Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Richard Lane as Inspector Farraday
ONE MYSTERIOUS NIGHT (1944). Director: Budd Boetticher.

When the famous Blue Star of the Nile diamond is stolen, Boston Blackie (Chester Morris) becomes a suspect. In an unexpected development considering their past relationship, Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) deputizes Boston because he thinks he can solve the crime. He even says " From now on, no matter what happens, I'll never misjudge you again." Unfortunately, this is the only unusual or interesting thing that happens in the movie, which is saved primarily by the acting. Morris [Pursuit]  makes an excellent Blackie, and does a few impersonations, and the supporting cast includes Janis Carter [Slightly French] as reporter Dorothy Anderson; Mark Roberts (aka Robert E. Scott) as store employee George Daley; an utterly unrecognizable Dorothy Malone (in her brunette phase) as George's sister, Eileen; and William Wright, who would later play the Lone Wolf in one picture, as bad guy Paul Martens. The best performances seem to come from bit players: (Ms.) Early Cantrell as a switchboard operator; Anne Loos as a newsstand clerk; and Minerva Urecal [Gobs and Gals] as a clerk at a women's hotel. There's a quick laugh involving a Murphy bed in which Boston and the Runt (George E. Stone) are secreted. Like many of these programmers, this one has no real suspense or surprises.

Verdict: Not nearly "mysterious" enough. **.

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