Calling Dick Tracy fans! Nathaniel Rogers' Hit Me with Your Best Shot has started back up over at The Film Experience, and I couldn't help but throw my yellow hat in. This week, the film in question is Warren Beatty's comic book adaptation, Dick Tracy. I re-watched it last night, and I was surprised by how much of the imagery has stuck with me after all these years.
Picking a solitary image from Tracy was harder than I thought. I love how the sets pop out at you, but then everything turns flat like a comic book as the camera pans across the city. Flat but so colorful and eye-popping. Beatty famously used only 6 colors throughout the entire film--the only ones that were used when the comic was published.
My favorite shot is from early on in the film when we first see Madonna's Breathless Mahoney. Is it too cliche that a shot featuring the Material Girl is my favorite? Her hands trail up and down her back as if mid-make out as 88 Keys (Mandy Patinkin) plinks the ivories behind her. His gaze is stuck on her almost every time she's out there. Is he that infatuated with her? Looking out for her? Jealous of her? The sexuality of Breathless Mahoney went so far over my head at the age of 7--I think I just thought she wanted to kiss everyone, and I was fine with that. That slinky nightgown she wears when Tracy visits her is frickin' sheer! How is this rated PG?! God bless 1990.
Between this shot and all of Michelle Pfeiffer in 1992's Batman Returns, my love of curly blonde, confident women was solidified.
The Blank freaked me out as a kid, and he still does as an adult. That is all.
My other favorite shot is of Glenne Headley glancing at Tracy as she goes inside. I've been a fan of hers since seeing this the first time, and the look of sadness on her face has always gotten to me. She doesn't know if some gangster is going to kill him while he's out on the job or if it will be the last time she sees him. Breathless Mahoney has never had a shortage of men, but Tess Truehart only wants one man in a yellow coat.
Hit Me with Your Best Shot is currently in its 6th season over at The Film Experience. If you'd like to check out all the past submissions you can do so here!