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|Boston Blackie and the Law|
|Directed by||D. Ross Lederman|
|Written by||Jack Boyle (character)|
Malcolm Stuart Boylan (add. dialogue)
|Produced by||Ted Richmond|
|Starring|| Chester Morris |
|Edited by||James Sweeney|
|Music by||Hans Sommer|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Boston Blackie and the Law is the twelfth of fourteen Columbia Pictures films starring Chester Morris as reformed crook Boston Blackie.
When Boston Blackie performs magic tricks at a Thanksgiving Day party for the inmates of a women's prison, Dinah Moran (Constance Dowling) volunteers to enter a booth. She disappears after he draws the curtain, but as a former magician's assistant, uses the opportunity to escape. Police Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) takes Blackie into custody as an accomplice, but Blackie easily gets away himself.
A trip to the library reveals that Dinah was sent to prison for three years for a robbery that netted $100,000 (which was never recovered) and a dead victim. Her magician former husband, John Lampau, was acquitted. Blackie tracks Lampau down, still performing magic, but now under the name of Jani, to warn him. Dinah shows up minutes later, having heard that Jani intends to marry his new assistant, Irene (Trudy Marshall). Dinah has come to make sure she gets her half of the loot. In a scuffle, she grazes Jani's right hand with a gunshot before fleeing. Blackie arranges to impersonate Jani, while the magician hides in Blackie's absent friend's apartment.
That night, Blackie is awoken by sounds in Jani's apartment. When he investigates, a woman runs out of the unlit room.
Blackie eventually locates the money in Jani's safety deposit box and takes it, still disguised as Jani. Outside, Dinah forces him at gunpoint to give her the envelope containing the loot, but when she opens it, it is empty. Blackie had taken the precaution of pocketing the money. In the meantime, Blackie's friend returns home from a trip early and finds Jani's body in the closet. Farraday corners and arrests Blackie and his sidekick, "the Runt" (George E. Stone), for murder. Blackie easily escapes from his cell.
Returning to the theatre where Jani performed, he finds an armed Irene over Dinah's lifeless body. She admits she herself was after the money all along. She makes Blackie hand it over, before calling the police. When Farraday and his dimwitted assistant, Sergeant Matthews (Frank Sully), arrive, Blackie tells them he recorded Irene's confession when he turned on the radio for some music. When he plays it for them, Irene tries to run, but is caught and taken away. Blackie then informs Farraday that there was no recording; he merely used ventriloquism to reenact his part of the prior conversation to fool Irene.
John Chester Brooks Morris was an American stage, film, television, and radio actor. He had some prestigious film roles early in his career, and received an Academy Award nomination for Alibi (1929). Chester Morris is best remembered today for portraying Boston Blackie, a criminal-turned-detective, in the modestly budgeted Boston Blackie film series of the 1940s.
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."
Constance Dowling was an American model turned actress of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Chance of a Lifetime is a 1943 crime drama starring Chester Morris, Erik Rolf and Jeanne Bates. It is one of 14 films made by Columbia Pictures involving detective Boston Blackie, a criminal-turned-crime solver. This was the sixth in the series and one of three that did not have his name in the title. The film is also William Castle's directorial debut. As with many of the films of the period, this was a flag waver to support America's efforts during World War II.
Richard Lane was an American actor and television announcer/presenter. In movies, he played assured, fast-talking slickers: usually press agents, policemen and detectives, sometimes swindlers and frauds. He is perhaps best known to movie fans as "Inspector Farraday" in the Boston Blackie mystery-comedies. Lane also played Faraday in the first radio version of Boston Blackie, which ran on NBC from June 23, 1944 to September 15, 1944. Lane was an early arrival on television, first as a news reporter and then as a sports announcer, broadcasting wrestling and roller derby shows on KTLA-TV, mainly from the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.
George E. Stone was a Polish-born American character actor in films, radio, and television.
Francis Thomas Sullivan, known professionally as Frank Sully, was an American film actor. He appeared in over 240 films between 1934 and 1968.
Meet Boston Blackie is a 1941 crime film starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, a notorious, but honorable jewel thief. Although the character had been the hero of a number of silent films, this was the first talking picture. It proved popular enough for Columbia Pictures to produce a total of 14 B movies, all starring Morris.
Walter Sande was an American character actor, known for numerous supporting film and television roles.
Confessions of Boston Blackie is a 1941 American crime film directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Chester Morris and Harriet Hilliard. A woman consigns a family heirloom to a pair of unscrupulous art dealers in order to raise money to help her sick brother. This film is the second in the series of 14 Columbia Pictures Boston Blackie films, all starring Morris as the reformed crook. It was preceded by Meet Boston Blackie (1941) and followed by Alias Boston Blackie (1942).
Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood is a 1942 American crime film, fourth of the fourteen Boston Blackie films of the 1940s Columbia's series of B pictures based on Jack Boyle's pulp-fiction character.
Alias Boston Blackie (1942) is the third in a series of Columbia Pictures "B" movies starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie. It was preceded by Meet Boston Blackie, Confessions of Boston Blackie and followed by Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood. Once again, Blackie is suspected of committing a crime, in this instance of helping a prisoner escape.
After Midnight with Boston Blackie is a 1943 crime film directed by Lew Landers. It is the fifth of a series of 14 Columbia Pictures films starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie. When a recently paroled friend of Boston Blackie is killed, he finds himself once again the prime suspect of Police Inspector Farraday.
One Mysterious Night is a 1944 crime film, the seventh in a Columbia Pictures series of fourteen starring Chester Morris as reformed crook Boston Blackie. It was preceded by The Chance of a Lifetime and followed by Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion. Blackie is called upon to recover a stolen diamond.
Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion is the eighth of 14 Columbia Pictures B movies starring Chester Morris as reformed thief Boston Blackie.
A Close Call for Boston Blackie (1946) is the tenth of fourteen Columbia Pictures crime films directed by Lew Landers starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie.
The Phantom Thief is a 1946 American crime film directed by D. Ross Lederman. The film follows detective Boston Blackie as he tries to track down a blackmailer-murderer. As the investigation goes on, a supernatural element becomes clear.
Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture is a 1949 mystery film directed by Seymour Friedman, starring Chester Morris. This was the last of Columbia's 14 Boston Blackie pictures (1941–49). Richard Lane, as long-suffering Inspector Farraday, was the only other character who appeared in all of the Boston Blackie films. George E. Stone, playing Blackie's sidekick The Runt, missed the first and the last films in the series due to illness. In Chinese Venture Stone was replaced by Sid Tomack as "Shorty."
Boston Blackie's Rendezvous is a 1945 American crime film directed by Arthur Dreifuss. The working title of this film was Surprise in the Night.
Trapped by Boston Blackie is a 1948 American crime drama directed by Seymour Friedman. It is the thirteenth of fourteen Columbia Pictures films starring Chester Morris as reformed crook Boston Blackie, and the final film with George E. Stone as "The Runt".