Saturday, December 17, 2005

Miss Maven's Christmas Movies

Miss Maven is starting off our Christmas Movies with an entry from the Columbia Series called "Alias Boston Blackie."
Blackie (Chester Morris) is a jewel thief who is retired from business except that the police, in the person of Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane), doesn't believe it.
That's the basis of 14 entries in the series, at any rate!
They are definitely "B" entries but great fun for their kind!
Blackie is confronted with such diverse cases as sabotage to seances to the art world over the course of the movies!
Chester Morris and Richard Lane are marvelous in their recurring roles as sparring partners Blackie and Farraday. They are amply supported by Walter Sande (later Frank Sully) as dim-witted Matthews, Lloyd Corrigan as philanthropist Arthur Manleder and George E. Stone (originally George Wegenheim) as The Runt, Blackie's assistants, as it were.
Who thinks these parts up?!
"Alias Boston Blackie" is an entry centered on a group of entertainers who travel by bus to a prison to entertain the inmates on Christmas Eve.
Blackie goes along as to help out but Farraday tags along to keep him on the up-and-up but neither of them plans on one of the inmates (Larry Parks) masquerades his way out as a clown.
Are you getting the feeling that the writers were already hitting the Eggnog?
Especially when Blackie ends up having to masquerade in the same clown costume to help Parks to see the light.
Not to mention Blackie having to pass as a New York City Policeman!
In the process, he clears him even as Blackie shuffles a corpse while being threatened by one of the bad guys, a bus/taxi driver (Lloyd Bridges).
Adele Mara has a great line when questioned by a hotel clerk about wanting a room on the top floor: "Don't worry. I don't have time to jump today!"
But Blackie triumphs once again and all the good guys are back in his apartment on Christmas Night to toast the holiday.
"Alias Boston Blackie" is a fun movie to watch, especially around Christmas time!

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