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A Date with the Falcon (1942)

Gay Lawrence, aka The Falcon, is about to depart the city to marry his fiancée, Helen Reed, when a mystery girl, Rita Mara, asks for his aid in disposing of a secret formula for making ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Reis

Writers:

Lynn Root (screen play), Frank Fenton (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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More Like This 

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Sanders ... Gay Lawrence / The Falcon
Wendy Barrie ... Helen Reed
James Gleason ... Inspector Mike O'Hara
Allen Jenkins ... Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke
Mona Maris ... Rita Mara
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Storyline

Gay Lawrence, aka The Falcon, is about to depart the city to marry his fiancée, Helen Reed, when a mystery girl, Rita Mara, asks for his aid in disposing of a secret formula for making synthetic diamonds. He deliberately allows himself to be kidnapped by the gang for which Rita works. His aide, "Goldy" Locke, trails the kidnappers and brings the police. But the head of the gang escapes, and the Falcon continues the pursuit. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Second of new screen series with the star who played The Saint. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gay Falcon Steps In See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sampson's laboratory at 202 Maiden Lane as per the telegram he receives would place it at the corner of Maiden Lane and South Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The location is now underneath an elevated section of FDR Drive. See more »

Goofs

Goldy brings Helen a pot of coffee with cream pitcher, sugar bowl and one cup. After talking to Gay, Helen throws the bowl, pitcher and pot but nothings spills out of them they are empty. See more »

Quotes

Gay Lawrence: I'm just an innocent bystander.
Inspector Michael 'Mike' O'Hara: Rather a peculiar place to do your by-standing, isn't it?
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Falcon Out West (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

Average 'dame trouble' stuff takes the lead over the actual plot to the detriment of the film
26 August 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Samson is a hard working scientist who has developed a technique for developing synthetic diamond for the purposes of tooling and industrial use.

However the synthetic diamonds are so realistic that even experts cannot tell them apart – making Samson a target for criminals. When Samson goes missing, Inspector O'Hara turns to Gay Lawrence for help. Despite having woman troubles with his fiancé, Helen, the Falcon finds himself in the middle of the investigation and pursued by the gang, who are understandably keen to get such a keen mind off the case before he makes progress.

With a pretty standard (and unlikely) set up, it is not long before the Falcon is drafted onto the case. The plot is not great though and isn't as focused on the actual investigation as I would have liked. Instead it mixes it with the side kick of Falcon's fiancé and, while I can see what they were trying to do with it, it doesn't really work awfully well at all. Indeed it would have made a nice play with Helen being the sidekick that the Falcon has in other films but here this aspect and the actual plot mix about as well as oil and water and, sadly, the investigation into Samson's disappearance occasionally plays second fiddle to Lawrence having woman troubles.

However most viewers of this series will have gotten used to the fact that the crime plots are never the strongest here but often this is covered by some good humour. While there are quite a few nice touches to this material, the film is not nearly as amusing as it should be. The Falcon himself has a certain swagger to him but too much of the film is him looking flustered and frustrated by trying to balance his couple of women. The script does throw out some good material for minor roles and has some funny set ups (playing drunk to escape the baddies is a good moment) but generally it isn't funny enough to cover the fact that the plot can't even manage to stretch to an hour. As a result the cast don't do as well as they could have. Sanders is very good in some scenes but then in others he is very poor and not anything like the cool, crisp mind that I expect him to be. Jenkins is poorly used considering how funny he can be when used sparingly in support – but here he is far too sparingly used and has nothing to do until late in the day. Gleason's inspector is good but Barrie is annoying and Maris is nowhere near the femme fatale she was clearly trying to be.

It is still an OK little film but not one of the better in the series even if fans still enjoy it for what it is. The film gets better as it goes but too much in the first half is poorly judged and the actual case/plot mostly plays as second billing behind some flat comedy involving a couple of 'dames' and several misunderstandings.


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