Another rip off: this time Madonna targeted it to Thelma Todd. Thelma Todd was a popular American actress of the late 1920s and early 1930s - so during those very "handy" decades Madonna loves so much. During her career, Thelma appeared in over 40 films (between the years 1926 and 1935) but Madonna put her on only for one: Dick Tracy and the role of Breathless Mahoney.
Now one could speculate that her look was spontaneus and it came together because it was a typical look of the time period Dick Tracy was portraying... However when you think about it a moment longer and put it in line with Madonna's rip off behaviour - the possibility of mere coincidence taking place turns into an unlikely scene. Madonna has been able to influence her movie roles especially through fashion and look and she has admitted it in interviews. She has been allowed that freedom because "she knows about those things". Obviously she is listened very, very carefully!
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The Dick Tracy comic strip's "Tess Trueheart" can be seen as a typical thirties blonde. In the pulps, "Sally the Sleuth" had adventures with characters who resembled Dick Tracy and Junior, while resembling Thelma Todd somewhat in that she frequently happened to lose some of her clothing as part of the story.
I haven't read this book, just the idea of it sounds awful. Not being an expert and not wishing to rely solely on my own biased opinion, I tried asking a number of others for their opinion of Max Allan Collins. Here is one reply I recieved from a professional writer and editor:
"I keep remembering him as a comic strip scriptwriter whose work I didn't care for --Ted White"
I mentioned that Collins had been writing Dick Tracy and that I felt he hadn't been doing a good job, and that eventually he'd been taken off of it. Ted White replied, "Exactly."
I guess that will do.
My Fan Club for Dick Tracy: