Release dateMay 10, 1945 (1945-05-10) WriterMalcolm Stuart Boylan (story), Jack Boyle (character), Paul Yawitz GenresMystery, Crime Fiction, Detective fiction, Crime Thriller CastChester Morris (Horatio 'Boston Blackie' Black), Lynn Merrick (Constance Gloria Mannard), Richard Lane (Inspector Farraday), George E. Stone (The Runt), Lloyd Corrigan (Arthur Manleder), Frank Sully (Sgt. Matthews) Similar moviesRelated Arthur Dreifuss movies
Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion is the eighth of 14 Columbia Pictures B movies starring Chester Morris as reformed thief Boston Blackie.
Boston Blackie's (Chester Morris) wealthy friend, Arthur Manleder (Lloyd Corrigan), purchases an upscale bookstore from aged Wilfred Kittredge (George M. Carleton), but retains his services as a book expert. However, when Kittredge becomes ill just before an important auction he was to conduct, Blackie proves that he can impersonate him, fooling everyone, including Police Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane).
With the assistance of store employee Gloria (Lynn Merrick), Blackie runs the auction without a hitch. The centerpiece is a rare first edition of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, which goes for $62,000. However, the purchaser discovers that the book is a fake and demands his money back. $50,000 had already been sent to the book's owner/forger, Porter Hadley. Blackie tracks him down, but arrives just too late. Hadley's partner, Gloria, finds him packed and ready to leave. She shoots him and takes the money. Blackie hears the gunfire, forcing her to flee; in her haste, the money gets stuck in the other doorway. Blackie takes the envelope of cash. By sheer bad timing, Farraday and Sergeant Matthews (Frank Sully) arrive while Blackie is examining Hadley's body, and arrest him for murder.
Blackie has little difficulty escaping. Still unaware of the identity of the real murderer, he takes Gloria into his confidence. He puts the money in the store's safe while she watches with interest. That night, she and her husband, escaped safecracker Jack Higgins (Steve Cochran), break into the shop, but are forced to leave without the cash when Blackie and Arthur arrive.
When Jack arranges to meet Blackie, Blackie recognizes him. He agrees to give Higgins half the proceeds, but Blackie's sidekick "the Runt" (George E. Stone) informs Gloria that he will not be bringing real cash, and that the $50,000 is stashed in Arthur's home safe. Jack and an accomplice tie Blackie up. Jack then leaves to get the money. Blackie gets free, phones Farraday and heads to Arthur's suite. There, he and the Runt capture and bind Jack. Then Blackie forces Gloria to write out a confession, convincing her how coldblooded he can be by pretending to shoot her husband dead (the unseen Runt just knocks him out). Jack regains consciousness and control of the situation, allowing Gloria to burn her confession. When Farraday and his men break in, Blackie presents the inspector with a blank sheet of paper, claiming he switched the pages. Gloria incriminates herself and is arrested and taken away with her husband, Jack Higgins.
Chester Morris as Boston Blackie
Lynn Merrick as Constance Gloria Mannard/Gloria Higgins