Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941)

CONFESSIONS OF BOSTON BLACKIE is the second film in the long-running series which began with MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (1941). While not as good as its predecessor, CONFESSIONS OF BOSTON BLACKIE provides pleasant entertainment.

This time around reformed safecracker Boston Blackie (Chester Morris) is involved in a case involving murder and a stolen statue. The valuable statue belongs to Diane Parrish (Harriet Hilliard, later known as Harriet Nelson), who plans to auction it off as she needs the money. However, she realizes at the auction that the real statue has disappeared and the one up for auction is a fake.

Meanwhile, someone at the auction is shot and Blackie is unjustly accused of murder; then the body disappears...

I didn't find the dialogue as sharp as it was in the first film, and while Harriet Hilliard's character is sweet and pretty, she doesn't have the fun relationship with Blackie that he enjoyed with Rochelle Hudson's Celia in the earlier movie.

Still, Morris continues to be engaging as the quick-witted Blackie, and the film moves along briskly with a 65-minute running time. Like the Falcon series I've watched over the last year and a half, it's the equivalent of "movie comfort food," and just the ticket if the viewer is pressed for time or not up to watching something a little more emotionally demanding. I'll definitely be back for more of this series.

George E. Stone takes over the role of Blackie's sidekick "The Runt" from Charles Wagenheim in this film; Stone would play the role 11 more times, out of a 14-film series. Richard Lane returns as Inspector Farraday; same role, but a different spelling of the character's name, as it was Faraday in the first film. Later in the series it appears his first name will change from John to William!

The cast also includes Joan Woodbury, Lloyd Corrigan, and Walter Sande.

CONFESSIONS OF BOSTON BLACKIE was one of a number of series and "B" films directed by Edward Dmytryk early on in his career. Movies such as MURDER, MY SWEET (1944) and TILL THE END OF TIME (1946) weren't too many more years off at the time he made this movie.

There's an interesting Boston Blackie website which has lots of links about the movie series.


Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Pardon my ignorance, but from what I understand this series is not based in Boston correct?

9:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're right! It's just the lead character's nickname. The first movie identified the story location as New York.

Best wishes,

9:33 AM  

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