22 user 8 critic

Meet Boston Blackie (1941)

When a murder occurs on an ocean liner docked in New York, the trail leads to Coney Island and a spy ring.


Robert Florey


Jay Dratler (story), Jay Dratler (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Boston Blackie
Rochelle Hudson ... Cecelia Bradley
Richard Lane ... Inspector Faraday
Charles Wagenheim ... The Runt
Constance Worth ... Marilyn Howard
Jack O'Malley Jack O'Malley ... Monk
George Magrill ... Georgie
James Seay ... Mechanical Man (as Michael Rand)


When a murder occurs on an ocean liner docked in New York, the trail leads to Coney Island and a spy ring.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1941'S HEADLINE MENACE! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Charles Wagenheim, who played the Runt, was replaced in succeeding episodes by George E. Stone. See more »


At 42.58 Farraday and a uniformed officer arrive at Blackie's apartment building, with Blackie right behind them. At 48.26 the officer is looking out a window to the street with Blackie driving off, but the police car is gone. See more »


Cecelia Bradley: You thrive on this sort of excitement, don't you?
Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black: Well, it's better than vegetating.
Cecelia Bradley: Couldn't anyone ever make you live like other people do?
Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black: You mean a normal life with a social security number and a bank book?
Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black: I'm afraid not.
Cecelia Bradley: Not anyone?
Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black: Unh-unh.
Cecelia Bradley: Why?
Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black: Because she'd probably want to wait up for me nights with a light burning in the window.
See more »


Follows The Face in the Fog (1922) See more »


Sobre las Olas (Over the Waves)
(1887) (uncredited)
Written by Juventino Rosas
Played as backround music at the amusement park
See more »

User Reviews

Chester Morris makes this series worth watching
25 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I actually like some of the later Boston Blackie films better than this one, but it is a good enough opener to the series. Chester Morris usually played a hard-boiled tough guy whether he was portraying an actual criminal or just a remorseless cheating husband as he was in "The Divorcée". As Blackie he shows a good bit of finesse and range - he admits he was a thief, and apparently one that has never really been caught, but now he's going straight. He's tough when he has to be, he's a friend when he can be, a ladie's man when he gets the opportunity, and honest if possible. He is even trusted by Inspector Faraday, his nemesis, to not run away if he promises that.

This opener to the series has a patriotic theme, with Blackie's chivalry on board an ocean liner leading to the infiltration of a nest of spies. Made shortly before the beginning of World War II, a conflict that most people saw coming, movies with patriotism and spies were common up to two years before Pearl Harbor. I didn't find the story or Blackie's romantic lead particularly interesting, but I love watching Chester Morris at work here. Plus the other characters are fun too.

In particular, Charles Wagenheim as "the runt" manages to be Blackie's trusty if not very helpful associate who is reliable comic relief without becoming whiny or annoying. Inspector Farraday is no Keystone Cop, but I would think after the first half dozen times Blackie solves the crime, gift wraps the criminals, and hand delivers them to the precinct door, Farraday might begin to believe Blackie had changed.

Highly recommended as an entertaining vehicle for an underrated actor - Chester Morris.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

20 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rastro en las tinieblas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed