Out on patrol in the war-time desert a Canadian corporal reminisces about the woman he has left behind in London and ponders whether she will fall for the charms of his rival in love. At ... See full summary »
John M. Stahl
Silver has been found on comanche territory and the government accomplished a peaceful agreement with the indians. When James 'Jim' Bowie comes into the scene he finds the white settlers ... See full summary »
The uptight and dumb small time thief Nick Robey and his partner and only friend Al Molin steal $10,000.00 from a man, but the heist goes wrong. Al Molin is killed by a policeman and Nick ... See full summary »
Sergeant Dixie Smith has more raw recruits to turn into Marines, if he can. Among them is cocky casanova Chris Winters, son of an officer, who's just tried to "mash" Mary Carter, a major's ... See full summary »
Among those who are fighting to have Congress re-establish the military academy at West Point in the beginning of the nineteenth century is a young Washington socialite, Carolyn Bainbridge.... See full summary »
In the bordertown of San Pablo, preparing for an annual 'Mexican Fiesta,' arrives Gagin: tough, mysterious and laconic. His mission: to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for... See full summary »
In a fictional version of true events at the New York prison of Blackwell's Island in 1934, reporter Tim Haydon breaks up a crime organization run by racketeer Bull Bransom from within the ... See full summary »
A film that qualifies as a Travelogue Documentary in that it contains footage of world-famous race tracks such as England's Ascot, Palermo in South America, and Churchill Downs, Jamaica, ... See full summary »
A former Spanish Civil War prisoner, John McKittrick arrives in New York to find the truth behind the death of his friend Louie Lepetino. He finds himself being chased by Nazi agents who want an item he has brought back from Spain and cannot give up. When another of his friends is murdered, McKittrick realizes that he cannot trust anyone around him - not anyone. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Martha O'Driscoll is listed in the records as "Whitney Hamilton," but she is called Whitney Parker (Ab Parker's cousin) in the film. See more »
The Bust which is knocked through the window and crashes out on the street appears in it's original position in the next shot. See more »
John 'Kit' McKittrick:
[Thinking, not speaking out loud]
John 'Kit' McKittrick:
All right. Go on. Let's have it. Can you go through with it? Have you got the guts for it? Or have they knocked it out of you? Have they made you yellow?
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Opening credits: "...in a world at war many sparrows must fall ... See more »
Hollywood fought World War II on many fronts: most obviously, in its documentaries and war dramas; in genre series coopted for the war effort (such as Sherlock Holmes programmers); and in thrillers dedicated to smoking out the Fifth Column at home (The House on Ninety-Second Street). There was also a more complicated, ideologically tinged kind of movie, not simply anti-Nazi but more broadly `anti-Fascist' (and defiantly leftist). Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine was one; The Fallen Sparrow was another.
John Garfield (who else?) survived torture while fighting for the anti-Franco forces in the Spanish Civil War, but it took its toll; he recuperated in a sanitarium in the Southwest. Upon returning to New York where a war buddy has met death by defenestration from a penthouse party he finds some of his friends traveling in the same circles as vaguely sinister Europeans and fly-specked aristocrats Germans, Italians, Spaniards who take a perverse interest in him. Among them is Maureen O'Hara (in a dark, forties updo), who runs hot and cold when it comes to his advances.
The dense plot of The Fallen Sparrow collapses into a noirish muddle. Multiple heavies purr in a babel of as many stage accents (Hugh Beaumont's Prussian the most amusing of them). Walter Slezak plays a mittel-European professor whose passion seems to be the aesthetics of torture, and whose limp summons up nightmares for Garfield. There are also family crests dating from at least the Borgias (whose speciality was goblets of poisoned wine), a senile old curmudgeon who believes he'll be restored to the throne of France, and a tattered standard Garfield has rescued from Spain, which becomes this film's black bird....
Following all these threads require rapt attention, but who would be willing to devote anything less to the fight against Fascism? The film borrows from such immediate predecessors in the nascent noir cycle as The Maltese Falcon (especially the ending) and The Glass Key. It cooks up plenty of atmosphere but lacks vital clarity. It's not without interest the attention to the psychological aftermath of torture is a bold and courageous stroke but with its political passions looking quaint, if not naive, this overheated melodrama leaves a scorched aftertaste.
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