Friday, June 23, 2017
Watch out, "Big Boy" Caprice! Here's what I've nicknamed my "Dick Tracy" button. A creamed corn square on a cherry red square, this art deco upholder-of-the-law is cleaning the streets (and wooing Tess Truehart) in all-out style. Named after one of my favorite movies of all time, the straightforward design on this button smacks of the film's visual palette, striking graphics and gorgeously vivid, comic strip flare. Directed by Warren Beatty (and starring Beatty as well), Dick Tracy was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1990. Adding a top-notch musical element to the picture, Stephen Sondheim wrote five songs for the film—each of them as grandly ambitious and clever as his Broadway knockouts. As a fanatical teenager, I watched the movie five times in theaters and still swoon at this candy-coated gem of big and boldly distinctive cinematography. One final note: Chester Gould created the Dick Tracy comic strip in 1931 and this Bakelite button might go back that far as well.