Boston Blackie's Rendezvous (1945) Poster

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Full with guys full of mysterious woyirds
Gary17045926 June 2005
Rendezvous was a harder entry in the Blackie series (9/14), dealing with a cunning escaped lunatic who strangles women as easy as breathing. The loony was played by wide eyed and breathless tough cookie Steve Cochran, who managed to pin a murder onto Blackie and Runt, who have Farraday and Matthews after them as usual.

Some neat detective moments trying to track down the woman he was really after. The worst thing about the film to me is the pointless murder of the hotel chambermaid - we knew he was a bad hat to be avoided anyway without that - and afterwards her body was the subject of a short comedy routine! Harder, like I said.

But as to be expected, lots of witty repartee between the main protagonists make it another good b picture to watch in the best Boston Blackie mould.
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Farraday's Obsession
bkoganbing1 June 2013
The one constant thread in the Boston Blackie series is Richard Lane's obsession with nailing Chester Morris for some big crime. And of course Morris has to go to work to nail the real crooks to prove his innocence.

But Inspector Farraday's obsession with Boston Blackie is a bit much in Boston Blackie's Rendezvous. Whatever else he is society crook Blackie is no homicidal maniac and Farraday should know that. Still the writers here think he's a strangler.

This all begins when Blackie's playboy friend Arthur Manleder calls late at night on Blackie and the Runt to find his nephew Jimmy Cook who has escaped from an asylum for the hopelessly insane. Cook is played with sardonic brilliance by Steve Cochran in one of his early films. Cook breaks in on Blackie after Manleder leaves and nearly kills him, but does rob him of one of his suits for a disguise.

Then he goes after an obsession of his, taxi dancer Nina Foch. Quite frankly if Farraday wasn't so obsessed with Blackie the film might have been over in 15 minutes.

Arthur Manleder is played in this film by Harry Hayden taking over from Lloyd Corrigan. The Manleder character was dropped from future Boston Blackie films. And Iris Adrian is at her brassy best as Foch's roommate and general protector.

Boston Blackie's Rendezvous is good for the presence of Steve Cochran and Nina Foch and bad for Richard Lane's obsession taken to truly silly lengths.
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a little odd
blanche-212 December 2012
Someone is killing women and framing Blackie in "Boston Blackie's Rendezvous" starring Chester Morris, George E. Stone, Richard Lane, Steve Cochran, and Nina Foch.

Blackie is appealed to in the middle of the night by a man whose brother has escaped from the asylum. The man, Jimmy Cook (Steve Cochran) shows up at Blackie's later and refuses to turn himself in. He starts killing, picking up a woman at a Dime a Dance joint and then moving on to someone else who works there. He writes poetic letters to these women, so when he shows up at Sally Brown's (Foch) place, she's looking forward to meeting him.

Chester Morris is always very good as Blackie - relaxed and funny, and George E. Stone makes a good if scared sidekick. And they both drive Inspector Farraday (Lane) nuts. However, this script left something to be desired. First of all, Blackie and the Runt go looking in their building for Cook disguised as black maids, complete with white lips like they were doing a minstrel show. That type of thing is cringe-worthy today.

Also, the Foch character is suspicious of Blackie, thinking he's the killer, lets in Cochran and buys his whole line, even accompanying him to his place. She was definitely one sandwich short of a picnic.

The film moves along quickly, with handsome Steve Cochran leaving much to be desired in an early performance, relying basically on making faces. Nina Foch was lovely, but her character wasn't fleshed out very well.

Okay entry into the series.
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A rather dark tale for a Boston Blackie entry
calvinnme15 December 2012
This one is almost the stuff of noir with some black comedy mixed in.

The film opens with Blackie's wealthy friend, Arthur Manleder, paying him a visit one night. Arthur is seeking Blackie's help in discreetly returning his insane nephew to the asylum from which he escaped. Blackie agrees to help. What Blackie doesn't know is that the insane nephew, Jimmy Cook (Steve Cochran) has crawled into his apartment through an open window and heard everything. Jimmy knocks Blackie unconscious after Arthur leaves, changes into Blackie's clothes and leaves.

Here's where the black comedy and noirish elements begin. Jimmy is running around town masquerading as Blackie and strangling girls although his actual objective is to meet just one girl in particular - Nina Foch as Sally Brown, with whom he's been corresponding via letters. In one case Jimmy leaves Blackie's monogrammed hat at a murder scene, in another he dumps a body in Blackie's apartment. Of course Inspector Farraday believes Blackie did it, and so, as usual, Blackie must work around the police to catch Jimmy before he can murder any more women.

This is an unusual entry because in almost every other Boston Blackie film a robbery of some kind was at the root of the crime wave. This one is different because the murders of a madman are involved with no theft behind any of the killings. You can see why Farraday would doubt Blackie where theft was concerned - it was once his trade - but it would quite be a stretch to believe Blackie would become the murderer of random women and that The Runt, Blackie's rather timid pal, would just go along for the ride! As for Steve Cochran, he is pitch perfect as the killer with those dark eyes and expression that goes from hopeless romantic to crazed maniac in the blink of an eye.

Highly recommended as an entertaining and unusually complex entry in the Boston Blackie series. Just expect things to be a little more on the heavy and tense side than usual for the series. What does the lighten the mood in this one, probably unintentionally? An autographed picture of Boston Blackie prominently displayed in his own apartment turned what should have been a tense moment in the film into a laugh out loud one, at least for me. Enjoy.
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Enjoyable Film
whpratt129 March 2007
Chester Morris, (Boston Blackie) has the task of trying to hunt down an insane person who escapes from a mental institution and starts looking for a girl named Sally Brown,(Nina Foch) who works in a dance hall. This escaped killer has a big crush on Sally Brown and even keeps a diary on his daily thoughts about this girl. Steve Cochran,(James Cook) plays the role of the mental patient who as soon as he gets headaches, snaps into a killing urge and manages to kill another girl. Inspector Farraday,(Richard Lane) for some reason thinks that Boston Blackie has lost his mind and is doing all this killing and he stops looking for the real killer. George E. Stone,(The Runt) appears once again as Boston Blackie's sidekick and gives a great supporting role. This film is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch.
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Tense drama with some awkward humor mixed in
csteidler22 September 2011
Boston Blackie's friend Arthur needs help: his insane nephew Jimmy has escaped from the asylum and who knows what he may do! Agreeing to help track down Jimmy, Blackie is soon mixed up in—yes, a murder, and yes, Blackie's old friendly nemesis Inspector Farraday is right there to pin the crime on Blackie.

Steve Cochran is appropriately creepy as the lunatic, and through many uncomfortable moments he peeks around corners and lurks in hallways while other characters obliviously look in the wrong places and for the wrong person. Even Blackie misses him narrowly a couple of times while we in the audience want to shout out at him—"Hey! Blackie! No, not there, he's going out the back!"

It's a tense mystery; for one thing, the gratuitous and random nature of the two murders make for a less "comfortable" viewing experience than a more typical who-done-it where you may not know the killer's identity but you do know that he or she has a "logical" reason for killing and therefore a more exclusive hit list. Of course, there's comic relief here and there, but the humor this time around frequently falls flat—the Runt's scaredy-cat antics, for example, come across as mostly idiotic rather than hilarious or even pleasantly silly.

Nina Foch is good in a role where she spends most of her time on screen trying to size up whether she's talking to a friend or a stalker. Chester Morris and Richard Lane are steady as always as Blackie and Farraday.

Still plenty of charm and confidence provided by Morris, and so Blackie fans like me won't want to miss this one; but I have to say it's not the series' finest hour.
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Michael_Elliott26 February 2008
Boston Blackie's Rendezvous (1945)

*** (out of 4)

Ninth film in Columbia's Boston Blackie series once again features Chester Morris in the role. In this film, a psychopath (Steve Cochran) escapes from an asylum and begins to strangle various women. It appears he's working his way down a line until he can meet a dancer (Nina Foch) he became obsessed with in the asylum. Blackie (Morris), The Runt (George E. Stone) and Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) are once again hot on the case. This is a step up from the last couple films I've seen in the series because it's unlike anything that came before it. Cochran is very good as the killer and the screenplay doesn't shy away from his evilness. Morris, Stone and Lane are as entertaining as ever. Morris gets to do a couple nice magic tricks in the film and the twist involving the killer trapping him was well written.
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On the hunt for a monster.
mark.waltz15 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Just when I thought that the "Boston Blackie" series couldn't get any better comes along this episode with a genuinely spooky performance by future film noir anti hero Steve Cochran. Known as "the man who sailed to Tahiti with an all girl crew" (and didn't return), Cochran had a brief leading man career and quite the off screen life, apparently. He's obvious damaged goods from the moment he's seen on screen, overhearing estranged uncle Harry Hayden describe him to Chester Morris's Boston Blackie. Sweet Nina Foch (in a wig straight out of a Val Lewton film) and brassy Iris Adrian add the feminine touch, although Adrian seems to be trying to swallow her own head as she talks.

Sociopath Cochran sets off on a reign of terror with Boston Blackie accused of his crimes. There's no mystery, obviously, but in being presented as a thriller with horror elements (comedy inserted thanks to sidekick George E. Stone and cynical detective Richard Lane), and ending up with a film that is beautifully played out. Forgive the one sequence of Morris and Stone in horrible blackface, acting absolutely absurd. No indication of why Cochran is the way he is other than contemptuous relationships with his family is given, but in life, sometimes the eggs are just bad and no amount of psychology can explain it.
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"That's not just a plain everyday murderer - it's a strangler!"
binapiraeus10 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Those are exactly the words Blackie's friend the 'Runt' uses when he realizes what a mess they've got in this time... No, this certainly isn't one of the 'usual' cases where some crook assumes Blackie's identity - it's a real maniac that's escaped from the asylum; and because he happens to be the nephew of Blackie's friend Manleder, Blackie promises to help finding him. But the disturbed youth manages to take Blackie by surprise and get hold of a set of his clothes - and then he goes on a murder spree...

Now this is a REALLY unusual mixture of an almost Noir murder tale, scary and extremely suspenseful - and the familiar 'Boston Blackie' crime comedy, with moments of sheer nonsense (like when Blackie almost drives the psychologist crazy that Inspector Faraday has hired in order to make sure that Blackie hasn't actually turned into a homicidal maniac...). And strange as it sounds, it manages to hold the delicate balance between both - which is REALLY saying something for the writers as well as for the actors (every single one of whom is giving an EXTRAORDINARY performance)!

But this part of the 'Boston Blackie' series HAS got something serious in it: the issue of a murderer not really responsible for his deeds; and Blackie all the time tries to calm him down, assuring him that he understands him and wants to help him - only to keep him from strangling another girl and finally let Faraday catch him. Only? No, I don't think so. We know Blackie well enough that he DOES feel pity for the demented young man - and that he WILL be sent back to the asylum and not on the electric chair...
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Blackie Chases Serial Killer -- It's a Laff Riot!
Alonzo Church27 April 2007
Boston Blackie movies have some strengths -- mostly in that the pacing is swift and the hero is cheerfully unfazed in even the worst circumstances. But the plotting is frequently atrocious, and the unrelenting comic bits often kill the pacing (if the plot happens to be atypically good) or are just unfunny and inappropriate.

This one involves Blackie chasing an escapee from the asylum (Steve Cochran in a really poor performance) who has become fixated on beautiful Nina Foch (who puts in a nice, rather subtle acting job). Inspector Farraday, of course, believes Blackie has gone homicidal maniac (he at least has some evidence in this one for that), and is incompetently trying to jail him as Blackie goes after the real killer. The plot has possibilities, but any time any real tension gets going, we a get a not funny comedy routine. It doesn't seem like anyone at Columbia understood that, in a movie about a pursuit of a really dangerous maniac, cute little comedy scenes about hiding an inconvenient body from the inspector disrupt any willing suspension of disbelief. (One just concludes our clever hero is an idiot -- deadly for a film like this.)

This one is not worth the time. For a well plotted episode of this series, see Alias Boston Blackie.
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Some originality among an otherwise ordinary B-film
MartinHafer30 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
It seems the more Boston Blackie films I watch, the more I think that this B-detective series just isn't quite as good as The Saint, The Falcon or Charlie Chan. This isn't to say that it is bad, but it just lacks the great fun and chemistry of some of its contemporaries. This film, while offering some pluses, isn't enough to change my opinion.

For once the plot is a bit different. A man who was on the parole board that recommended Blackie for parole many years before comes to see Blackie for help. It seems that his nephew is an escaped maniac who must be caught but he's afraid of what the scandal might do to the family, so Blackie agrees to investigate secretly. However, when the maniac starts killing people and the newspapers get involved, it's now a police matter and for absolutely no good reason, the cops blame Blackie for the murders---even though in every previous film they blamed him but he ultimately proved he's working for law and order! Plus he is a reformed jewel thief--not a murderer.

Instead of discussing the plot further, there's one other aspect of the film you just can't help noticing. When Blackie and Runt (his sidekick) are hiding from the police, they go in disguise--putting on black face and pretending to be cleaning women. On one level, this is kind of funny, but on the other it is very racially offensive--so much, that I just sat there in shock when they first appeared like this on screen!

Overall, it's an okay entry in the series--not one that is remarkably different or better but an amiable time-passer nonetheless.
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Boston Blackie vs a Homicidal Maniac
utgard144 April 2014
Boston Blackie's out to stop an escaped maniac on a killing spree. That is if Blackie can keep from being arrested by moronic Inspector Farraday, who has the wrong suspect as usual. Farraday couldn't find his rear end with both hands and a flashlight.

Decent Boston Blackie movie where the series' reliably entertaining regular cast gets better than average support from the likes of Nina Foch, Steve Cochran, and adorable Iris Adrian. Despite dark subject matter, they still find time for some ill-conceived humor. One disappointing part of this movie was the offensive blackface gag where Blackie and Runt disguise themselves as black cleaning women to elude Farraday. This is the third time in the series Blackie uses this ruse. Even if you find it funny (I don't), it's tired and repetitive by this point.
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A Definite Disappointment
kvnsmith23 July 2017
Disappointing, to say the least. Most of the Columbia films, while not by any stretch great art, are passable enough B-entertainment, with good production values, fairly logical plots and some decent characters.

This one has got to be one of the weakest of them all, though. It suffers not just from a sloppy, coincidence-laden plot that makes no sense at all, but also a narratively dubious, cringe-worthy bit where Blackie and Runt don black-face to avoid capture by the cops. Even in 1945, such broad, ethnic-based "humor" would have seemed, if not quite outdated, at least hopelessly old-fashioned.

And while I can see Lt. Faraday's obsession with nailing Blackie for some crime (any crime!) being a fun running gag in these films, it's still an awful stretch for audiences to believe he honestly sees Blackie as a crazed killer.
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