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When Boston Blackie leaves a room, he likes to leave a witty note for Inspector Faraday—written in soap in large letters across a mirror. I have to admit—ever since seeing this movie, I've been looking for an opportunity to leave somebody a soap-on-mirror note. That Blackie is indeed an irresistible character, a sharp wit who leaves a clean but clever mark.
Chester Morris is excellent in that title role—fast moving, confident, a magician and a sleuth. And possibly a jewel thief though in this film we never really know that for sure.
Richard Lane is also strong as the police inspector who is Blackie's dedicated stalker, friendly rival or both. Blackie always outwits the inspector but never makes him look stupid; Inspector Faraday vows to catch Blackie and lock him up but never resorts to dirty tricks and is not grudging in his respect for Blackie's nerve, expertise and luck.
Rochelle Hudson is very good as Cecilia Bradley, properly impressed by this man Boston Blackie who essentially hijacks her car but does it in a very dashing manner. Hudson is just right, actually—romantically interested, yes, but still plenty sharp enough to follow events and lend assistance as needed. Her smart and attractive performance hits just the right notes.
Good script, excellent pace, just the right amount of humor oh, and all the standard amusement park elements, including a Mechanical Man who figures snugly into the plot. A top notch series opener all the way!
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