The Phantom Thief (1946)

Article 3470 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-8-2011
Posting Date: 2-13-2011
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Featuring Chester Morris, Jeff Donnell, Richard Lane
Country: USA
What it is: Boston Blackie mystery

Boston Blackie’s sidekick, the Runt, gets caught up in a jewel thievery while helping out an old friend. In attempting to sort out the problem, Blackie encounters a phony spiritualist, and then gets caught up in a murder.

I haven’t encountered Boston Blackie yet for this series, despite the fact that the character appeared in quite a number of movies; I’m assuming that most of them are utterly devoid of fantastic touches, with this one being an exception. This one features a couple of seances, with all of the usual accoutrements you’ve come to expect from them; the final scenes involve calling back someone from the dead to finger her murderer. It’s an entertaining and efficient B-Movie, though the comic relief is definitely a matter of taste; the cowardly antics of Blackie’s sidekick become particularly tiresome. I don’t know if and when I’ll be encountering Boston Blackie again, but if I do, I’ll probably get a better feel for the whole series.


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