Name Line

"Enemy to those who make him an enemy.   Friend to those who have no friend."

Home   Silent Movies   40's Movies   Bio Chester Morris   Television   Radio   Short Stories

Boston Blackie Movies

Confessions of Boston Blackie

This is the second movie in the Boston Blackie series.
Boston Blackie is on the trail of stolen treasure and gets caught up in a crossfire of bullets and women.

Studio: Columbia
Release Date: January 8, 1942
Running Time: 60 minutes   B/W
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Producer: William Berke
Cinematography: Philip Tannura
Editor: Gene Milford
Screenwriter: Paul Yawitz and Jay Dratler
Production Dates: September 10 to September 24, 1941

RATING:   * * *


Chester Morris as Boston Blackie
Harriet Hilliard as Diane Parrish
Richard Lane as Inspector John Farraday
George E. Stone as The Runt
Lloyd Corrigan as Arthur Manleder

movie scean 4


This was the second in the Boston Blackie series, alternate title The Secret of Boston Blackie, and it moves at such a fast pace you don't have time to wonder where the "confessions"" come in. Boston Blackie vs. a ruthless art-smuggling ring. Diane Parrish sells a family heirloom, a statue of Augustus Caesar, to a pair of unscrupulous art dealers in order to raise money to treat her brother, who has been diagnosed with tuberculosis. Blackie gets into trouble when he attends an art auction with his millionaire pal Arthur Manleder (Lloyd Corrigan). It so happens that the auction gallery is run by thieves and they have created a replica of the statue of Augustus Caesar to sell in place of the original at the action. Our heroine, Diane Parrish (Harriet Hilliard), discovers this when she spots the fake at the auction. To keep her quiet, head crook Joe Buchanan (Ralph Theodore) takes a shot at Diane, but though he only wounds her, he kills sculptor, Allison (Walter Soderling). Conclusion-jumping Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) assumes that Blackie fired the shot, forcing our hero to spend the rest of the film eluding both the police and the criminals. Blackie is on the trail of the valuable sculpture of Augustus Caesar There are the usual brushes with the law, with Morris being suspected of every crime. Great fun is provided by Blackie's constant sparring with bumbling Inspector Farraday. In one scene, Blackie is disguised as a doctor. Farraday complains to him that he has these pains in his fingers occasionally. "Soak them five times a day in boiling water and mustard. And go heavy on the mustard," Dr. Blackie advises. Later when some one asks Farraday what happened to his hand he mumbles, "Oh, a little mustard burn." Highlights include a hilarious fit of rage perpetrated by secondary villainess Joan Woodbury, and an amusing if slightly sadistic running gag involving hapless ice-cream vendor Billy Benedict. Action-packed and well acted. This may not be art but its pace and sense of its own ridiculousness could give some of today's filmmakers a lesson.

BB poster

BB poster

BB poster

Chester Morris as Boston Blackie
Harriet Hilliard as Diane Parrish
Richard Lane as Inspector John Farraday
George E. Stone as The Runt
Lloyd Corrigan as Arthur Manleder
Joan Woodbury as Mona
Walter Sande as Sgt. Mathews
Ralph Theodore as Joe Buchanan
Walter Soderling as Joseph Allison
Billy Benedict as Ice Cream Man
Mike Pat Donovan as Cop
Jack Clifford as Motorcycle Cop
Eddie Laughton as Express Man
Jack O'Malley as Taxi Driver
Al Hill as Police Desk Sgt.
Ralph Dunn as Officer McCarthy
Harry Hollingsworth as Plainclothesman
Budd Fine as Express Man's Helper
Martin Spellman as Jimmy Parrish
Harry Bailey as Bidder
Betty Mack as Bidder
Dorothy Curtis as Bidder
Bill Lally as Sgt. Dennis
Julius Tannen as Dr. Crane
Eddie Kane as Auctioneer
Herbert Clifton as Albert the Butler
Jessie Arnold as First Nurse
Lorna Dunn as Second Nurse
Gwen Kenyon as Third Nurse
Harry Depp as Mr. Bigsby
Stanley Brown as Intern
Eddie Fetherston as Taxi Driver

Second Unit Director: Gene Anderson
Musical Director: M.W. Stoloff
Art Direction: Lionel Banks
Art Department: Robert Peterson
Sound Department: Edward Bernds

Complete Movie Review:

In need of funds to send her tubercular brother Jimmy to a sanitarium, Diane Parrish hires art dealers Eric Allison and Buchanan to sell the family legacy, a statue of Augustus Caesar. Unknown to Diane, Allison and Buchanan are crooked dealers who have created a fake statue, which they plan to sell at auction while keeping the original for themselves. Among those attending the auction are Inspector Farraday and Detective Mathews, who have come to protect the artworks, Boston Blackie, a reformed safecracker, and his friend, eccentric millionaire Arthur Manleder, who has come to bid on the statue. As the bidding begins, Diane enters the room, approaches the statue and declares that it is a fake. To silence Diane, Buchanan pulls out his gun and shoots at her. Blackie shoots back at Buchanan, and although his bullet grazes Diane and kills Allison, Farraday has seen only Blackie's weapon and so assumes that he is the gunman. Blackie eludes Farraday and chases Buchanan, who knocks Blackie unconscious and climbs into a secret panel in the back of the statue. Farraday then enters the room, and when Blackie regains consciousness, he arrests him for Allison's murder. After they leave, Buchanan emerges from his hiding place and stuffs Allison's body in the statue, thus depriving Farraday of his corpus delicti. Unaware that Allison's body is hidden in the statue, Buchanan's accomplice, Caulder, the auctioneer, sells the fake to Manleder for $200, and the movers cart it away. When Buchanan learns of the transaction, he insists on recovering the statue to retrieve both his bullet from Allison's body and the combination to the vault from Allison's pocket. Meanwhile, at the police station, Blackie gives Farraday the slip by disguising himself in a uniform that he has stolen from the ice cream man and walking out the door. Upon returning to his apartment, Blackie is greeted by his sidekick, The Runt, and Mona, a showgirl who claims to be Blackie's wife and demands $6,000 in extortion money. To get rid of Mona, Blackie calls Manleder to borrow the money and suggests unveiling the statue at a cocktail party that afternoon. Blackie then goes to the hospital to visit Diane, and when he is denied admittance to her room, he steals another ice cream man's uniform and dons a surgical mask. Thinking that Blackie is a doctor, Diane tells him about Jimmy's tuberculosis and confides that she is selling the statue so that she can afford to put him in a sanitarium. When Diane notices the ice cream logo on Blackie's sleeve, he admits that he is Boston Blackie and asks for time to find her assailant. As Blackie leaves the hospital, Buchanan and Caulder follow him and, to eliminate the only eyewitness to Allison's murder, sideswipe his car and run it off the road. Emerging from the car unharmed, Blackie sends Runt to deliver the $6,000 that he borrowed from Manleder to Diane, instructing him to tell her that it is her insurance settlement. When Mona learns the fate of her extortion money, she visits Diane to demand its return and then informs Farraday of Blackie's deed. Meanwhile, at the cocktail party, Manleder tells Blackie that Caulder has offered him $500 for the statue. Blackie, suspicious, directs him to accept the offer and tell Caulder to pick it up that day. Hoping to trap Blackie, Farraday visits Diane at the hospital and arrests her as a material witness, but she escapes in a laundry hamper and takes a taxi to Manleder's house, where she is met by Blackie. After sending Diane to the safety of Blackie's apartment, he and Manleder follow the movers to Buchanan's warehouse. Blackie enters the building and instructs Manleder to call Farraday if he does not return in twenty minutes. At Blackie's apartment, Diane is greeted by Buchanan, who forces her into his car. When Runt sees them drive away, he realizes that something is amiss and begins to follow them. Arrested for running a red light, Runt is taken to the police station, where he meets Manleder, who has been arrested for loitering outside the warehouse. Meanwhile, Blackie has penetrated the inner depths of the warehouse, discovered the secret subterranean workshop and overpowered Caulder. Back at the police station, Farraday orders the release of Runt and Manleder and then follows Manleder to the warehouse. Before the police arrive, however, Buchanan enters, holding Diane as his hostage. In the ensuing struggle, Blackie knocks Caulder into the statue, sending it crashing to the floor and exposing Allison's body. At that moment, Farraday and his men arrive and Blackie explains that the bullet in Allison's body came from Buchanan's gun. After locating the combination in Allison's pocket, Blackie opens the vault which houses the original statue. Discovering that the gunshots have shorted out the electrical power, thus trapping them in the subterranean chamber, Blackie sends flames shooting through the ventilator, bringing the fire department to free them. After they are rescued, Farraday sheepishly thanks Blackie for saving his life.

Confessions of Boston Blackie

Meet Boston Blackie   |   Confessions of Boston Blackie   |   Alias Boston Blackie   |   Boston Blakie Goes Hollywood |   After Midnight With Boston Blackie
The Chance of a Lifetime   |   One Mysterious Night   |   Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion   |   Boston Blackie's Rendezvous   |   A Close Call for Boston Blackie
The Phantom Thief   |   Boston Blackie and the Law   |   Trapped by Boston Blackie   |   Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture

Want to contact us? E-mail the Webmaster

Boston Blackie Terms of Use Click Here