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The Gay Falcon (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 24 October 1941 (USA)
The Falcon investigates jewel thieves who are working with hard up socialites to defraud insurance companies. First of the Falcon series.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Nina Vale ...
Elinor Benford (as Anne Hunter)
Maxine Wood
Inspector Mike Waldeck
Noel Weber
Manuel Retana
Eddie Dunn ...
Vera Gardner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
(scenes deleted)


A society grand dame, played by Gladys Cooper, who hosts charity parties in her home is mixed up in a jewel theft racket which defrauds insurance companies. When another socialite played by Lucile Gleason is murdered, Gay Laurence (a.k.a. The Falcon) and assistant 'Goldie' Locke are on the case with help from beautiful Helen Reed, who becomes a rival to Gay's fiancée Elinor for the sleuth's affections. Written by duke1029@aol.com, A.Nonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A slick super-sleuth portrayed by the star who played "The Saint" (original print-ad) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El halcón galante  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film, the first in RKO's series of films based on Michael Arlen's character "The Falcon," was the only one actually based on an Arlen story. See more »


Gay Lawrence: Oh, darling, I thought you'd stand by me.
Elinor Benford: I'm tired of standing by. The line's too long.
See more »


Followed by The Falcon Strikes Back (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

An enjoyable light snack of a movie
26 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

At the request of his girlfriend, Gay Laurence has stepped out of the detective business to become a stockbroker. Bored out of his brilliant mind, Gay jumps at the chance when a young lady tells him of the socialite Maxine Wood, who throws parties every few weeks but has had problems with robberies each time. With the police unable to catch the thief, Gay goes to the party to help out but, on this occasion, the crime turns to murder – putting Gay and Goldie right in the middle of it.

I have never watched a Falcon film before and I took the opportunity to watch this film when BBC2 ran a mini-series of the films in the early morning during the summer. The title is innocent enough and it is only time (and the change in language) that has made it seem rather inappropriate – certainly such a film (or a character) would not be include the word gay if these films were made today! Aside from that obvious remark, this is a pretty enjoyable film if you are prepared for what it is trying to be – a very light, amusing little mystery that entertains. The semi-tongue in cheek tone to the film takes away from the actual mystery plot but it is still just about interesting enough to engage.

What the film does better is to inject a nice comic tone into everything. The action involves a touch of comedy at all times and plenty of the lines and side-issues (the girlfriend). The acting mostly follows this pattern with Sanders surprising me with a very light touch – he really seemed to be enjoying himself! I have only seen Sanders in more serious roles and I did enjoy seeing him in relaxed mode. Support is great from Jenkins; his is hardly a well-written character (he is only a standard comic sidekick) but he plays well and is actually quite funny in his couple of scenes. Barrie is quite fun and makes for an attractive love interest while Vale is good enough to make her subplot part of the movie rather than it seeming tacked on. Shields, Dunn and Brophy are all amusing as the usual inept cops of the genre!

Overall this is not a great film but, if you know what to expect, it does manage to be entertaining. The actual plot is not that good but just about does enough to keep you watching but it is the comic tone and well-pitched acting that makes it fun to watch. At just over an hour running time, I found it to be the film equivalent of a nice little snack – certainly not filling but enjoyable for the short time it takes to finish it!

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