23 September 2007 | Spondonman
It's Blackie - but not as we know him!
I haven't seen any episodes of the 1950's TV series, listened to only a handful of the 1940's radio series, and until now hadn't seen any of the silent Boston Blackie films. The only things that The Return Of Boston Blackie from 1927 has in common with the highly enjoyable series of 14 films Chester Morris made for Columbia 1941-1949 are the name "Boston Blackie" and the length of the film. This was a film about one dog and his man – Strongheart the German shepherd ex-police dog was a big star and his name appeared above the title. Blackie is second fiddle - he even admits he follows the dog's instincts.
He's released from prison vowing to go on the straight and narrow path of virtue from now on - Blackie that is, not the dog - he and a man friend are waiting at the gates for Blackie. Meanwhile, in a wealthy family with secrets "the Markham Necklace" is stolen, apparently by a young girl – Blackie bumps into her and instantly tries to help her by taking responsibility for it. He can't believe she's guilty because she has clear eyes, later general doubts about Blackie's honesty are refuted by her because he had clear eyes too. Denver Dan is the fly in the ointment, he really wants to steal the necklace
Favourite bits: Strongheart in the funfair's Hall of Mirrors and the plane ride there too with Blackie and Strongheart squeezed into the seat – nice views! The acting and production was so-so but OK, the 1930's print I saw with the tinny disinterested orchestral score not so good, and clocking in at 57 minutes does this mean 20 minutes were cut? The production company's motto at the end was unintentionally apt: Each Production An Achievement - would that others were as honest!
But a pleasant enough hour for me anyhow, nothing special nothing terrible and one I wouldn't mind seeing again, but I'd recommend watching it in the dark for ease.