|Meet Boston Blackie|
|Directed by||Robert Florey|
|Produced by||Ralph Cohn (uncredited)|
|Screenplay by||Jay Dratler|
|Story by||Jay Dratler|
|Based on||the character created|
by Jack Boyle
|Cinematography||Franz F. Planer|
|Edited by||James Sweeney|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Meet Boston Blackie is a 1941 crime film starring Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, a notorious, but honorable jewel thief. Although the character had been the hero of a number of silent films, this was the first talking picture. It proved popular enough for Columbia Pictures to produce a total of 14 B movies, all starring Morris.
Returning to New York City from Europe, Boston Blackie (Morris) tries unsuccessfully to strike up a conversation with attractive fellow ocean liner passenger Marilyn Howard (Constance Worth). He later rescues her when she is accosted by a man. However, when he tries to follow her, he runs into his friendly nemesis, police Inspector Faraday (Richard Lane), who wants to take him in on suspicion of stealing some pearls. Knowing that Blackie's word is good (and that handcuffs are useless against him), Faraday merely confiscates his landing card.
However, when Blackie discovers the body of the man who had bothered Marilyn Howard deposited in his suite, he has to break his word and debark to clear his name. He trails Howard to the Coney Island amusement park. She has been followed by two men and is struck by a poisoned dart. Before dying, she tells him enough to send him to the Mechanical Man (Michael Rand), a midway performer whose act is pretending to be a robot or automaton. Soon after, the two killers show up to report to their boss, the Mechanical Man, forcing Blackie to flee once again.
He hijacks the car belonging to Cecilia Bradley (Rochelle Hudson), and manages to lose his pursuers after a high-speed chase. Cecilia decides to help Blackie, despite his attempts to keep her out of his troubles. They learn from a radio news broadcast that Howard was a spy.
Blackie eventually discovers that an espionage ring led by the Mechanical Man is trying to take a stolen navy bombsight out of the country. Faraday and his men follow Blackie to the midway to arrest him and prove handy in apprehending the spies. As a reward, Faraday decides to forget about the evidence linking Blackie to the theft of the pearls.
- Chester Morris as Boston Blackie
- Rochelle Hudson as Cecelia Bradley
- Richard Lane as Inspector Faraday
- Charles Wagenheim as the "Runt", Blackie's assistant
- Constance Worth as Marilyn Howard
- Jack O'Malley as Monk
- George Magrill as Georgie
- Michael Rand as Mechanical Man
- Schlitzie as Princess Bibi
Columbia Pictures launched its Boston Blackie series in 1941. Chester Morris starred as the title character and was an excellent launching pad for one of Columbia's most profitable film series.
- Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture (1949)
- Trapped by Boston Blackie (1948)
- Boston Blackie and the Law (1946)
- The Phantom Thief (1946)
- A Close Call for Boston Blackie (1946)
- Boston Blackie's Rendezvous (1945)
- Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion (1945)
- One Mysterious Night (1944)
- The Chance of a Lifetime (1943)
- After Midnight with Boston Blackie (1943)
- Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood (1942)
- Alias Boston Blackie (1942)
- Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941)
- Meet Boston Blackie (1941)
- Mayer, Geoff (2012), Historical Dictionary of Crime Films, Scarecrow Press, p. 52, ISBN 0810867699.
- Young, William H.; Young, Nancy K. (2010), World War II and the Postwar Years in America, ABC-CLIO, p. 241, ISBN 0313356521.