Friday, February 28, 2014

A Close Call for Boston Blackie (1946)

I have a real affection for the Hollywood studio programmers of the '30s and '40s, especially the mystery series like "The Whistler", "The Saint", "Mr. Moto", etc. My grandfather introduced me to these films as a kid and I've come to enjoy them more and more over the years for the reliable entertainment they provide. One of my favorite series is "Boston Blackie", starring Chester Morris as Jack Boyle's popular character, and made by Columbia between 1941 and 1949. This is an average entry in the series, which is to say it's a fun way to spend an hour with its blend of light mystery and comedy. This time, Blackie has to look after the baby of an ex-girlfriend and protect her from her recently-paroled husband. He finds himself falsely suspected of a murder in the process, but things turn out okay in the end.

One of the joys of watching Hollywood studio programmers is the sheer level of craftsmanship that went in to them. This one was shot by Oscar-winner Burnett Guffey (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, BONNIE AND CLYDE) and even in this routine entry you can see the level of experience that everyone working on these films brought to them.

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