10, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Dick Tracy II: Dick Harder

    by Axl Z

    Wont his banana coat be brown by now?

  • June 10, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST

    and yes to Batman3 with Keaton!

    by Axl Z

    Always thought that would be a great nod to the fans, just Keaton gonna mental in his mansion alone doing one last mission.. They can bin Forever and Robin too then and call it a trilogy again!

  • June 10, 2011, 3:23 p.m. CST

    OP: Can't deny Bonny and Clyde is one of my favorites.

    by cookylamoo

    But God, "Red's" was a really a snore-fest. Worse yet, it co-stared Diana Keaton, who is also ditsy and vague.

  • It's better than the movie.

  • June 10, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Easiest Detective Work Ever

    by Mike-El

    Hideously disfigured and garishly dressed? Lock 'em up.

  • June 10, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Always loved this film!

    by Dr. Egon Spengler

    Late 80s/early 90s was a great time to be a young lad who loved comics and movies. Batman and then Dick Tracy a year later... err, yeah, I had all the merchandise tie-ins. All that shit. Ate it up. Seems a little late for a sequel though...

  • June 10, 2011, 5:08 p.m. CST

    When do we eat?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

  • I have fond memories of dick tracy, but fonder memories of Rocketeer and Jennifer Connelly in all her early 90s glory before she lost all the weight. Her cleavage on the 'career oppurtunities' poster almost single handedly ushered me into puberty

  • June 10, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Not to be tacky or anything...

    by tang126

    ...but this guy gets to put it to Annette Bening every night. That's one lucky so-and-so in my book. Good grief, that's a sexy woman. Her role in "American Beauty" was freakishly close in appearance (and, I suspect, "secret pursuits") to the mother of one of my friends. Needless to say, I came to have a whole new appreciation of the hawtness of my buddy's curvy, divorcee mom. after seeing this movie. Thanks, Annette. :D Sorry for the derail. I saw this story on Mr. Beatty and all I can think of is his wife.

  • June 10, 2011, 5:34 p.m. CST

    "Star Wars" is the first and ONLY Star Wars movie.

    by darthwaz1

    Just thought I'd toss that in..

  • June 10, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Beattie- Why now?

    by blueant

    The cast was o.k. I wish they focused a little on gadgets like the comics. I did like the movie. Beattie, I have no clue why he would wait 21 yrs later to make a sequel, I mean, you care and do it soon afterwards, like most movies...or you don't. ...Is he behind on yacht payments?

  • June 10, 2011, 7:47 p.m. CST

    I literally fell asleep at the midnight premiere..

    by MST3KPIMP

    I got the "I saw it first" shirt.. which of course I never wore again out of sheer embarrasment for thinking this bloated mess would be good. Style-wise looked way too much like Batman and just never seemed to get into gear... It's Beatty's vanity piece and it is astonishing to me how this revisionist writeup makes it look like some high water mark in the comic genre TMNT was better and that sucked as well.

  • June 10, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Make it a sequel - cast John Hamm as Tracy

    by Movietool

    Boom! I'm a genius!

  • June 10, 2011, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Great flick. Never understood the hate for it.

    by successor

    <p>Gratuitous 1990 Tommy gun shooting along with Miller's Crossing. Nearly every freak from the comic strip. Great vintage 30's setting and color palette. Fun music. And Madonna's the villain to boot. What's not to like? Not to mention the memorable dialogue.</p> <p>"When do we eat?"</p> <p>"Thirty seconds no more Dick! Thirty seconds no more Dick!"</p> <p>"I'm looking for generals. What have I got? Foot soldiers!"</p>

  • June 10, 2011, 9:15 p.m. CST

    The "banned" Dick Tracy toy

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    It was "The Tramp", which came with the phrase "Stinking up the city sewers!" printed on the box...until advocates for the homeless had the toy yanked off the shelf for being offensive. Funny to hear that toy actually has value to collectors now just because it was yanked from general sales. I just wonder how valuable toys from flop "blockbusters" like Waterworld have today.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Don't hold your breath waiting for Tracy 2...

    by Ed Cetera

    Beatty is notorious for thinking, thinking and re-thinking over his projects - sometimes for years. Meanwhile, he's not getting any younger.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Sequel? HOW?!?

    by Circean6

    Beatty killed off 90% of Tracy's rouges gallery...it was like a Batman movie that had Joker, Catwoman, Two-Face, Ras, Scarecrow, Clayface, Croc, Cluemaster, Firefly, Killer Moth, Calandar Man, Signal Man, Penguin, Riddler, all crammed in & killed off.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Computers would ruin the sequel

    by Mel

    It's amazing to see a film FILMED like Dick Tracy was. With computers, you can do anything you want visually. See 300 and Sin City as examples. They're sytlistic because of computers...Dick Track is stylistic without them.

  • June 10, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST

    That "filthy" line is even filthier than you remember …

    by Andy Williamson

    When Tracy asks Breathless through the door what kind of ice cream she got, her actual response is, "Fresh peach. Better eat it quick, it's starting to run a little."

  • June 10, 2011, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Jason Lee as Dick Tracy...

    by Chris Sorrentino

    ...I always thought he kinda looked a little like a young Warren Beatty (like a "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" Beatty).

  • June 10, 2011, 11:32 p.m. CST

    and one more thing...

    by Chris Sorrentino

    ...I loved Dick Tracy, but it always bothered me that Beatty didn't opt for the prosthetics to give him that signature "Dick Tracy" nose. Also bothers me that every live-action Batman had his eyes showing... They should be whited-out like in the comics and cartoons. Seeing Batman's eyes with black face paint applied around them just gives me visuals of Alfred painting make-up on Bruce Wayne every time he leaves the cave... Kinda faggy ...just sayin

  • June 11, 2011, 12:31 a.m. CST

    How could they do a sequel?!?

    by Han Cholo

    Beatty's an ancient artifact and Tracy gunned down every villain in the film!

  • June 11, 2011, 12:34 a.m. CST

    Not only did Tracy gun down pretty much every villain...

    by Han Cholo

    He did it in a BRUTAL MANNER!!! How many times did Flattop get shot from Tracy's Tommy Gun? He was looking like that poor sap who Arnold used as a shield in Total Recall...

  • June 11, 2011, 2:46 a.m. CST

    They need to adapt that old "Dick Crazy" comic

    by KarlKolchak

    I think it was in Penthouse or Hustler. I'd pay to see that.

  • June 11, 2011, 7:32 a.m. CST

    There will never be a sequel

    by OldDickLemon

    Ongoing talk of a sequel is all part of Beatty's dance to maintain control of the rights to the character. I seem to recall a while back he was about to lose them so he played him in. PSA or Japanese beer commercial or something to "refresh" his rights. He'll drag it out as long as he can to endure no one else can take a stab at making the character interesting.

  • June 11, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    I kinda liked it... and no mention of the R cut?!?

    by Monroville

    Though I can understand where the haters come from. I do think that it's "world" is better realized than Gotham City in BATMAN (which, like a lot of Burton's movies, came across like a bunch of elaborate sets; DICK TRACY has some really great matte shots that make Chicago look a lot more expansive). One thing that really surprises me though: did you ask him if the extended R-Rated cut of DICK TRACY is ever going to see the light of day (or at least some of the R-Rated cut scenes)?

  • June 11, 2011, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Madonna...

    by fathergreedosarducci

    ...almost single-handedly ruined the movie. It was self-indulgent stunt casting on par with the performance of Sofia Coppola in Godfather III.

  • June 11, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    You fools.

    by Aaron

    Love this movie. Beatty is a genius, especially with that casting as writing bit.

  • June 11, 2011, 11:42 a.m. CST

    It was too campy

    by OutsideChance

    It was on a par with 60s Adam West

  • June 11, 2011, 4:07 p.m. CST

    the_choppah

    by brian tobin

    i think it was done at disney florida before the park opened , the streets look very familiar

  • June 11, 2011, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Not sure if I believe...

    by lennon211

    Not sure if I believe that Beatty would ever make a sequel. He's too old and his talk just seems like a pipedream to keep the rights in his pocket. If he did, it would be great to see some kind of World War II era piece. You could bring in a lot of characters from the comic that weren't in the first film...Jim Trailer (Tracy's FBI contact), The Mole, Shaky, Mrs. Pruneface, BB Eyes, Gargles...there are plenty of good villains left. Beatty needs to hand the script over to a new writer, like Collins, and the role of Tracy over to someone much younger and more capable of filling the role.

  • June 11, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Dick Tracy was very Good stuff!!! Sequel, Yes!

    by DavidBanner

    And I concur to a Keaton return to Batman. He is still my personal favorite Batman.

  • June 12, 2011, 12:14 a.m. CST

    Disneyland Dick Tracy Musical...

    by MST3KPIMP

    have you seen this thing? I mean have have you seen this?

  • June 12, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    warren beatty woefully miscast

    by paulloch

    Really not like the comic strip at all. The perfect Tracy was right there at the time. in Nick Nolte, right face, right body type, right no-nonsense personality. Nick Nolte was also the hotter actor, with Cape Fear, Another 48 hours, Prince of Tides. Beatty still coming off Ishtar, before he made this, which explains poor BO performance. Jon Hamm would be good, but still might be too pretty, remember Tracy had that ex-prizefighter broken nose thing.

  • June 12, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    ...spurned his love of cinema.

    by Dr. Strangelove

    Spurned?? I don't think that word means what you think it means.

  • June 13, 2011, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Ishtar

    by GunRunner

    I don't think it's a very good movie, but the crappy lounge songs that they wrote for the movie are still hilarious ("Telling the Truth is Dangerous Business"), and that scene where Dustin Hoffman pretends to the auctioneer at the arms bazaar is pretty frickin hilarious.

  • June 13, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    The *REAL* reason there wasn't a sequel - nothing to do with Bugsy

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Remember that massive studio back-lot fire that wiped out just about everything (including parts of the classic King Kong set)? It decimated the Dick Tracy sets - and furthermore, the warehouse that stored all the props, costumes and vehicles was completely lost in the fire. It would have cost the studio several million dollars just to replaced the cars. All of those additional expenses made the studio wary of another sequel. If only they had a crystal ball that could have predicted a 100 million dollar payday, they might have been more eager to fund the sequel. And by the time the studio realized they had a potential tent-pole on their hands, Beatty was wrapping up a film, filming a film, and prepping for 2 more films - he was a decade away from returning to the role at the earliest. Blessings often being disguised, maybe fate spared us from a crystal skull edition of Dick Tracy - we will never know.

  • June 13, 2011, 6:41 p.m. CST

    I just bought the rights to Lil' Abner

    by Crimson Dynamo

    So fuck you Warren Beatty! Two can play at this game