Since I’m still here in Boston…….
Edward Dmytryk steps into the directors chair for the second Chester Morris outing as the famed jewel thief gone straight. Much to the chagrin of Richard Lane as Inspector Faraday who still has his doubts as to Blackie’s motives.
This time out our tale involves the art world mixed with counterfeiting statues and murder. Blackie is caught in the middle while on one hand trying to stay out of the Inspector’s reach while on the other he’s trying to help solve a murder he’s implicated in and help Harriet Hill to get the money she is owed from the sale o a family heirloom.
Acting as a handler at an art auction, Blackie tags along with eccentric Lloyd Corrigan to help him purchase a large statue that has been put by Harriet for auction. Unknown to her the statue has been replaced with a fake. When she arrives at the auction house and looks the rather large statue over she declares it a fake setting off a series of gunshots leaving her with a “flesh wound” and Blackie wanted for murdering another man at the auction.
When the victims body goes missing, the Inspector has a hard time making any charges stick to Blackie. Turns out the body has been hidden in the fake statue leading our hero all over town trying to crack the case. He even gets a chance to go undercover and embarrass the good Inspector with some medical advice in a funny bit.
This action oriented adventure is sure to come to a thrilling conclusion and overall is a far more enjoyable effort than the first Boston Blackie title. Perhaps it’s the setting of the final confrontation between Blackie and the forces of evil that are out to kill both him and the film’s leading lady.
Helping Blackie in his crime fighting once again is “The Runt.” This time the role is assumed by George E. Stone who would run with the character for a total of 12 films out of the fourteen that Morris starred in. Stone is responsible like many sidekicks for the comedy relief here and along with Corrigan’s character does just that.
Mixed in to fill out the running time and cut back on the budget are some stock fottage shots of cars racing through the city that look to be from gangster flicks from the early thirties.
Our director Dmytryk was at this time working in many B films getting his feet wet before running afoul of the HUAC hearings that derailed his budding career. He would rebound nicely in the fifties with many top flight films including The Caine Mutiny, The Young Lions and Warlock.
Like the first film and I suppose most of the series titles, it’s a diverting 65 minutes of fun to be had here.