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Two industrialists disappear from an airplane while the plane is in the air. Also missing is $100,000. The Falcon investigates and discovers a plot against the government. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The sixth of sixteen movies for the suave detective nicknamed "The Falcon" starring Tom Conway. See more »
At the start of the film when the airliner is shown crashing the model is of a conventional small twin-engined airliner. In the live action shots after the crash it has the unusual twin horizontal tail structures supported by several vertical surfaces of the Capelis XC-12, also used in Five Came Back (1939). See more »
Interesting story but the messy middle section and average, forgettable performances mean it is only average at best
A small airplane comes in to land at an airport but it drifts off course and crashes. The police investigate but find the plane empty totally empty. The plane was meant to have a couple of wealthy industrialists on board as well as a shipment of money. When the daughter of one of the men (Nancy Palmer) gets a ransom note she goes to Tom Lawrence for help much to the annoyance of Tom's newest and suspicious fiancé Bonnie Caldwell. Tom takes the case anyway and arranges the drop off of the ransom money to be a sting operation it fails but he gets a number plate that starts him on the trail of the kidnappers and the truth about how passengers and crew seemed to vanish in mid-air.
Having taken the reigns from his half-brother George, Tom Conway continues as the new Falcon with this intriguing and rather enjoyable little film that only suffers from not being as clear as it really could have been. The film opens with a plane landing empty with the crew and passengers missing; it is an interesting opening that is not reduced by the poor effects on the plane.
From here on the simple premise gets a bit more confused as it brings in various threads; it is still interesting but it isn't as gripping as it could have been for much of the middle section but it gets better towards the end as things get clearer. It isn't anything special but the story does compare to the other Falcon stories.
Where it doesn't compare is in the cast, which has seen a lot of changes over the past few films. With Sanders gone, Conway struggles and he really can't fill the shoes of the Falcon. His performance is OK but he is not really memorable and doesn't command the attention in the same way Sanders did. Ward fills the usual 'fiancé in tow' role but she is annoying and unnecessary. Shepard is a bit better, mainly because she feels like part of the story and not part of the formula. Clark keeps on with his role and he is pretty good the memory of O'Hara is gone and Clark just fills the same material well enough. A wise choice was to drop the comedy sidekick to the Falcon, meaning that the story doesn't need a side issue for him (Goldy) to do. Instead the comic relief here is in the form of Gargan as Bates. None of them really make an impression even if they are all OK meaning that there isn't really anyone holding the attention of stealing scenes, giving the material an average feel at times.
Overall this is an OK entry in the series in terms of story but it is a poor one in regards total value. The delivery is a bit messy and the characters are all just the formula rolled out again but, with no really good performances they stand out as just that formula. The end product is OK but nothing special and the end of the series (if not already definite due to Sanders departure) was now not very far away at all.
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