Boston Blackie, ex-convict and amateur magician, is doing his act at a prison-for-women, and an inmate takes the opportunity to do her own disappearing act while Blackie is doing his. Held as an accomplice, Blackie gets away and starts the search to find the escapee, and her ex-husband who was involved in the crime for which she was sentenced to prison. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Entertaining Blackie magic, including ventriloquism
Chester Morris is almost the whole show herehe's on screen as Boston Blackie throughout nearly the entire picture. Morris is given his best opportunity yet to show off his skills as a magician, both as Blackie performing tricks himself, and disguised as the bearded and turbaned Jani, a professional magician who is mixed up with a pair of women and a missing stack of $1000 bills.
Of course, Inspector Farraday and Detective Matthews (the reliable Richard Lane and Frank Sully) are on Blackie's trail; faithful sidekick the Runt (George E. Stone) has grown a mustache for this picture and does his best to follow Blackie's orders and generally assist in misleading the detectives as required. Trudy Marshall and Constance Dowling are the two women who, it's quickly obvious, do not care to make friends.
The first 15 minutes of the picture are almost entirely goofing aroundBlackie is captured by Farraday, who leaves Matthews to guard him alone (how is that likely to work out?), and Blackie toys with Matthews and the disappearing-person box from his magic act for a good long stretch before finally escaping as he should have done right away. It's amusing but wears a bit thin.
Once out on his own, however, Blackie quickly gets to work tracking down the prison inmate who escaped during his magic show to make trouble; the plot does pick up steam and develops into a quite satisfying mystery that's suspenseful and surprising, with Blackie staying (generally speaking) one step ahead of Farraday.
Funniest scene: Matthews explaining to Farraday how he would go about tracking down a wanted person. (Look in the phone book!)
Solid entertainment, especially for Boston Blackie fans.
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