Boston Blackie and his pal, The Runt, are ready to board a train for Florida when Blackie gets a telegram from his friend Arthur Manleder asking Blackie to go to Manleder's New York ... See full summary »
This was the first in a series of Boston Blackie films starring Chester Morris and was sufficiently popular to spawn 13 more hour-long pictures released by Columbia from 1941 to 1949. Most of the films in the series worked on a twelve day schedule. See more »
Blackie uses a round-back chair to lock Cecelia in her wall bed. When the police arrive and free her, they remove a different square-back arm chair. See more »
This was a good start to the Chester Morris Boston Blackie series of yarns at Columbia, the next 13 more or less maintained this frantic pitch of action and badinage. On the print I've got it looked like one of Blackie's magic tricks had been cut out in the first minute, not auguring well for the completeness of the rest of the film, but if there were cuts, they were expertly executed.
Blackie about to be pulled in by Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) for robbery gets mixed up with murders and spies and dames. On the way through the cast have a splendid assortment of patter eg dame to Blackie "Who are you?" - "At the moment a fugitive from an autopsy", or Blackie to Farraday "You'll be pounding the beat so far out of town you'll have to send smoke signals to report in", keeping just the right balance in what was, after all, a comedy-thriller. Rochelle Hudson as Cecilia looked extremely decorative, especially when she took that hat off! What were we supposed to be thinking she was thinking at the end of the film?!
Minor points: I preferred George E. Stone as the Runt to come, but all the cast were excellent, and the film could have done with 5 or 10 minutes more, but all the same basically I'm glad at what we've got. Not for serious people - if you like the genre as I do I recommend you watch the entire series, if you don't like the genre why not watch the entire series just to waste your time.
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