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|Index||11 reviews in total|
This one was played slightly more serious, but still packed with some
sparkling repartee especially between Blackie and Farraday. The plot
actually intrudes on the comedy! However a running gag is supplied by
the Runt in the process of getting married to a six foot stripper but
being continually thwarted, until the very end ...
I can even forgive some of the more Keystone moments: such as Blackie being escorted between Farraday and Matthews, simply backing off and making a run for it, Arthur immediately taking his place, and fooling the two dumb cops all the way to the station. A delicious moment was where F&M realise their police car has been stolen by Blackie and a baddie and everyone but them knew it.
Good effort, nice production values, and better script make this a welcome entry.
This low budget film with the usual cast of characters has Chester Morris, as Boston Blackie coming to the aid of an ex-con buddy who he got to know while serving in the State Penn. His buddy is being released and has some diamonds hidden my his previous business investments and is afraid his old gang will want the diamonds and kill him. Ann Savage, "Detore" is the ex-con's daughter and she wants to look after him and seeks Boston Blackie's help. Richard Lane, Inspector Farraday is still out to handcuff and arrest Blackie for breaking into a locker containing the diamonds. There is train rides and plenty of car chases and Boston Blackie even impersonates an African American in order to disguise himself from Cy Kendall the top gangster. If you like these sequels, you will love this film which runs very smoothly and is enjoyable.
"After Midnight with Boston Blackie" is another fun entry into the
Boston Blackie series, starring Chester Morris and George E. Stone. An
old man, Diamond Ed Barnaby (Walter Baldwin) is freed from prison and
intends to give some stolen diamonds to his daughter (Betty Barnaby).
However, his old gang wants them. His troubled daughter appeals to
involved with the police and proves himself smarter. Meanwhile, The
Runt's marriage to one Dixie Rose Blossom (Jan Buckingham) keeps being
delayed, and friend Arthur Manleder (Lloyd Corrigan) has to keep the
intended entertained, since the wedding is taking place at his
These Blackie films follow the same formula over and over - the dumb Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) and the clever Blackie interfering with a police case - which is a good thing because without Blackie, the case would never be solved.
Nevertheless, these films always manage to be entertaining, thanks in large art to Chester Morris and George E. Stone. Morris has a lot of charm and a lighthearted attitude as Blackie. He manages to keep some of these tired plots going. Hard to believe that the woman who played the sweet daughter Betty is the same woman who played the hard-boiled femme fatale in Detour.
The Runt is getting marriedthat is, if his and Blackie's wealthy
friend Arthur can manage to keep the few principals involved in the
wedding assembled in his house for more than thirty seconds. Blackie,
however, is occupied helping an old friend's daughter sort out a
mystery involving the missing father, some diamonds he had hidden and a
gang of crooks who will stop at nothing to seize those diamonds. Of
course, Inspector Farraday and his dumb assistant Matthews are on hand,
slapping Blackie with any charge handy and letting Blackie slip away as
needed to work on the actual solving of the case.
Cy Kendall is particularly oily as the head villain here, even though he had appeared in at least two previous series outings as an old underworld pal of Blackie's. Walter Sande as Detective Matthews is wonderfully hapless as comic foil and brunt of insults for both Farraday and Blackie. (Farraday making a point: "I have Matthews as a witness!" Blackie: "Well, I wouldn't brag about that.")
A handful of comments and events in the film allude to the warparticularly a scene set during a blackout when cops, bad guys and Blackie and friends are all chasing each other around in the dark. But for the most part, this is your standard escapist B mystery featuring familiar characters, plentiful comic relief and an easy-to-follow plot about diamonds and murder.
We never do find out if Blackie's "ulcer remedy" that he shares with Farraday is the real stuff, or just a trick. I suspect a trick, since one of the ingredients is ketchup.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the better Blackies, this film is fast paced, good humored, well
acted, good fun and has very nice production values.
'Diamond Ed' Barnaby has just been released from prison, according to the Warden, for a charge he "could have beaten." Some of his old 'friends' are very concerned with this; he's been released early and they aren't ready for it. They're very interested in some diamonds he has.
Joe Herschel, the leader of the gang, wants those diamonds, and he tracks down Ed after Ed has put them in a rented box. Joe tells Ed to give him the rocks, but Ed says that they're going to his daughter and to nowhere else. He tells Joe to leave him alone, or he'll have Boston Blackie on his neck.
But Joe's gang takes Ed to an office where they threaten him with a gun. He tells them where the diamonds are, and they leave him tied up. He manages to get to the telephone, and dial the operator. He tells police Inspector Farraday to go to the building that houses the boxes, to look for two men who are going to open box 13 and take the diamonds. But before he can finish the conversation, someone comes into the office and shoots him to death.
Blackie has a key for the box, and he and his sidekick The Runt get there first--just in time for Farraday to nab him.
Farraday has traced the call to the club owned by Joe, but when he brings Blackie and The Runt to the club, Joe denies that anyone was shot in his office or that anyone used his telephone.
Blackie manages to start a fire and escapes. Can Boston Blackie find out who killed 'Diamond Ed' Barnaby, find the diamonds, and restore them to sweet Betty Barnaby, or will the crooks triumph and Blackie end up in prison on a trumped up charge?
There's Boston Blackie again getting mixed up with other people's
diamonds: an old pal from jail days, who's just been released himself,
asks him to collect the very valuable diamonds he'd stolen and hidden
in order to secure his daughter's future. But, of course, there are
other crooks as well who want to get their hands on the jewels - and
so, there are the familiar chases again, Blackie's caught once more by
Inspector Faraday in front of an open safe; arrests, escapes,
murders... And which day out of all does he (or rather, the gang that
tries to track him and the diamonds down) pick for all those asphalt
jungle adventures? His friend's, the Runt's wedding day! So you can
just guess how many times the ceremony is delayed... until a VERY
Another very entertaining - and VERY inventive on the part of the authors! - Boston Blackie tale, with Chester Morris in GREAT shape: this time he even does a short black face comedy to get into the top gangster's house! And all this hokum mixes surprisingly well with some 'tougher' crime movie moments; a great treat not only for 'Boston Blackie' addicts!
Columbia Pictures had an unbeatable formula in the 40's - get stars who
had passed out of the limelight but still had great talent and charisma
and make them the leads in short B crime mystery films with lively
scripts. They did this with Warner Baxter and the Crime Doctor series,
with Warren William and the Lone Wolf series, and with Chester Morris
and the Boston Blackie series. They also had a habit of naming the
films in almost a random way. For example this film has nothing to do
with the hour of midnight or what came before or after.
The basis of the story is an old friend of Boston Blackie -"Diamond Ed" - is getting out of jail and has some diamonds hidden away for his grown daughter that are apparently from the heist for which he was doing time. His old gang has been waiting for him to get out and wants the loot. Blackie is drawn into the whole situation by Ed's daughter, who wants Blackie to help Ed decide to go straight. Of course, things never go right for Blackie or else we wouldn't have a story and soon Blackie finds himself falsely accused of killing Diamond Ed to get to his loot. The incompetent and always mistrusting detective Farraday and his sidekick Matthews get their usual exercise jumping to conclusions and running in circles.
There are a few items of note in this particular Boston Blackie film. First, we finally get to hear Blackie's real name. Second, apparently Blackie's friend "The Runt" (George E. Stone) has it in him to court and marry a very tall and buxom amazon of a woman who's a burlesque dancer at a local club...or does he??? Finally, I may have missed something but it is not entirely apparent at the end that Blackie turns over Ed's diamonds to the police. You walk away at the end not knowing if Blackie gave the diamonds to the daughter and told her to keep them or not. For a production code era crime film this would be quite an event.
Action packed from beginning to end, and even using a WWII west coast blackout as a plot device, I highly recommend this fast little film.
An old man named Diamond Ed Barnaby is released from prison and is
reunited with his now-grown daughter. But the reunion is cut short when
gangsters kidnap him and demand he reveal the location of some diamonds
he stole years before. The daughter goes to Boston Blackie (Chester
Morris) for help. Blackie figures out where the diamonds are but not
before Barnaby is killed. When Blackie arrives to get the diamonds,
Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) is waiting for him and convinced
Blackie murdered the old man.
Pretty good Boston Blackie picture. Not the best but entertaining. Nicely fits in a WW2 backdrop (city-wide blackout drill) as part of the story. Morris, Lane, and George E. Stone as Runt are all in good form. There's one scene that will ruffle some feathers today. Boston Blackie smears soot all over his face in order to pass as a black man and slip by Inspector Farraday's moronic sidekick, Sgt. Matthews.
Oddly, one of the bad guys in this is played by Cy Kendall. Kendall played a criminal type named Jumbo Madigan who gave Blackie information in several other Boston Blackie films, including the ones before and after this picture. However, here he plays a similar but more evil character named Joe Herschel that is much more involved in the plot. I didn't even know they were different characters until one of Joe's goons called him by that name.
This entry in The Boston Blackie series finds Blackie's companion and
factotum the Runt about to get married to statuesque Jan Buckingham.
But the wedding can't seem to come off because an old prison pal of
Chester Morris's gets out and starts looking for the swag he robbed
before getting pinched.
After Midnight With Boston Blackie has Morris, George E. Stone, and their playboy pal Lloyd Corrigan on the run again because the cops and a gang of crooks are tailing said prison pal Walter Baldwin to locate the hidden jewels. When the bad guys bump of Baldwin and grab his daughter Ann Savage, it's up to Morris to rescue Savage and locate and return the jewels before the police do. Because as always the cops suspect Morris of being the perpetrator.
The police are once again represented by Richard Lane and Walter Sande and between them they seem to have less working brain cells than usual. A wartime blackout drill aids and abets Blackie in eluding cops and crooks.
After watching several Boston Blackie features I can't believe any self respecting police force keeps Lane and Sande employed.
After Midnight with Boston Blackie (1943)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Fifth film in Columbia's series is still going pretty well with Chester Morris returning as Boston Blackie. In this film, Boston tries to help out a friend but when that friend is murdered and his diamonds stolen, Blackie is the lead suspect by the always dimwitted Captain Flannigan (Richard Lane). This is no great masterpiece but if you enjoy the series then you should get enough kicks out of this entry even though there isn't anything new here. As usual, Morris is highly entertaining in the title role and he acts wonderfully well with Lane. The two of them add a lot of comedy to the mix, which is good since the actual case isn't all too strong. Ann Savage adds nice support as the friend's daughter. Lew Landers (The Raven) directs once again.
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