Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion (1945)

BOSTON BLACKIE BOOKED ON SUSPICION (1945), the eighth film in the long-running mystery series, is an especially strong entry.

Chester Morris again stars as ex-con Boston Blackie, magician and master of disguise, who this time around inadvertently becomes involved in the sale of a counterfeit rare book. Before too long, there's also been a murder...

Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) should know better by now than to accuse Blackie of a crime, but if he had common sense the movies would be a lot shorter! Blackie must evade being arrested by the inspector while solving the crime on his own; suspects include a crook on the lam, Jack Higgins (Steve Cochran, in his first movie), whose wife Gloria (Lynn Merrick) works in the bookstore.

I continue to very much enjoy this series, chiefly because Chester Morris is so much fun as the title character. His Blackie is charming and eminently capable, in control of any situation, even when the chips don't seem to be falling his way.

Merrick is very good as the seemingly sweet Gloria, who turns out to have a lethal streak. Cochran as her husband seems a bit wary of his wife, and rightfully so!

Lloyd Corrigan returned to the recurring role of Blackie's friend, businessman Arthur Manleder, which had been played by Harrison Greene in the previous film, ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT (1944). BOSTON BLACKIE BOOKED ON SUSPICION was the last of Corrigan's half dozen appearances in the series.

George E. Stone, who plays Blackie's righthand man, the Runt, would continue on for another five films, until the next-to-last BOSTON BLACKIE entry in 1948.

BOSTON BLACKIE BOOKED ON SUSPICION was directed by Arthur Dreifuss and filmed by George Meehan. It runs 66 minutes.

This movie is not available on VHS or DVD, but it's been shown from time to time on Turner Classic Movies.



Blogger Kevin Deany said...

I agree. After the first entry, MEET BOSTON BLACKIE, this is probably my favorite in the series. I love these 1930 and 1940s mystery series. They're like potato chips...you can't stop with one.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Jerry E said...

I agree with Kevin. Solid entertainment and these series were often a great place for fledgling directors to try out. For example, "One Mysterious Night" from 1944 in this series was directed by one Oscar Boetticher jr (later known as Budd).

9:37 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

It's so true, Kevin and Jerry, can't stop watching these! LOL. Besides the directors getting started, it's also fun to see early screen work of various actors, such as Steve Cochran in this film.

There's something comforting about the predictability of the series films, while at the same time it's fun to see the creative touches which pop up here and there to give the films a little something extra.

Best weishes,

9:55 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I love Boston Blackie. Thanks for highlighting the series.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Maricatrin said...

I've seen all the Chester Morris Boston Blackies, and I agree that it was a very enjoyable series. I couldn't really say which one was my favorite though, because the films tend to run together in my head;-)

I've seen more than a few of the Boston Blackie tv show episodes too. Kent Taylor starred as Blackie, Frank Orth as Faraday wasn't nearly as crazy (more of an actual friend), and Lois Collier was very cute as Blackie's girlfriend.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Glad to shine a lot on this series, Amanda!

Best wishes,

6:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Maricatrin! I'm glad you commented on this because it made me realize it's been too long since I saw a Boston Blackie movie -- I think this was the last one, and it's been a year! That kind of shocked me to realize. Time to see another one!

I enjoy Kent Taylor, that TV series version sounds appealing! I didn't know about it and am glad you mentioned it.

Best wishes,

6:27 PM  
Blogger Maricatrin said...

Hi Laura, the funny thing is that I somehow got the idea that this was a recent post! Yes, I must be losing it (lol).

Here's an fun quiz for the series, I got 12 out of 15, but some were lucky guesses: http://get.tv/trivia/boston-blackie-trivia

I've liked the tv episodes I'm seen too ... personable leads and some good action/chase scenes. It has the intro "Boston Blackie - enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have none." It was apparently well known enough at the time to be spoofed in a Daffy Duck cartoon, Boston Quackie! "Enemy to those who have no enemies, friend to those who need no friends."

7:17 PM  

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