This was actually the fourth and last of Republic’s Dick Tracy serials, and is largely considered the best of them all. Ralph Byrd stars as Tracy, who here is portrayed as an FBI agent rather than a police detective, who must take on his most elusive foe yet: The Ghost – who is not only the head of a criminal syndicate, but also appears to have the incredible power to turn himself invisible.
In general, the Dick Tracy serials were incredibly well received at the time, and are considered some of the best of Republic’s serial output. This one consisted of a total of 15 chapters and was originally released toward the end of 1941, carrying over into 1942.
Byrd, who had already appeared as Tracy in Republic’s three previous serials, would go on to play the character in two follow-up full length motion pictures, and in a later television series which only lasted for one season due to the untimely death of the star.
Okay, let’s get things kicked off, shall we? I’ll be back next week to continue our overview of the history of movie serials, but for now let’s just dive (and I do mean dive!) right into the action:
Next time: Chapter 2: The Prisoner Vanishes