Meet Boston Blackie

Last updated
Meet Boston Blackie
Meet Boston Blackie FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Robert Florey
Screenplay by Jay Dratler
Story byJay Dratler
Based onthe character created
by Jack Boyle
Produced byRalph Cohn (uncredited)
Starring Chester Morris
Rochelle Hudson
Richard Lane
Charles Wagenheim
Cinematography Franz F. Planer
Edited by James Sweeney
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 20, 1941 (1941-02-20)
Running time
60 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Meet Boston Blackie is a 1941 crime film starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, [1] 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. [2]

Contents

The Runt was played by Charles Wagenheim; in the subsequent 13 films, George E. Stone portrayed him.

Plot

Returning to New York City from Europe, Boston Blackie (Morris) tries unsuccessfully to strike up a conversation with attractive fellow ocean liner passenger Marilyn Howard (Constance Worth). He later rescues her when she is accosted by a man. However, when he tries to follow her, he runs into his friendly nemesis, police Inspector Faraday (Richard Lane), who wants to take him in on suspicion of stealing some pearls. Knowing that Blackie's word is good (and that handcuffs are useless against him), Faraday merely confiscates his landing card.

However, when Blackie discovers the body of the man who had bothered Marilyn Howard deposited in his suite, he has to break his word and debark to clear his name. He trails Howard to the Coney Island amusement park. She has been followed by two men and is struck by a poisoned dart. Before dying, she tells him enough to send him to the Mechanical Man (Michael Rand), a midway performer whose act is pretending to be a robot or automaton. Soon after, the two killers show up to report to their boss, the Mechanical Man, forcing Blackie to flee once again.

He hijacks the car belonging to Cecilia Bradley (Rochelle Hudson), and manages to lose his pursuers after a high-speed chase. Cecilia decides to help Blackie, despite his attempts to keep her out of his troubles. They learn from a radio news broadcast that Howard was a spy.

Blackie eventually discovers that an espionage ring led by the Mechanical Man is trying to take a stolen navy bombsight out of the country. Faraday and his men follow Blackie to the midway to arrest him and prove handy in apprehending the spies. As a reward, Faraday decides to forget about the evidence linking Blackie to the theft of the pearls.

Cast

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<i>Confessions of Boston Blackie</i> 1941 film

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.

<i>Alias Boston Blackie</i> 1942 film

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.

<i>After Midnight with Boston Blackie</i> 1943 film by Lew Landers

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.

<i>Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion</i> 1945 film by Arthur Dreifuss

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion is the eighth of 14 Columbia Pictures B movies starring Chester Morris as reformed thief Boston Blackie.

<i>Boston Blackie and the Law</i> 1946 film by D. Ross Lederman

Boston Blackie and the Law is the twelfth of fourteen Columbia Pictures films starring Chester Morris as reformed crook Boston Blackie.

<i>A Close Call for Boston Blackie</i> 1946 film by Lew Landers

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.

<i>Boston Blackies Chinese Venture</i> 1949 film directed by Seymour Friedman

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."

<i>Boston Blackies Rendezvous</i> 1945 film directed by Arthur Dreifuss

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".

References

  1. Mayer, Geoff (2012), Historical Dictionary of Crime Films, Scarecrow Press, p. 52, ISBN   978-0810867697.
  2. Young, William H.; Young, Nancy K. (2010), World War II and the Postwar Years in America, ABC-CLIO, p. 241, ISBN   978-0313356520.