Dick Tracy, which grossed over $100 million dollars, was one of the hottest movies of 1990. Although history hasn’t been very kind to the film, it received great reviews when it came out.
On June 15, 1990, Roger Ebert gave the film four stars and even liked it better than Batman, which came out one year earlier.
“Last summer’s ‘Batman,’ a movie I found disappointing, was at least a triumph of special effects – of set design and art direction. ‘Dick Tracy,’ which is a sweeter, more optimistic movie, outdoes even ‘Batman’ in the visual departments. This is a movie in which every frame contains some kind of artificial effect.”
Ebert sums up the Dick Tracy review by claiming it as one of the most visionary fantasies he has ever seen on screen. Although he didn’t think Madonna’s appearance in the film worked, most other critics did.
“It’s her best role since she made her debut in Susan Seidelman’s ‘Desperately Seeking Susan.’ She looks like a sweetly licentious kewpie doll and handles her lines with suitably mock suggestiveness,” claimed New York Times critic Vincent Canby.
There is good news for Dick Tracy fans. Variety reports that Warren Beatty is considering a sequel.
“More than a quarter century after he brought Dick Tracy to the screen, Warren Beatty is considering making a sequel. The news was revealed by Arnon Milchan on Wednesday at CinemaCon, as the producer accepted the Legends of Cinema Award from Beatty.”
The article adds that Beatty says he is very serious about it, but that he is slow about “these things.” The commenters after the article don’t seem to think a Dick Tracy sequel is necessary.
“This is a couple of weeks late….April Fool’s Day was on the 1st,” says Jim.
“It will fail. He knows NOTHING about directing. Now that his good looks have disappeared he should do likewise,” claims Jimmy Green.
The news of a Dick Tracy sequel caused a lot of excitement from Madonna fans, who fondly remember her role as Breathless Mahoney, especially the musical scenes where she really stepped out of her role as a pop singer and turned into what critics thought was a legit lounge singer. The film launched her hit album I’m Breathless, which featured Broadway-style songs written by Stephen Sondheim. Madonna and collaborator Patrick Leonard also wrote songs for the album, which Rolling Stone rated three-and-a-half stars.
“She pulls it off with brass and panache, but then everybody knows Madonna doesn’t mess around. Compared with Prince’s mechanical-sounding Batman LP, at any rate, I’m Breathless stands as a unified whole — a fully realized concept album.”
Critic Mark Coleman praised Madonna’s vocal style and how she made Sondheim’s songs her own. “Sooner or Later” won an Oscar for Best Original Song the next year at the Academy Awards.
There is only one problem with Madonna reappearing in Dick Tracy, and it may be a major one. Her character dies at the end of the original film. It seems to be something that a lot of fans are forgetting in their excitement to see Madonna reprise one of her best roles on screen again. Can Warren Beatty somehow bring Madonna’s character back to life? Can Beatty cast Madonna in a new role? It seems that a Dick Tracy sequel without Madonna would be empty.
[Photo by Reed Saxon/AP Images]