During a routine interview with Wendy Witchel, Dick Tracy is surprised to learn a movie is being made about his life. The director, a man named Damill has just lost his lead actor, a man named Chickie who had a severe allergic reaction to his make-up. Damill approaches Dick and offers him one million dollars to play himself in the movie. Tracy initially refuses but Tess convinces him to do it for their financial future.
Vitamin Flintheart meets Dick and Tess as they arrive in Hollywood, Vitamin is also in the film playing himself of course. Vitamin has a new fiance, a young woman named Fame who is playing the role of Tess Trueheart. Fame has recently got the part when the original actress, B.U. Tiffil withdraw because she suffered from nervous exhaustion.
In the first scene Tracy acts, he has a shootout with Flattop Jones but the bullets fired by his opposite are real. Tracy disarms the actor, and the ammunition switch is chalked up to as fake. In the next scene filmed, that of Emil Trueheart’s death, Tracy has a rib broken when a chair broken over his body turns out to be a real chair. Again, this is considered an accident. At this time, Tracy is introduced to a special consultant on the set, a familiar Dick Tracy foe, Mumbles. Mumbles has gotten out on parole and is providing information about Dick Tracy.
Finally when a kleig light falls down on the stage, nearly killing Tracy and wounded Fame (with shattered glass), Damill agrees someone is sabotaging things. Damill receives a ransom note for $100,000 in exchange for a stop in the accidents. Tracy calls the FBI to help with the ransom demand and Jim Trailer arrives in Los Angeles to help. Dick also learns from Lizz and Sam that Tulza Tuzon, aka, Haf and Haf has skipped a parole meeting and has been living in a half way house in Los Angeles. Tracy and Jim raid Haf and Haf’s house and find evidence he is the film production saboteur.
Suspicious of the ransom demand (not Haf and Haf’s style), Tracy taps Mumbles phone and catches him calling Damill with further demands. Mumbles tries to flee Tracy and Trailer, firing on them while he escaped out a window. Tracy’s return fire winged Mumbles and the criminal tumbled out the window. He survives of course and is sent back to prison.
Back on the movie set, Tracy films a sword fight scene with a Putty Puss actor while the Blank looks down from the balcony. The Blank swings down on a rope, and reveals himself to be Haf and Haf. During a brief fight we learn he’s not here seeking revenge, he’s seeking renown. Haf and Haf is upset that he wasn’t included in the movie. Tracy talks to Haf and Haf, convincing him if he had written the story, he would have been included because Tracy considered him a top criminal. Haf and Haf thanks Tracy before he’s knocked out cold. It’s noted since this was all filmed and will certainly be on television, Haf and Haf will be thrilled.
Events are not yet over. Vitamin’s fiance, Fame has been kidnapped and Vitamin is frantic. They find the woman tied up on the H of the Hollywood sign. Tracy talks to Fame, and reveals he learned from B.U. Tifful that her nervous exhaustion was a result of threatening messages and phone calls from Fame. The actress was working with Haf and Haf, the two having met years ago when they worked at a carnival. Haf and Haf served as her chauffeur, which allowed him access to the movie set. Fame, who had tied herself up to garner attention is humiliated and jumps off the sign. She dies a short time later in Vitamin’s arms.
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- Putty Puss