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The Show

Dick Tracy's Dilemma

Series info on UEN-TV

"Dick Tracy's Dilemma" (1947) presents the iconic detective and his sidekick, Pat Patton, with the murder of a night watchman during the robbery of a shipment of valuable furs. The case leads Tracy to a hook-handed murderer called The Claw. As with other films in the series, Tracy is joined by a colorful crew, including an informant called Sightless, who hides his more-than-adequate vision behind dark glasses, and the dapper, somewhat germaphobic Vitamin Flintheart.

American actor Jack Lambert plays The Claw with a psychotic intensity that brings a true sense of menace to his scenes. In an especially potent sequence, he follows a terrified Sightless who begs protection from a suspicious homeowner. When he finally catches up to the informant, Sightless's final moments are shot to both eloquently reflect the old man's demise and to foreshadow the method of The Claw's own death. Lambert also appeared in "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke" and a number of World War II movies, westerns and crime thrillers.

The Science

Julie Buck

Dr. Julie A. BuckJulie Buck, professor of Criminal Justice at Weber State College, discusses issues of eyewitness memory and Dick Tracy’s problematic investigative methods in the film “Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome.”

Brent Horn

Brent HornWeber State University professors Brent Horn (above) and Russ Dean (not shown) discuss the fiction of Dick Tracey vs. the reality crime scene investigations and lab work.


More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Weber State Department of Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Careers

Dick Tracey and the Spider Gang

American Academy of Forensic Sciences

The International Association for Identification

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