Morgan Conway, Anne Jeffreys, Lyle Latell, Dick Wessel, Ian Keith, Rita Corday, Esther Howard, Byron Foulger, Douglas Walton
Screen play: Dane Lussier and Robert E Kent Original story: Luci Ward Directed by: Gordon M. Douglas
Vitamin Flintheart – “That vase up there, huh, unless my eyes are playing me tricks it’s a rare and beautiful example of early Grecian workmanship. I say that’s a good looking suit you have, who’s your tailor?”
Higby – "My tailor? Oh he has a little shop that’s just around the corner, it’s little but it’s awfully-"
Vitamin Flintheart – “Who has?”
Higby – “My tailor.”
Vitamin Flintheart – “That has nothing to do with antiques has it?”
Higby – “No.”
Vitamin Flintheart – “How your mind wanders.”
If you're ugly in the world of Dick Tracy, then chances are you're a dastadly and despicable villain. Cueball wasn't particularly ugly, but in all honesty his way with people left a lot to be desired. In the movie Dick Tracy Vs Cueball, the villainous chrome dome boarded the docked SS Palomar and committed murder so he could steal $300,000 in diamonds from him. Dick Tracy was called in to investigate the case leading him to jeweller Jules Sparkle, his secretary Mona Clyde and Sam Little a diamond cutter. Sam and Mona were secretly working with Cueball, but hadn’t counted on Cueball doing a spot of murder; which they really should have, given that this was the world of Dick Tracy! From there Dick had to do a good old bit of investigating in order to get the better of Cueball and he did so with a little help from his friends.
The criminal under-world in Dick Tracy was a dangerous and deadly place, filled with an undesirable element intent on seizing whatever was available and they refused to let nothing stop them....sort of like the regular criminal under-world really. It was also a place where the most imaginative names could be given to characters that had to be seen to be believed. Cueball was a ferocious man, who took his name from the likeness of his dome-shaped cranium to that of a billiard ball and was brilliantly played with menace by Dick Wessel. Without an ounce of compassion he moved about the story dispatching anyone who got in his way and was genuinely terrifying especially when considering this was released in 1945. As Cueball moved in to strangle his victims, the depression filled wartime era was apparent, as desperation took hold of him as he trailed the diamonds back and forth for a larger share of the profits. But this being Dick Tracy (has that been mentioned at all?) Cueball was not the only truly gruesome character,because Filthy Flora and the rest of the criminals who were involved with the diamond theft were just as treacherous. Of course Dick Tracy was clearly the hero of the piece and his supporting cast believed him to be the one to crack the case, but it never quite seemed like he was who the narrative was concerned with, as in the end, the criminal under-world were just too exciting to resist. So it seems that on occasion it really paid to be a villian, if you happened to know Dick.
PRIVATE DICK: *Dick Tracy was created in 1931 by Chester Gould and has appeared as a series of films during the 40’s, a blockbuster movie, a cartoon and a comic-strip.
*In 1990 Warren Beatty produced, directed and performed the title role of the dynamic detective in the film Dick Tracy. The movie boasted an impressive cast list that included Al Pacino, Madonna, Dick Van Dyke, Kathy Bates, James Caan and Dustin Hoffman.
*Morgan Conway also played Tracy in 1945s Dick Tracy.