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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Blackie minces "I'm a bird in a cage, Dancing will release me" - gulp!

7/10
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK
24 July 2005

Easily the darkest or most serious Blackie film, the penultimate in the series and Stone's last as the Runt. It has comedy as usual mixed in with the detective work, but this was post War and people seemingly didn't want to laugh so much at the movies, if at all. This descent is still ongoing, todays films aren't considered good unless brim full of violence, filth and cynicism - what will tomorrows bring?

A string of pearls is stolen at a society fancy dress party and naturally suspicion falls on Blackie and the Runt both disguised as Indian fakirs. In turn the murky pasts of some of the guests and main characters are uncovered by Blackie as he strives yet again to clear his name. Farraday and Matthews come across lower key than before, but the Inspector's witticisms still past muster. Doesn't the ballet scene remind you of "Hellzapoppin"?! Eventually the jigsaw puzzle starts to take shape and pieces fall into place, but not before Blackie and Runt trot out the old man and woman disguise one more time - like old friends in themselves by now!

A superior entry with a more satisfying climax than I expected, as a fan. On the other hand if you hate the genre but watch this anyway what do you expect?

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Blackie wears various disguises and dances his way through this one

6/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
1 July 2012

Much as I like Chester Morris and the Boston Blackie series, when you see these films in close proximity to one another, the formula becomes a little bit of a bore.

Blackie (Morris) and The Runt (George E. Stone) are given the assignment of guarding a woman who is wearing her very expensive pearls at a party. Guess what. They're stolen and Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) and company blame Blackie. So he has to clear himself by finding them.

There were some cute scenes in this film, the best when Blackie with a mustache goes to a dance school to take lessons. He's hilarious, talking about from the time he was so high - no, this high, he's wanted to dance. "I'm a bird in a cage," he says. "Dancing will release me." June Vincent is a beautiful blonde who gives the film some real class - she really should have had a better career in films. She never moved up from the Bs. She moved into television in the '50s and did very well.

I never understand how Farraday can't see right through all those disguises, but I guess you have to go along with the illusion of film.

Morris gives the film a light, relaxed touch, and thank goodness because he keeps these movies going. This particular film is okay, worth seeing for Blackie trying to infiltrate his way into the dance studio and for seeing them pose as husband and wife - a riot.

This was George E. Stone's last appearance as The Runt.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This Was a Great Boston Blackie Film

7/10
Author: whpratt1 from United States
1 December 2007

This film starts off at a costume party where Boston Blackie,(Chester Morris) and his sidekick Runt, (George Slone) are attending in order to protect a very expensive necklace on one of their clients. This pearl necklace is stolen and Police Inspector Faraday, (Richard Lane) suspects Boston Blackie of stealing these pearls. There is the usual run around with all kinds of suspicious characters who claim to be innocent and still Inspector Faraday feels that Boston Blackie is responsible for this crime. Doris Bradley, (June Vincent) plays the role as a very pretty blonde who puts charm to her supporting role. This is one of the better Boston Blackie films.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Who dosen't like Boston Blackie?

7/10
Author: Alfred J. Johnson from Ellison Bay, WI
5 March 1999

Fun stuff, easy on the mind after working all day. Chester Morris fits Blackie to a tea! Blackie and Runt do a great Ma and Pa disguise. They are just as I remembered them. I look forward to watching more of Boston Blackie.

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Solid mystery boasts dense plot, goes light on the humor

7/10
Author: csteidler from Minnesota
11 October 2011

Blackie and the Runt fill in as party security as a favor to the widow of their recently killed friend. Not surprisingly, a valuable necklace is stolen; it's not the first time that helping a friend has gotten them into trouble. Also not surprisingly, Inspector Farraday is on the case—and pins the job on Blackie the moment he sees through the Runt's swami disguise. (They were doing the job undercover and in costume.)

From there on, Trapped by Boston Blackie is unpredictable if not surprising—the plot involves a ballet instructor, his student, a secretary, the necklace's owner, and said owner's niece and husband. Lots of characters to keep straight! Indeed, it takes Blackie (with Farraday in pursuit, naturally) the length of the picture to sort them all out, restore order along with the necklace, and once again prove his own innocence to the inspector.

Sidekicks Runt and Sergeant Matthews are along as always; neither is quite so dumb as usual in this entry, although Farraday is driven to deliver his trademark exasperated shout ("Matthews!") more than once.

Plenty of disguises for Blackie and the Runt in this one—their turn as an elderly couple has to be one of their best ever, with the Runt quite hilariously convincing as "Mother." (Blackie even teases "her" about walking past the police wearing a borrowed wrap: "You think the boys are gonna notice an old hag like you? Now get your bonnet." To which the Runt snaps, "Well, I like that!" in perfect insulted-mature-lady style.)

The plot here is thicker than some films in the Boston Blackie series; the humor is (mostly) less physical and lower key. –That said, however, it's still a Blackie picture: light and enjoyable, a fast-moving 67 minutes that will relax and amuse more than confuse or confound. Blackie fans will want to catch it at least once.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Better than usual entry with some good disguises...

6/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
22 September 2007

Blackie and his sidekick, The Runt, are up to their usual tricks again, this time assuming various disguises in TRAPPED BY BOSTON BLACKIE, one of the better entries in the series. GEORGE E. STONE as The Runt has less whining and less forced comic moments than usual and even CHESTER MORRIS is less of a wise guy although he still has some overly cute moments with wisecracks.

The story concerns stolen pearls and opens at a costume party where Blackie and The Runt are assigned by a wealthy woman to keep watch over her pearls. From there on, it becomes a straightforward Blackie adventure peppered with a musical segment and the usual run-ins with the police and Inspector Farraday (RICHARD LANE) and his bumbling assistant. Farraday, too, has been toned down for this entry and is less sarcastic than usual. JUNE VINCENT provides some eye candy as a blonde beauty.

There are no real surprises but the ending wraps things up neatly with the usual explanations offered by Farraday.

Summing up: Better than usual Blackie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Blackie and Runt scramble after a jewel theft makes them suspects

5/10
Author: msroz from United States
17 March 2015

Although I recorded the Boston Blackie movies from TCM many moons ago, I've never watched them. For no reason, I selected "Trapped by Boston Blackie" (1948). I expected a standard detective tale or series. Maybe I was remembering Kent Taylor's version or mis-remembering that one that goes back to the 1950s. What the movie actually delivers is its own brand of comedy, plot developments and mystery, all wrapped up in an entertaining package.

I didn't realize that Boston Blackie and his associate, Runt, were seen by police as thieves or somewhat rehabilitated thieves, when actually they seem to be detectives who make use of their image as thieves. They can more easily frequent with the underworld. They are something like the Saint in this respect. This plot element allows for novel scripting.

I didn't realize that Blackie and Runt were into disguises. This is another good plot element that allows for both detecting and comedy, sometimes both in one. Chester Morris and George E. Stone are very good indeed in disguises. There is one routine where Morris goes to get dancing lessons that's really written well, the way he uses interjections is fresh. Blackie's part is intelligent. So is Runt's. Between them issue a good number of barbs and clever turns. Blackie bluffs at times.

The weaker part of all this is the story itself, and that's why I rate this as 5, not 6. As a mystery, things go a little too easily in their favor in finding clues or a path through the unknown. The movie uses the comic and frustrated cop routine, which is stereotypical. The cop is Richard Lane, fairly easy to take. June Vincent perks up the movie a bit as does Edward Norris, but these secondary roles are not done with the same verve is is Blackie's. Morris is looking heavy and seems to be limping. He makes up for it with an excellent delivery of his lines.

The movie is squarely in the comedy-mystery genre. It's not a noir.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Old Premise

5/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
2 June 2013

Back in Boston Blackie's days as a society burglar this is just the kind of caper that would have been something he pulled. For once Inspector Farraday's suspicions are not completely out of the realm of possibilities.

After the head of a detective agency gets bumped off in a suspicious car accident Chester Morris and George E. Stone get hired by the widow to guard some valuable pearls at a society party. The two are disguised as Hindu fakirs, but the pearls are clipped in any event and when Richard Lane sees Morris and Stone, that's all he has to know.

Once again Boston Blackie has to solve the case in order to clear himself.

This is a good film, but the premise was really getting old by now.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

String of Pearls

5/10
Author: sol from Brooklyn NY USA
11 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Dull and over-plotted Boston Blackie, Chester Morris, movie with Blackie surviving a car accident that his good friend private eye Joe Kenyon was killed in. Blackie bruised but back on his feet and in action gets to work for Joe's detective agency that his widowed wife Helen, Mary Currier, is now running. Sure enough on his first case Blackie together with his sidekick "The Runt", George E.Stone, get involved in a heisting or switching of an expensive pearl necklace worth $50,000.00 as ballet master Igor Borlo, Ed Norris, and his partner Sandra Dorley, Fay Baker,were doing their act right in front of the shocked audience! And what's even worse, for Blackie & "The Runt", it's Boston Blackie whom the necklace is later found on by Inspector Farraday, Richard Lang, and his bumbling partner Sgt. Matthew,Frank Sully.

Now on the run ,like he's in all of his movies, from the law Blackie and "The Runt" are out to prove their innocence in finding who in fact stole or pearl necklace that was switched with a fake and worthless one. Going under cover Blackie uses, together with "The Runt", his many disguises to get to the bottom of this very troubling case. A case that originated with what turned out to be the murder of his friend Joe Kenyon who was on to it, the planned switching of the two necklaces, and was killed just as he was about to prevent it from happening!

***SPOILERS***Chester Morris was very unconvincing in the action scenes in the movie looking as if he's so out of shape and rollie polly, like a bowling pin, that he'd be having trouble just bending down to tie his shoes! Much less have him duke it out with the bad guys and put them away with one, the major villain, who looked to be in a lot better shape and was at least a half foot taller then him. In the disguise department Blackie and "The Runt" feared much better in that in some of their disguises, with "The Runt" as an elderly lady, they were totally unorganizable. Which if they stuck to them it would have made those of us watching completely forget who they were and thus save them any embarrassment in being in the movie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Decent Mystery

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
27 February 2008

Trapped by Boston Blackie (1948)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Thirteenth film in the Columbia series has Boston (Chester Morris) and the Runt (George E. Stone) accused of stealing some jewels so they must try and clear themselves as well as save another innocent woman. This film starts off pretty slow and routine but once Morris gets going the film takes off, although it's still not one of the better films of the series. Richard Lane is back as the dimwitted Farraday and he and Morris mix it up like old time. The highlight is a scene where the Runt has to dress in drag to get by some police waiting for him at a hotel.

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