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The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 29 May 1942 (USA)
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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The story's maguffin is a formula for flawless industrial diamonds pursued by the Falcon and a bevy of villains.

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The Falcon investigates the murder of an actor on a Hollywood backlot.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lynn Bari ...
...
...
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


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Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

29 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Halcón inicia el vuelo  »

Company Credits

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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

Although the story is supposed to take place in contemporaneous 1942, the stock footage of Times Square was evidently shot two years earlier as the first run marquee shows "The Boys from Syracuse" released in 1940. 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

Gay Lawrence: [Not wanting to work for a client who leaves him in the dark] I think you better get someone else.
Lindsey W. Marriot: I don't like your manner.
Gay Lawrence: I'm not particularly intrigued by yours either.
See more »

Connections

Version of Murder, My Sweet (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
First filming of Chandler novel stumbles after promising start
9 September 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

This entry in an otherwise it-is-what-it-is series of crime programmers merits attention because it preserves the first filming of a novel by Raymond Chandler: Farewell, My Lovely – two years before Edward Dmytryk's Murder, My Sweet, one of that handful of 1944 films that really got the noir cycle rolling.

Often such adaptations bear scant resemblance to their original material, bringing to mind the screenplay Joe Gillis (in Sunset Blvd.) wrote that started out with Okies in the Dustbowl and ended up on a torpedo boat. But The Falcon Takes Over startlingly opens with a character called Moose Malloy (Ward Bond) looking for his Velma (Helen Gilbert can't even begin to pinch-hit for Claire Trevor). Along the way we visit that drunken old streel Jessie Florian (Anne Revere, every bit as good as Esther Howard) and Jules Amthor (Turhan Bey, complete with turban and crystal ball).

Given the quality of much of the cast and the initial fidelity to Chandler's material, the movie promises to be much better than it turns out. And what sinks it is the notion that Chandler could supply fodder for a `programmer.' First of all, 90 or 100 minutes offer too brief a span for his baroque tales to unfurl; an hour plus change mutilates them irreparably. Second, franchises like Charlie Chan, or The Saint, or The Falcon are struck from the same template, to which all material must conform. So the setting is not the languorous corruption of Los Angeles but the hurly-burly of New York; missing as well is any sense of Chandler's awareness of the advantages conferred by wealth and class.

But most conspicuous in his absence, of course, is Philip Marlowe. He disappears into George Sander's last run as The Falcon, before he bequeathed the franchise to his brother Tom Conway. (Sanders walks through this picture as if he had given up on the last one.) He has a sidekick, too (Allen Jenkins), who's chock-full of amusing malapropisms. Sidekicks and malapropisms are about as far from Chandler's dark universe as it's possible to go.


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