We started our New York Christmas cinema tour with this 1942 entry into the Boston Blackie franchise, which included 14 films from 1941 to 1949. Boston Blackie is a reformed jewelry thief, who now works on the side of law enforcement, although the police are perpetually suspicious of him.
Boston Blackie takes a troupe of vaudeville performers to Sing Sing, his alma mater, for a special Christmas show at the prison. One of the prisoners is the brother of a showgirl in Blackie’s troupe, who escapes by disguising himself as one of the performers. He returns to Manhattan to seek revenge on the crooks who sent him up the river. Blackie is blamed for the escape, but he is convinced of the escapee’s innocence, so pulled between the cops and the real crooks, he has to race to solve the old case.
NEW YORK CONNECTION
There opening shots in Times Square, and car chases through city streets.
The action starts on Christmas Eve and wraps up just a few days later.
A young Lloyd Bridges plays the bus driver. Cyril Thornton, the chauffeur, plays Tanner in The Thin Man and D.B. Norton’s butler in Meet John Doe.
Cyril Thornton appeared as one of the customs inspectors in The Gay Divorcee.
WHY WE LOVE THIS MOVIE
Well, we really don’t love this movie, but the backstage scenes in the vaudeville house, I find interesting, especially with the use of some stage lingo. We don’t watch this every year, but when we focus on Christmas capers and New York scenery, this film makes the list.