Lips Manlis 1990.jpeg

The Bath?! Not the Bath, Big Boy, not the Bath!
~ Lips begging for his life

Lips Manlis is a reformed criminal and gambler in the Dick Tracy comic strip.

In the 1990 film, Lips had been Big Boy Caprice's mentor. He was portrayed by Paul Sorvino, who also portrayed Alphonse Perrier du von Scheck in Hey Arnold! The Movie, Rotti Largo in Repo! The Genetic Opera, and the Serial Assgrabber in The Cleveland Show.

Biography

Comic Strip

"Lips" Manlis was a known criminal in Dick Tracy's city. He was briefly suspected of murdering a fellow gambler, and he attempted to trick Tracy and some other police officers into a death-trap to avoid being falsely accused.

After the real murderer was found, Tracy took an interest in Lips and became determined to reform him. Lips took the name "Bob Honor" and began to work at an honest job. His former associates tried to lure him back into a life of crime, but Lips resisted them and helped bring them to justice.

Film

Lips Manlis appears very briefly in the movie. He is at the Club Ritz eating clams with Breathless Mahoney, who is disgusted by his foul table manners. Then, an associate of Lips comes forward telling him some guests have arrived at the entrance of the building. It turns out to be a ploy, as Flattop Jones and Itchy hold him and Breathless hostage.

They take them to the warehouse, where Big Boy awaits him. Big Boy forces Lips to sign the deed to the Club Ritz over to him whilst making him think that he will let him live if he does this. 

Despite Lips giving up everything to Big Boy, Big Boy has his henchmen give him "the bath" anyway; the bath being a form of execution in which the victim is put in a large box, buried alive in wet cement, and dumped in the river as the box is closed.

Lips begs and sobs for his life, but Big Boy just laughs as his minions send Lips to a watery grave.

In the graphic novels that serve as prequels to the film, Manlis is the most powerful mobster in the city, effectively controlling its organized crime. Big Boy is his much-abused right-hand man, until Manlis suspects (correctly) that Big Boy is trying to usurp his power, and tries to have him killed. Big Boy survives, however, and dedicates himself to overthrowing his onetime mentor, setting the stage for the film.

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