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Big Boy Caprice

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You get behind me, we all profit; you challenge me, we all go down! There was one Napoleon, one Washington, one me!
―Addressing his fellow gangsters

Big Boy Caprice is the main antagonist in Disney/Touchstone's 1990 film Dick Tracy. It is in this film that he is first referred to as "Al "Big Boy" Caprice". The movie character is physically very different from the comic strip one.

Personality

In the film, Caprice is the former protegé of crime lord Lips Manlis, whom he eventually murders after rising to power. His criminal empire spreads through the city like cancer, prompting Dick Tracy to make the diminutive gangster's destruction his own personal mission. Caprice's moll, Breathless Mahoney, takes a sexual interest in Tracy; for his part, Tracy is tempted by the smoldering femme fatale, even though he is faithful to longtime girlfriend Tess Trueheart.

By the end of the film, Tracy has unraveled Caprice's empire, with help from a mysterious, faceless vigilante called The Blank. Caprice kidnaps Tess, and holds her hostage in a tower containing the operating machinery of a drawbridge. Tracy corners him and is about to arrest him, when the Blank, whom Tracy has learned is none other than Breathless herself in disguise, emerges from nowhere and tries to kill Caprice, who shoots and mortally wounds her. Tracy lands a haymaker punch to Caprice's jaw, sending him plummeting to his death in the drawbridge's gears. Tracy rescues Tess, who Caprice had tied to one of the gears, just before she is crushed.

Role in the film

Caprice is first seen standing above a troubled Lips Manlis at the warehouse. He coerces him into signing the deed of Club Ritz to Big Boy, with Big Boy himself reminding Lips "no pals in this business" and he "taught me that."

Dick Tracy learns about this after investigating the crime scene and arrests Big Boy, but due to a lack of evidence, is forced to let him go. After being released, Big Boy tells the media it was an act of "police brutality".

Trivia

  • Big Boy Caprice is loosely based on Prohibiton Mobster Al Capone, and even borrows his first name "Alphonse" as his own.

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