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Dick Tracy S1 Ep5 Brother Against Brother
A master criminal called The Spider puts the famous detective’s brother under a hypnotic spell and turns him against Dick.
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Season 1 Ep.5: Brother Against Brother
In a roof-top chase, Gordon shoots his brother Dick, sending him into a multi-storey fall.
Reason of the public domain status: Never registered in the Library of CongressDick Tracy (Ralph Byrd who plays the detective) is investigating a series of strange murders, crooks with a spider mark on their foreheads are turning up dead, when another body shows up, that of an industrialist who is throwing a party for orphans at the time. Tracy quickly solves the crime with the aide of Junior, an orphan who was attending the party. Tracy captures one of the murderers, but another one gets away. Since Junior saw the villain and can identify him, he’s not safe on his own so Tracy takes custody of the boy. It turns out that the man behind the spider-mark killings is an underworld mastermind, known only as The Spider. Anyone who crosses him ends up dead, and he’s immune to being shot, which gives rise to the rumor that he isn’t human. The Spider’s face is never shown, only his feet, distinguishable because one leg is much shorter that the other (a result of Polio, something would have been obvious to viewers in the 30′s). His slow, shuffling, clomping walk is his signature, and both ominous and creepy. The man that Tracy captured was one of The Spider’s henchmen and a note is delivered to the governor that if the killer isn’t released, The Spider will destroy a bridge that is about to open, using a new supersonic weapon that he’s developed. The Spider’s men capture Dick Tracy’s brother, Gordon and Moloch, an evil scientist in the employ of the criminal mastermind, operates and turns him evil and sets him against his very own brother. So starts the cat-and-mouse game between Dick Tracy and The Spider!
Cast and Crew:
Director: Alan James, Ray Taylor
Ralph Byrd, Kay Hughes, Smiley Burnette
Original Air Date: 1937
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Ralph Byrd stalled forever his career by taking the role of Chester Gould’s crime fighting hero. Byrd would play the role in three more serials, two hour long feature films (taking over when another actor proved unsatisfactory) and a TV series. Byrd could never really get away from Tracy and was type cast as the character even though he took a variety of other roles. Not to put too fine a point on it this, along with its three sequels, represent one of mystery films finest hours. In all of the films we have an excellent mix of crime, mystery and action. The film works as several different things all at the same time and all of them good. The plot of this serial has Tracy battling the Spider, aka The Lame one, who is bent on taking over the world. He’s so bad that he is eliminating all the other criminals in town as well has kidnapping and twisting the brother of Tracy through vile means. Its heady stuff and a real joy to watch. It’s a big story told on a large canvas with great special effects (The model work here, as with all Republic serials is as good as it gets). You really need to see this serial and its sequels since they all are a great deal of fun.
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