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A murder is committed during the auction of a valuable statue. The prime suspect is Boston Blackie, whose reputation for living on the edge of the law makes him an easy target for the police. When the body disappears, Blackie must find it to prove his innocence. Written by
Really dumb thieves and cops complement each other well here
No wonder Chester Morris as Blackie is smiling so slyly through this film - he's the smartest guy in the room!. A group of art thieves are taking legitimate works of art to auction, making replicas, and then selling the replica and keeping the original. This time, though, the owner of the work up for auction gets suspicious in the middle of the auction, stands up, and declares there is something wrong. One of the bad guys thinks the simple thing to do - knowing there are cops in the audience - is shoot the owner! Blackie,also in the audience, is conveniently armed and shoots at the shooter. His shot causes the original bad guy to miss and shoot his own partner through the heart.
Of course the cops don't look any further than Blackie, but he easily gets away. The bottom line of this fast paced Boston Blackie entry is the police apparently can't count shots or do geometry or they would have known Blackie could not have fired all of those shots at those angles from where he was, don't even notice the body of the auctioneer for a good while, and never stop and ask themselves WHY would Blackie shoot at all of these people.
Now let's turn our attention to the IQ of the art thieves. They make hollowed out statue replicas that anyone that knows art could spot in 10 seconds, install secret panels in their statues which is a big tipoff that this is not an original, and insist on having their art studio in what is obviously an underground death trap under the right circumstances - it wouldn't take OSHA to spot the hazard here. And if their goal is to ultimately steal the original, why not just do that in the first place rather than stage this elaborate ruse with poorly made replicas?
So why watch this theatre of the absurd? Mainly because of the wit and wisdom of Chester Morris as Boston Blackie plus it's just plain fun. On the lighter side we get to see Blackies's sidekick, the runt, attempt to evict an amazon who claims to be Blackie's wife from Blackie's apartment. Recommended for the fun of it all.
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