Wednesday, November 28, 2007

B-Movie Detectives: Part 2

Not many people remember Boston Blackie today. That's a pity, because he was a fun character who headlined some really entertaining movies. He was played by actor Chester Morris (that's him on the right) in 14 films during '40s as a man who really enjoyed life and kept his head in dangerous situations.

Like the Lone Wolf, Blackie was a reformed thief who would inevitably end up having to catch a murderer in order to clear himself or help a friend.

Obviously, the format for the Blackie films was, in general, the same as the Lone Wolf films. The Blackie movies, though, are a little better. Though Warren Williams did a good job as the Lone Wolf, Morris is a model of affability as Boston Blackie. He's just plain fun to spend time with.

It's interesting to note that we're never told just how either the Lone Wolf or Boston Blackie can afford their rich life styles without holding down a job. Are they living off the loot from their neferious pasts--despite having otherwise gone straight? I suppose we're not meant to ask.

I'm going to sound like a broken record on one point as I continue to post about the B-movies from this era. The Boston Blackie movies were very well-constructed stories that move along quickly without any extraneous subplots. You didn't have to worry about Blackie having any dark secrets or unresolved angst. He just cracks wise and outsmarts crooks. It's important that his character be likable, but at the same time, he exists primarily to serve the plot. It all makes for a very satisfying movie series.


  1. Boston Blackie is one of those characters who after I find out about him, I'm surprised I hadn't heard of before.
    Of course, its only a rumor that he is Remington Steele's father.

  2. I had never heard the Remington Steele rumor before, but it fits both characters so perfectly. I love it.


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