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An artist's daughter becomes suspicious when new paintings by her supposedly dead father begin turning up in New York. When a gallery owner is murdered, the Falcon and Miss Wade head for Mexico City to investigate. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Some of the Latin American exterior footage that is seen behind the opening credits, and which is inter-cut with the studio-shot scenes and projected behind the cast in some sequences, is rumored but unconfirmed to have come from Orson Welles' never-completed and Brazilian-located RKO documentary "It's All True"; that project was itself the subject of a documentary, It's All True (1993). See more »
A fairly uninspiring entry in the series that continues the gimmick of the location from Out West
Never far from women or trouble, Tom Lawrence meets both when he meets Dolores Ybarra trying to get into a door and recover a painting she did. Helping her, Lawrence realises he was duped and that the painting is of her, not by her. These trifling issues are put to one side when they discover a body in the building. The girl flees and, suspected of the murder (as usual), Lawrence does too. The problem with the painting is that the painter actually died 15 years earlier, but yet the portrait must have been done recently. Lawrence seeks out the artist's daughter Barbara, who reveals a mystery around her father's death and the two head to Mexico to investigate further.
After being Out West, the film series continues its attempts to freshen things up by "being places" rather than doing things. In this case we have a lazy travelogue that takes us to Mexico with lots of backdrops and footage (with supposedly a famous source!). The mystery starts out well enough and does offer intrigue to a point but it is pretty much lost in the delivery, which seems more interesting in providing a lot of footage of Mexico instead. This bothered me a bit because I was interested by the set up but this waned as I realised that the film itself wasn't that fussed. Berke's direction is fine I'm sure but he is continually overshadowed by the stock footage (supposedly shot by Orson Welles) which regularly takes centre stage. The film also features a couple of songs (a common filler in b-movie world), they aren't much cop here but do add a sanitised flavour of Mexico.
Conway is not as smooth as he was in some other of the Falcon films. He is still recognisable as the same character but it does feel like he is going through the motions somewhat with this one. He lacks much in the way of support here as well as his regular comic companions of the police and Goldie/Lefty are absent. Instead we have a bit of life from Paiva in a good sidekick character. Maris, Vickers, Currier, Callejo and others all do so-so jobs but nobody has much conviction about anything probably not helped by the material.
Overall then a fairly uninspiring entry in the series that continues the gimmick of the location from Out West. The stock footage is all well and good but the mystery becomes slack and uninteresting all too quickly.
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