"A friend to those who have no friends, an enemy to those who make him an enemy"
Whether he is fighting the police or the criminal underworld, Boston Blackie always stands up for what’s right.
Sure, Boston Blackie is a jewel thief and a safecracker, but he’s a criminal with code. He ensures that the worst villains get what’s coming to them while the honorable ones stay out on the street—where, like Blackie, they do more good than harm.
In this classic collection of adventures, with his dependable wife and getaway driver, Mary, by his side, Blackie gets into and out of a dizzying array of tight spots. He escapes from prison, saves a friend from the gallows, and pulls off the gold bullion heist of a lifetime. Later adapted into serials, movies, and TV shows, Boston Blackie’s exploits are some of the most thrilling in all of crime fiction.
Boston Blackie's Little Pal (Metro) 1918
The Silk-Lined Burglar (Universal) 1919
Blackie's Redemption (Metro) 1919
Missing Millions (Famous Players-Lasky) 1922
The Face in the Fog (Cosmopolitan) 1922
Boston Blackie (Fox)1923
Crooked Alley (Universal) 1923
Through the Dark (Cosmopolitan) 1924
The Return of Boston Blackie (Chadwick) 1927
1940s Columbia Films
Boston Blackie, the suave crook-turned-detective created by pulp writer Jack Boyle, had been popping up sporadically in films for nearly two decades by the time Columbia launched its "Boston Blackie" series in 1941. Chester Morris stars as the title character, Horatio "Boston Blackie" Black, as a former professional thief now working as a sort of freelance adventurer/detective. Blackie, just barely on the right side of the law, preferred not to get too involved with the police. "Meet Boston Blackie" is the first of fourteen Boston Blackie films that began the new adventures of Boston Blackie. The series evolves Blackie from a thief and underworld criminal into a new character that turns out to be very interesting and entertaining. Richard Lane, who plays Boston's long-suffering Inspector Farraday, was the only other character in all fourteen of the Boston Blackie movies. George E. Stone, playing Blackie's sidekick, his dim-witted cronie The Runt, was not in the first or last film but was in all the others. Charles Wagenheim played The Runt in the first film and Sid Tomack in the last. Another of the reoccuring fun characters is the irrepresible Arthur Manleder, the adventurous millionaire played by Lloyd Corrigan in some of the films. Boston Blackie was one of Columbia's most profitable film series.
Meet Boston Blackie 1941
Confessions of Boston Blackie 1941
Alias Boston Blackie 1942
Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood 1942
After Midnight with Boston Blackie 1943
The Chance of a Lifetime 1943
One Mysterious Night 1944
Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion 1945
Boston Blackie's Rendezvous 1945
A Close Call for Boston Blackie 1946
The Phantom Thief 1946
Boston Blackie and the Law 1946
Trapped by Boston Blackie 1948
Boston Blackie's Chinese Venture 1949
Release Date: August 26, 1918
Bert Lytell ... Boston Blackie
Rhea Mitchell ... Mary
Rosemary Theby ... Mrs. Wilmerding
Joey Jacobs ... 'Little Pal' Martin Wilmerding Jr.
Howard Davies ... Donald Lavalle
John Burton ... Jackson, the Butler
Frank Whitson ... Martin Wilmerding
Meet Boston Blackie
When a murder occurs on an ocean liner docked in New York, the trail leads to Coney Island and a spy ring.
Release date: February 20, 1941
Running time: 61 minutes
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
The Boston Blackie radio show was on the air for 13 weeks in 1944 then for five years from 1945 to 1950. The original 13 week show was a sumer replacement for Amos and Andy. Blackie was played by the actor who Boston Blackie portrayed Blackie in the movies, Chester Morris. Critics believe that Morris brought more depth of character to the part because he played the character in six films before moving to radio.
When the radio show was added to the line up on the Mutual Network, Richard Kollmar took over the role as Boston Blackie. Kollmar was known more as a soap opera actor and gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen’s husband. Kollmar was a solid actor who brought a different side, a more refined side, to Blackie.
Created by author Jack Boyle, Boston Blackie was a master safecracker and hardened criminal who served time in a California prison. Rehabilitated, he decided to use his knowledge of the underworld to fight crime as an amateur detective. Known as "an enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend", Boston Blackie's exploits were adapted to film, radio, and television. Chester Morris, who had played Boston Blackie in a series of B movies for Columbia, originated the character on radio in 1944. By1 945 Richard Kollmar had taken over the title role in a radio series syndicatedby Frederic W. Ziv. Over 200 radio episodes were produced between 1944 and 1950. While investigating the cases, Blackie would invariably encounter harebrained Police Inspector Faraday (Maurice Tarplin) and always solve the crime before Faraday could. The initial friction between Blackie and Faraday gave way as the series continued, and Faraday came to recognize Blackie's talents, occasionally even requesting his assistance. Blackie dated Mary Wesley (Jan Miner), and for the first half of the series, his best pal Shorty (Tony Barrett) was on hand. Boston Blackie transitioned to television in 1951.
Boston Blackie: Outside the Law
A friend to those who have no friends, an enemy to those who make him an enemy! From out of the darkened streets of radio's imagination comes the legendary criminal-turned-crime-fighter Boston Blackie! Starring Chester Morris, radio's first Blackie - and Richard Kollmar, who became Blackie's true radio voice - here are 12 great episodes of this beloved crime thriller! Join co-stars Jan Miner, Tony Barrett, Maurice Tarplin, and Lesley Woods in capers of diamonds and double-cross, of black markets and blood stains. But, be careful - even Inspector Farraday gets shot!
"The Jonathan Diamond", 06-23-44
"The Manleder Bank Case", 06-30-44
"Black Market Blackie", 07-21-44
"The Devon Caretaker Murder", 07-28-44
"Spy Ring", 08-04-44
"Copy of The Diamond Bracelet", 10-11-45
"Simmons Construction Murder", 11-29-45
"Murder at the Movies", 12-13-45
"The Undersea Murder", 10-01-46
"Murdered Show-Dog Owner", 10-08-46
"Murder at the Rodeo", 10-15-46
"Farraday Shot", 10-22-46
Kent Taylor starred in the Ziv-produced half-hour TV series The Adventures of Boston Blackie. Syndicated in 1951, it ran for 58 episodes, continuing in repeats over the following decade. Lois Collier appeared as the inevitable love interest and Frank Orth as the perpetually exasperated Lt. Farraday. This time, Blackie was set in Los Angeles, and the character enjoyed the use of several exotic sports cars as he battled on behalf of those who have no friends. Whitey was the precocious dog. Among the guest stars were veteran actors Roscoe Ates, Russ Conway, and John M. Pickard.
Kent Taylor as Boston Blackie
Lois Collier as Mary Wesley
Frank Orth as Inspector Faraday
Note: A reformed jewel thief becomes a private investigator, friend to those who have no friend, and enemy to those who make him an enemy. Loosely based on the series of movies starring Chester Morris.
Boston Blackie's Little Pal: IMDB
Meet Boston Blackie
1940s Collection: AMAZON
Outside the Law
I've not read the original stories although I just ordered the book for my dad's upcoming birthday. I'm intrigued to read them to see how much Hollywood altered the characters for the films. I have never seen any of the silent films but I really enjoy the Chester Morris films from the 1940s. They have a great blend of comedy and mystery in each of the 14 entries. As for the radio shows, the Richard Kollmar episodes are good but I prefer the Chester Morris ones. I've never seen the television series so I can't weigh in on them. Over all, Boston Blackie is the epitome of bad guys using their skills for good. As it says, "A friend to those who have no friends, an enemy to those who make him an enemy."