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Boston Blackie, in the 11th film of the Columbia series, indulges in some wit-trading with a squirmy spiritualist who deals in blackmail, murder and the occult. "Blackie" out to help his pal, "Runt," recover some jewels, finds himself involved in the homicides, and also finds himself as the prime suspect, and now has to find the real culprit in order to clear himself. So "Blackie,", a man of many talents and already a proved magician from cases past, shows he knows a little bit about dancing skeletons, walking phantoms and spiritualism himself, and holds a séance to unmask the murderer. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite a few familiar story elements, this one is different enough to make it a welcome addition to the series
I have now seen every Boston Blackie film with Chester Morris but one and I can say that the series is a very mixed bag. Though the films started off extremely well (blending a nice mixture of action and comedy), they also suffered terribly from repetitive plots. It was as if Columbia Pictures could have cared less that in EVERY episode you have the ignorant Inspector Farraday and his idiotic Sergeant accusing Blackie of whatever crimes are committed--even though in every movie it turns out that not only is Blackie innocent but he solves the crime himself. This schtick gets pretty old after a while and no cop can be half as stupid as Farraday or his sub-human assistant. Plus, plot elements are often recycled (such as two movies where Blackie performs a magic show at a prison and a prisoner uses this to escape, stolen jewels again and again as well as Blackie and Runt dressing up as Black cleaning ladies, etc., etc., etc.). Forutately, aside from the moronic inspector and sidekick, this film IS different and doesn't have that recycled feel to it--with a nifty plot involving a phony psychic and, of course, a murder! The usual good acting and fast pace are of course present and make for an enjoyable romp.
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