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The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

 -  Crime | Mystery  -  29 May 1942 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 441 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

The Falcon and reporter Ann Riordan try to solve a string of murders after an ex-wrestler, released from jail, goes looking for his girl friend.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

The Falcon Takes Over (1942) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lynn Bari ...
Ann Riordan
...
...
Helen Gilbert ...
Diana Kenyon
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Storyline

One night in New York, beefy escaped convict Moose Malloy goes hunting for his ex-girlfriend Velma, leaving a trail of mayhem behind him. Velma seems to be well-hidden, and adventurer The Falcon, intrigued, investigates on his own, approaching the heart of the mystery via a varied sequence of shady characters and attractive women. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

MYSTERY that you'll laugh at...when -- The Falcon TAKES OVER

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Falcon Takes Over  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the third Falcon entry in a row in which Hans Conried plays a different character. See more »

Goofs

In a night club scene The Falcon and Diana Kenyon are sitting close together talking. There is a plant pot on a ledge behind them, partially obscured and on the table a champagne glass is in front of Diana Kenyon. In the next shot, there is a gap separating the two, the flower pot is now centrally placed between them and the champagne glass has moved position. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke: [Obviously frightened of the brutish Moose, who has commandeered his car] I guess I better drop you now. I got a date.
Moose Malloy: [Ominously] You wouldn't want it with an angel, would you?
Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke: [Meekly nervous] No, sir.
Moose Malloy: Then keep on drivin'.
Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke: [Meekly resigned] Yes, sir.
See more »

Connections

References The Boys from Syracuse (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

I Haven't a Thing To Wear
(uncredited)
Written by Mort Greene and Harry Revel
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User Reviews

An OK film – a poor version of the Chandler story due to the strange mix of a noir plot with a jokey, light character and series
9 September 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

While out at a local club, Gay Lawrence finds himself close by when a man called Moose Malloy comes into the club looking for his Velma, killing the manager in the process of asking. The police pick up on the case but Gay starts searching for Velma. He picks up a lead that involves a meeting, before getting a call out of the blue from a man looking for help. When the 'case' turns out to be a trap designed to kill Gay, he finds himself in the middle of something bigger than he expected.

I'm not sure why, after so many films, the Falcon series suddenly reached into Raymond Chandler for its source material. Perhaps it was the fact that Sanders was fed up doing the films and maybe they were trying to provide of a film for him to work with. Certainly this is a rather different entry in the series that manages to change some elements of the series while also keeping aspects that make it a Falcon film – however this is a weakness rather than a plus point because the two aspects detract from one another. Being the first filmed version of Farewell, My Lovely, this film gets off to a good start; in fact I was surprised to see Moose Malloy looking for Velma and I started to think maybe it was spoofing the film, until I realized that this was made a couple of years before the most famous version. The plot is dark and mysterious and is better delivered as noir – something that the Falcon film cannot do whilst trying to remain a Falcon film. So although the plot follows the source material well, it never really gets a tone that it deserves.

The reason for this is that the material is mixed with the usual Falcon brand of humours and characters. Elements such as Goldy's quips and the discussions between O'Hara and his detective are funny but they don't fit well. Of course this hurts the Chandler material more than it hurts the Falcon series because the addition of a good plot helps add to the usual Falcon aspects – so it turns out to be a good Falcon film but a very average version of the Chandler story. The cast don't really help either, some failing on their own terms while others show their shortcomings when compared to different actors playing the same roles in other versions. Sanders was one film away from leaving the series – as with his suicide, when he had had his fill of things he simply stepped out without fuss. In his performance here you can see that his heart is not in it anymore - he makes little effort with the material given him although it is not all his fault; he couldn't be expected to suddenly turn the Falcon into the complex, downbeat hero of Chandler's story. Jenkins does his usual stuff pretty well but I think he knew that he was an add-on to the story and he tried hard to compensate. Gleason is pretty funny in a minor role but the story specific characters are not as well played as they would later be. Bond may well have been a good model for later versions but he is not as good as them. He tries hard and has a good presence but I just found it hard to accept him as the character. The actresses in the roles of Velma and Riordan are all OK, but nothing more than that.

Overall this is an OK Falcon film despite the weaknesses. The plot is better than normal but not as well used as the same source would be in other films later on. The Falcon humour and character take away from the core of the story and stop it being the noir it deserves to be, while the mix of material and series formula is not totally successful – not quite oil/water but certainly strange bedfellows. Fans of the Falcon and Chandler completists will seek it out but for most people it will just be an average crime film or a poor version of a story done better elsewhere.


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