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 »
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 apartment, get $60,000 from a wall safe and fly to Hollywood. Blackie has just removed the money when Police Inspector Farraday and his assistant, Sergeant Matthews arrive and accuse him of robbery. They let him escape so they can follow as they think he knows something about the stolen Monterey Diamond. Blackie arrives in Hollywood and learns that Manleder has fallen for Gloria Lane, in cahoots with a gang of crooks, and had been holding the missing diamond in trust for the owner. Gloria had asked Arthur to let her wear the diamond and it was stolen. Two gangsters had appeared at the apartment and offered to recover the diamond for $60,000, which had prompted the telegram to Blackie. The two crooks also steal the money from The Runt. Blackie's plan to catch the crooks and recover the money and the diamond... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This is the first film directed by Michael Gordon, a member of the Group Theater, who was blacklisted, returned to Broadway, and, after the success of the play "The Tender Trap" returned to Hollywood to direct "Pillow Talk" and many successful light comedies. See more »
Here's a film that is in the middle of a remarkably successful franchise. One wonders what in the formula worked so well.
I think in this case it was the focus on sidekicks. Our two main characters are a "reformed" master thief, the Blackie, and a senior police chief who always chases him and whom reluctantly ends collaboratively up solving some crime. Ho hum so far.
Each of these guys has a sidekick. Each sidekick is incompetent, in fact utterly dependent on his alpha dog. Overall, Blackie's team is suave and the police team gets the worst of pranks. But its the dynamics of the pairs that I think gave this formula its success. There's something about defining a loyal admirer and placing him on screen. Its a funny sort of narrative shift where some small element of ourselves are placed on screen. As they admire the character, we do too, a bit more intensely. To make it more admirable (pun here) we have to have a sidekick who we knowingly do not identify with, someone at the far end of competence.
In other films of this era, the comic main at the bottom of the stack would be a black man. But that wouldn't work for this recipe, because the audience is presumed to be white and the mechanism based on subliminal identification. You'll still see this in cop buddy movies and many teen movies.
Other than this minor thrill, of seeing a perfect and inexpensive formula at work, this is a waste of time.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?