Most of us, who have seen the hilarious 'Boston Blackie' movies from the 40s, when we start watching this rare old movie inevitably miss Chester Morris' constant wisecracks and the cops' stupid answers. But we must realize: this is a silent movie - something ENTIRELY different. And it's a silent crime story, whose plot is NOT at all easy to explain without sound - and yet the actors, with the help of the inter-titles, manage it in a fabulous way! And anyway, the famous chase scenes every fan of 'Boston Blackie' loves work JUST as well without sound...
Raymond Glenn (later known as Bob Custer) makes a nice, gentle, but clever Blackie, who just got released from jail, determined to go straight and leave his 'career' as a jewel thief behind him - but he just can't help playing the gentleman again: he protects a girl who just stole - a valuable diamond necklace... Or didn't she? This movie, still romantic and emotional in the good old-fashioned way, puts much emphasis on trust: for the girl, whom he believes innocent, he agrees to open one more safe - but not to take anything out, but to put something IN it... And his pal - and assistant - this time is... Strongheart, a German shepherd dog!
Here we get a chance to enjoy a GENUINE 20s atmosphere, where Blackie actually and originally belongs (anyway, the 'Boston Blackie' character had been invented even before that time, in 1914!); and so we get to know a Blackie who's slightly more gentleman-like, calm, and prone to romance... Besides, we can study the clothing, the hairstyles and generally the way of life of the era - which was nevertheless a time of radical changes in society; women starting to 'break' into formerly 'male' jobs, for example: here we see a female private detective, disguised as a maid!!
Of course, the movie is much more slow-paced than the 'Boston Blackie' talkies - which enhances the suspense enormously, though! And it gives a very good lesson to us, too, who are used to rushing everything nowadays: in a silent movie, there IS no hurry! Just take it easy, and everything'll work out fine...
A GREAT movie experience, not only for silents and crime fans, but for everyone who wants to catch a REAL glimpse of wholly different times!
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