Boston Blackie's Little Pal

Last updated
Boston Blackie's Little Pal
Boston Blackie's Little Pal.jpg
Advertisement for the film
Directed by E. Mason Hopper
Written byAlbert S. Le Vino
Based onthe short story, "Boston Blackie's Little Pal"
by Jack Boyle
Starring Bert Lytell
Rhea Mitchell
Rosemary Theby
Cinematography Robert B. Kurrle
Release date
  • August 26, 1918 (1918-08-26)(US) [1]
Running time
5 reels
CountryUnited States

Boston Blackie's Little Pal is a 1918 American silent drama film, directed by E. Mason Hopper. It stars Bert Lytell, Rhea Mitchell, and Rosemary Theby, and was released on August 26, 1918.



Boston Blackie is a notorious crook who has set his sights on the jewelry found at the Wilmerding mansion. To facilitate his robbery, his accomplice, Mary, obtains the job of nurse, to look after the Wilmerding's small child, Martin Wilmerding Jr. The two thieves set the robbery for a night when Mr. Wilmerding is scheduled to be away, and Mrs. Wilmerding is going out for the evening to a charity ball. On the evening of the heist, Mary lets Blackie in after Mrs. Wilmerding leaves for the ball. As he is trying to crack the safe, young Wilmerding enters looking for a toy. Blackie distracts him by playing with him, and the two form a bond before Blackie takes him back to bed. As he is going back to the safe, the interruption has lasted so long, Mrs. Wilmerding is returning home. But she is not alone, she has her lover, Donald Lavalle, with her. Blackie hides, intending to wait until the two leave, but he overhears the two lovers planning to run away together, taking Wilmerding's jewels with them. When Mrs. Wilmerding goes upstairs to pack a bag, Blackie confronts Lavalle pretending to be Mr. Wilmerding. Lavalle surrenders the jewels and beats a hasty retreat, with Blackie promising to kill him if he ever approaches Mrs. Wilmerding again.

Blackie, through a series of telegrams, appeals to the maternal instincts of Mrs. Wilmerding, getting her to reconcile with her husband. That job complete, Blackie debates about whether or not to return the jewels.

Cast list


In late June 1918 it was released that Lytell's next film for Metro would be Boston Blackie's Little Pal. It would be his third film for the studio, with filming to start in the first week of July. Albert S. Le Vino had been selected to adapt the story for the screen, and E. Mason Hopper would be taking the directing helm. [2] In early July 1918 it Metro announced that Rhea Mitchell had been cast in the lead role of Mary, opposite Bert Lytell. The film was scheduled to be shot at Metro's west coast studio in Hollywood. [3] This was the first time Lytell and Mitchell had worked on-screen together, although Mitchell had been the ingenue in the Alcazar Stock Company several years earlier when Lytell was the company's leading man. [4] The role of Boston Blackie was based on the stories of Jack Boyle which appeared in Redbook Magazine. [5] This was the first screen appearance of the Boston Blackie character. [6] The picture was released on August 26, 1918. [7]


Exhibitors Herald gave the film a very positive review, ranking the overall production "very good", and the story and star as "excellent". They extolled Lytell's performance in what they called a "unique role", and highlighted the work of his supporting cast, including Rhea Mitchell, Rosemary Theby, Frank Whitson, and Howard Davies. They called the cinematography "perfect". [8]

Related Research Articles

Boston Blackie Fictional character created by author Jack Boyle

Boston Blackie is a fictional character created by author Jack Boyle (1881–1928). Blackie, a jewel thief and safecracker in Boyle's stories, became a detective in adaptations for films, radio and television—an "enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend."

Alice Lake American actress

Alice Lake was an American film actress. She began her career during the silent film era and often appeared in comedy shorts opposite Roscoe Arbuckle.

Bert Lytell American actor

Bertram Lytell was an American actor in theater and film during the silent film era and early talkies. He starred in romantic, melodrama, and adventure films.

The Return of Boston Blackie is a 1927 low-budget, silent, drama genre film starring Bob Custer. Based upon a character created by Jack Boyle for short stories appearing in The American, Cosmopolitan and Redbook magazines in the 1900s. It was directed by Harry O. Hoyt and written by Leah Baird. The character also appeared in another silent film in 1918, Boston Blackie's Little Pal, played by five different actors, including Lionel Barrymore.

Rhea Mitchell American actress and screenwriter (1890–1957)

Rhea Ginger Mitchell was an American film actress and screenwriter who appeared in over 100 films, mainly during the silent era. A native of Portland, Oregon, Mitchell began her acting career in local theater, and joined the Baker Stock Company after completing high school. She appeared in various regional theater productions on the West Coast between 1911 and 1913.

Harry C. Myers American actor

Harry C. Myers was an American film actor and director, sometimes credited as Henry Myers. He performed in many short comedy films with his wife Rosemary Theby. Myers appeared in 330 films between 1908 and 1938, and directed more than 50 films between 1913 and 1917.

Rosemary Theby American actress (1892–1973)

Rosemary Theresa Theby was an American film actress. She appeared in some 250 films between 1911 and 1940.

Frank Whitson American actor

Frank Whitson was an American film actor. He appeared in more than 60 films between 1915 and 1937. He was born in New York, New York, and died in Los Angeles, California.

<i>The Silent Mystery</i> 1918 film

The Silent Mystery is a 1918 American drama film serial directed by Francis Ford. The film is considered to be lost.

<i>Kick In</i> (1922 film) 1922 film by George Fitzmaurice

Kick In is a 1922 American silent crime drama film produced by Famous Players-Lasky, distributed by Paramount Pictures, and starring Betty Compson and Bert Lytell. The picture was directed by George Fitzmaurice, who previously directed a 1917 film version of the story. Both films are based on Willard Mack's 1913 play that was produced on Broadway in 1914 starring John Barrymore. The supporting cast features Charles Ogle, who had played the first screen Frankenstein's monster in the original 1910 version of Frankenstein.

<i>Through the Dark</i> (1924 film) 1924 film

Through the Dark is a 1924 American silent mystery crime drama film directed by George W. Hill, and starring Colleen Moore and Forrest Stanley as the popular jewel thief and sometimes detective character Boston Blackie. The film's scenario, written by Frances Marion, is based on the short story "The Daughter of Mother McGinn" by Jack Boyle, which appeared in serial form in Cosmopolitan. The film was produced by William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Productions and distributed through Goldwyn Pictures.

<i>Our Mrs. McChesney</i> 1918 American film

Our Mrs. McChesney is a lost 1918 American silent comedy-drama film produced and distributed by Metro Pictures, directed by Ralph Ince, and based on the 1915 play by Edna Ferber and George V. Hobart which starred Ethel Barrymore.

Robert Kurrle American cinematographer

Robert Kurrle, also known as Robert B. Kurrle, was an American cinematographer during the silent and early talking film eras. Prior to entering the film industry, he was already experimenting with aerial photography. Considered a very prominent cinematographer, even his early work received notice and praise from both critics and other industry professionals. The advent of sound film did not abate his continued rise, and he became the top director of photography at Warner Brothers by 1932.

<i>The Goat</i> (1918 film) 1918 American film

The Goat is a 1918 American silent comedy film directed by Donald Crisp and written by Frances Marion. The film stars Fred Stone, Fanny Midgley, Charles McHugh, Rhea Mitchell, Sylvia Ashton, Philo McCullough, and Winifred Greenwood. The film was released on September 29, 1918, by Paramount Pictures.

<i>A Son of the Sahara</i> 1924 film by Edwin Carewe

A Son of the Sahara is a 1924 American silent drama film produced and directed by Edwin Carewe and co-directed with René Plaissetty. It stars Claire Windsor and Bert Lytell. First National handled the distribution of the film.

<i>The Idle Rich</i> (1921 film) 1921 film directed by Maxwell Karger

The Idle Rich is a 1921 American silent comedy film directed by Maxwell Karger. The film stars Bert Lytell, Virginia Valli, and John Davidson. It was released on December 26, 1921 by Metro Pictures. It is not known whether this film survives.

Unexpected Places is a 1918 American silent comedy-drama film directed by E. Mason Hopper and starring Bert Lytell, Rhea Mitchell, and Rosemary Theby. It was released on September 30, 1918.

<i>Blind Mans Eyes</i> 1919 silent film directed by John Ince

Blind Man's Eyes is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by John Ince and starring Bert Lytell, Frank Currier, and Naomi Childers, based on the 1916 novel The Blind Man's Eyes by Edwin Balmer and William MacHarg. It was released on March 10, 1919.

<i>Blackies Redemption</i> 1919 American silent drama film, directed by John Ince

Blackie's Redemption, also known by its working title Powers That Pray, is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by John Ince. It stars Bert Lytell, Alice Lake, and Henry Kolker, and was released on April 14, 1919.

<i>Good Women</i> 1921 film

Good Women is a 1921 American silent drama film directed by Louis J. Gasnier and starring Rosemary Theby, Hamilton Revelle and Earl Schenck.


  1. "Boston Blackie's Little Pal". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  2. "New Lytell Picture Chosen". Motography. June 29, 1918. p. 1213. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  3. "Rhea Mitchell in Lytell Subject". Motion Picture News. July 6, 1918. p. 95. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  4. "Rhea Mitchell to Play opposite Bert Lytell". Moving Picture World. July 13, 1918. p. 227. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  5. "Program Glances". Motion Picture News. July 13, 1918. p. 239. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. "Lytell at Work on Third Picture". Moving Picture World. June 28, 1918. p. 1868. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  7. "Boston Blackie's Little Pal". Moving Picture World. August 31, 1918. p. 1309. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  8. "Bert Lytell in "Boston Blackie's Little Pal"". Exhibitors Herald. September 14, 1918. p. 36. Retrieved December 12, 2019. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg