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The Boston Blackie series is finally showing its age....
I have seen just about all of the Chester Morris "Boston Blackie" films and have to say that this one is about the worst due to very, very bad writing. While the usual "dumb cop" schtick has worn too thin (Faraday and his assistant are sub-moronic clichés as police--too dumb to be anything other than tiresome), my main complaint is the dumb plot itself--it's just so ridiculous and hard to believe that the film soon lost me.
Blackie has a plan and he asks the warden at a prison to parole ten men to him (himself, an ex-con) so the guys can work in a defense plant owned by his friend. This is unlikely, but since it was a WWII-era film, I could ignore this. But, when a man has committed a robbery and has only served a short amount of time and EVERYONE tells Blackie this man is too great a risk, Blackie STILL pushes for the man's release. Okay...not exactly believable,...but I guess I can go with this. However, when later this same prisoner's two old accomplices confront him and demand they split the stolen money, there is a struggle and one of the men is killed. So what does Blackie do when he discovers this? Tell the warden or call the police? No. Instead, he insanely convinces the police that HE (Blackie) killed the man and stole the loot!! This just made no sense at all, as it practically puts Blackie into the electric chair AND ruins the chances of his pet project to succeed. What were the writers thinking? About the only good part of the film involved Blackie and Runt dressing as cleaning women (something they did in another film--repetition is an ever-present problem for Blackie films as plot elements are recycled again and again). Unlike Sherlock Holmes, the Falcon or even Charlie Chan, the excessively repetitive nature of the Blackie series make seeing all the films rather unnecessary. I say see a few and then quit, otherwise it's all "like a case of déjà vu all over again" (Yogi Berra).
By the way, if you look closely, you'll see Sid Melton is one of the parolees. Sid was "Alf Monroe" from the TV series GREEN ACRES.
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