Monday, January 27, 2014

Tonight's Movie: One Mysterious Night (1944)

One of the fun things about "B" movie series of the classic film era is that they served as a training ground for up-and-coming filmmakers.

A case in point is ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT, the seventh title in the 14-film BOSTON BLACKIE mystery series starring Chester Morris. ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT was directed by one Oscar Boetticher, who today is much better known as Budd Boetticher, the name he began using for billing starting in 1950. That was right around the same time his career really began to take off, with BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY (1951) followed by a series of Universal Westerns and eventually his famed seven-film collaboration with Randolph Scott.

ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT was also the biggest role to date for future Oscar winner Dorothy Malone, who'd begun toiling in bit parts in 1943. She plays the innocent sister of a man who collaborates in a diamond theft. Shortly thereafter she would have a small but flashy role as the bookstore clerk who memorably flirts with Humphrey Bogart in THE BIG SLEEP (1946), which was largely filmed the same year ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT was released; she continued onward and upward from there.

In ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT Boston Blackie and his sidekick the Runt (George E. Stone) work to help Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) recover a famous stolen diamond.

Blackie and the Runt go from one scrape to the next in this 61-minute film, trailed by elegantly dressed reporter Dorothy Anderson (Janis Carter), who reports on their every move.

The film is nothing particularly special but, like the other films in the series, it's pleasant company, and Chester Morris is always a fun and even reassuring film presence.

Blonde beauty Janis Carter would go on to play a pair of riveting femme fatales in NIGHT EDITOR (1946) and FRAMED (1947). She deserves to be better remembered today.

Blackie's wealthy friend Arthur Manleder is played by Harrison Greene in this entry, but the actor who had previously played Arthur, Lloyd Corrigan, would return to the role in the next film, BOSTON BLACKIE BOOKED ON SUSPICION (1945).

The cast also includes William Martens, Robert Williams, Pat O'Malley, Minerva Urecal, and Robert E. Scott (later known as Mark Roberts).

This Columbia film is one of a handful of titles in the Boston Blackie series which have been released on DVD in the Sony Choice/Columbia "MOD" line. It can be rented from ClassicFlix.

Previous BOSTON BLACKIE reviews: MEET BOSTON BLACKIE (1941), CONFESSIONS OF BOSTON BLACKIE (1941), ALIAS BOSTON BLACKIE (1942), BOSTON BLACKIE GOES HOLLYWOOD (1942), AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH BOSTON BLACKIE (1943), and THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME (1943).

1 Comments:

Blogger Ken Zimmerman Jr. said...

I did think the way Inspector Farraday summoned Boston Blackie for assistance was an interesting little touch in this film. It isn't my favorite Boston Blackie film but it is well done for a "B" film.

6:27 AM  

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