"The Return of Boston Blackie" (1927)

Produced by Chadwick Pictures
Directed by Harry O. Hoyt
Distributed by First Division Distributors
Released August 1, 1927
The source was a story that appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine by Jack Boyle who was the originator of Boston Blackie. The original title of the story is unknown.
The film played at the Stanley Theater in New York City for one day (October 22, 1927) with a running time of 70 minutes.

Cast: Corliss Palmer, Raymond Glenn (a.k.a. Bob Custer), Rosemary Cooper, Strongheart (the dog), Coit Albertson, William Worthington, Florence Wix, J. P. Lockney, and Violet Palmer

The Story

This was one of the "bad guy who wants to reform" type of film melodrama that kept youngsters glued to their seats. Just out of jail and vowing to go straight, gentleman Boston Blackie undertakes the reformation of a pretty blonde who has stolen a necklace from a cabaret dancer. Boston Blackie learns that the jewels belong to the mother of the blonde girl, and the blonde's philandering father gave them as a gift to the cabaret girl. Boston Blackie must somehow return the necklace to the owner's safe without arousing the suspicions of the blonde's family.

Raymond Glenn/Bob Custer

Bob Custer, born Raymond Anthony Glenn, was a cowpuncher and rodeo performer who made his screen debut in 1924 and appeared in over 100 feature films. He gained some popularity as a cowboy star in numerous silent and early sound Westerns. He was among the many actors whose pictures were enjoyable but never reached the second echelon of stardom in the face of competition from Tom Mix, Buck Jones, and Fred Thompson. Joseph P. Kennedy produced a few of Custer's westerns. In 1927, he appeared in several non-Westerns under his real name, Raymond Glenn. Jean Arthur and Ann Sheridan were among the future Hollywood stars who played leading ladies with him. He was active in films until 1936. In the 1960's a few of Bob Custer's film negatives were found and then they were chopped up, gagged, doctored and edited down to five minute segments and under the title of "Billy Bang Bang" and rented to television studios for inclusion as fillers in kiddies' programs.


Strongheart made his film debut in 1922 at the suggestion of Larry Trimble (a director for Vitagraph studios whose dog became the popular, "Jean the Vitagraph Dog" and co-starred in many films with "The Vitagraph Girl," Florence Turner. At Trimble's suggestion, the German police dog, who had served in the German Red Cross, was purchased by Jane Muffin. She wrote a series of pictures in which the famous dog was starred. The AFI Catalog credits Strongheart with five feature films between 1921 and 1927.


Chadwick Pictures was an independent producer of feature films and was active from 1924 to 1928. A few of the production company's films have survived and are available such as "American Pluck," "The Unchastened
Woman," "April Fool," "Sweet Adeline," "The Test Of Donald Norton," and "Winning The Futurity."

Unfavorable Review

Variety reviewed the film October 26, 1927, and the review was anything but favorable. "With a script continually calling for impossible situations, this picture couldn't even be good if it was made well. It is a one-day program and should be at its best in the double-feature houses. Assisting in the labors for justice is Strongheart, the dog actor. The casting is not good and is shown to poor effect in a weak brand of photography. Raymond Glenn, as the crook, accomplishes best results with his part. Corliss Palmer, the girl, is too large to draw sympathy, and for some other reason wears a white outfit that makes her look larger. A lengthy string of incongruities must be blamed for the directing. The low type of audience will, as usual, derive some entertainment from this. They seem to go for anything."

copyright 2002 by John DeBartolo. All rights reserved.

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