6 April 2007 | MartinHafer
Not bad for the genre, but also nothing new or exciting either
Turner Classic Movies just recently showed most of the Boston Blackie films starring Chester Morris and while they are pretty good B-detective films, they are also very, very formulaic--even for the genre. I practically saw all of these movies and noticed that the same stupid inspector and his subhuman sidekick are accusing Blackie of committing the crimes in question. And, each time, Bost Blackie solves the crime for them--making their idiocy apparent again and again and again. You'd think that these bumblers would be fired and that any cop with a functioning cortex would realize the best thing to do it just sit back and let Blackie solve the crime! Plus, in the process, the Inspector almost always gets himself captured or is tricked by Blackie. At first, this is all pretty funny, but by the time this film came out, the formula was wearing a bit thin. They could have easily kept most of the formula but also had the cops not always been so stupid--this would have greatly improved the films.
About the only new thing about this film is that now in addition to the idiotic cops, Blackie has a rich friend who is introduced to the series and he manages to be even dumber than the police!! While it would have been easy for even a two year-old to figure out what was happening, this Neanderthal was clueless--making the film itself seem pretty lame in spots. Still, the snappy dialog and able support by Blackie's buddy, Runt, is pretty good and make this film an amiable time-passer--just don't expect anything particularly new or interesting except for appearances by very young actors Forrest Tucker and Lloyd Bridges.