Typical entry in the series. The long comedy bits wear thin but it’s still a decent time passer. Chester Morris is Blackie and George E. Stone is his assistant known as The Runt. Richard Lane is on hand as his nemesis Inspector Farraday. Frank Sully is Farraday’s dim bulb assistant Sgt.Matthews.
Blackie is performing his annual magic show at the Thanksgiving dinner in the women’s prison. He asks for a volunteer to assist in the disappearing cabinet trick. Dinah Moran who is serving a three year stretch for robbery comes on stage. She gets in the box. She disappears. He can’t bring her back. The sirens tell where she went.
There’s a too long bit with Blackie making a fool out of Sgt Matthews as he appears and disappears. Blackie and The Runt go to the public library where they look up Dinah’s case. She and her then husband John Lampau were accused of murder and the robbery of a hundred thousand dollars. He’s a magician and she was his wife and assistant. Lampau got off but Dinah went to the big house. While inside Lampau divorced her.
Blackie finds out that Lampau has changed his name to John Jani and is doing his act at a local theater. He goes there and finds Jani and his new assistant Irene. The two plan to get married the next day. Dinah shows up…with a gun. She locks Blackie in a closet. She and Jani struggle and he’s shot in the wrist. She takes off through the window.
Blackie disguises himself as Jani and does his act. Then he hides him out at a friend’s apartment. Blackie goes to Jani’s place. That night he sees Dinah searching the place in the dark. She gets away. Blackie tells Jani what happened. He takes some keys from him under protest. Blackie traces one to a safe deposit box.
Later at the theater Blackie is doing the act. Farrady and Matthews are watching. They think it’s Jani. Meanwhile, Blackie’s friend gets back early. He opens the closet and there’s Jani…dead.The Runt goes onstage and tips Blackie off. Farraday realizes who he really is and arrests Blackie and The Runt.
They break jail. Blackie goes on to solve the case. It’s obvious how it’ll all turn out but it’s still fun.