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The Gay Falcon (1941)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 24 October 1941 (USA)
The Falcon investigates jewel thieves who are working with hard up socialites to defraud insurance companies. First of the Falcon series.

Director:

Irving Reis

Writers:

Lynn Root (screenplay), Frank Fenton (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Sanders ... Gay Laurence / The Falcon
Wendy Barrie ... Helen Reed
Allen Jenkins ... Jonathan G. 'Goldie' Locke
Nina Vale ... Elinor Benford (as Anne Hunter)
Gladys Cooper ... Maxine Wood
Edward Brophy ... Detective Bates
Arthur Shields ... Inspector Mike Waldeck
Damian O'Flynn ... Noel Weber
Turhan Bey ... Manuel Retana
Eddie Dunn Eddie Dunn ... Detective Grimes
Lucile Gleason ... Vera Gardner
Willie Fung ... Jerry
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Florence Bates ... (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Society grand dame Maxine Wood who hosts charity parties in her home is mixed up in a jewel theft racket which defrauds insurance companies. When another socialite, Vera Gardner, is murdered, Gay Laurence (a.k.a. The Falcon) and assistant 'Goldie' Locke are on the case with help from beautiful Helen Reed, who becomes a rival to Gay's fiancée Elinor for the sleuth's affections. Written by duke1029@aol.com, A.Nonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The bold adventurer who's as smooth with the ladies as he's clever with crime!...Fiction's slickest super sleuth, created by Michael Arlen and portrayed by the star who thrilled you as "The Saint". See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El halcón galante 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

Leslie Charteris sued RKO contending that "The Falcon" was "The Saint", his creation, in disguise. The disposition of the suit has not been discovered. RKO made the change because Charteris had become an annoyance to the studio with his carping about changes in his original stories. See more »

Goofs

Evidently not considered worth a re-shoot, a fly lands on the Falcon's hat and climbs down it when he arranges to meet Helen at Tony's cafe. See more »

Quotes

Gay Lawrence: [on the phone] Well, where are you?
Elinor Benford: As if you didn't know, you top hatted termite!
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Falcon Strikes Back (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great start to the series
21 April 2013 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I haven't seen any of the other Falcon films, so I have the benefit of seeing this and not knowing what comes afterwards. Quite frankly, having watched I can't guess what comes next - whether Gay Lawrence (the Falcon) stays with his fiancée and an impending marriage that never quite comes off becomes some kind of running joke like John Howard's Bulldog Drummond of the late 30's, or if Wendy Barrie's character Helen Reed becomes the Falcon's new girl, or if the Falcon has no girl or another girl entirely in the coming entries, but the ending had me wanting to see the next one.

Of course the wit and wisdom of George Sanders is a plus in any film, and as The Falcon it is unclear what his background is in this entry. The Falcon seems to be a man of means, but he doesn't seem to have a profession nor does he seem to be a reformed criminal either. At the beginning of the film he has set up shop as a broker on Wall Street to satisfy his fiancée that he is through with "crime detecting" as she calls it and wants to settle down, although when she drops in to visit both The Falcon and his assistant Goldy Locke are dead asleep at their desks. She has come to ask him to a society party, the idea obviously bores him, and he declines. Later, though, the personal secretary of the society woman giving the party shows up (Wendy Barrie as Helen Reed) and pleads with the Falcon to attend the party, as jewelry has been stolen at all of the woman's recent parties, and another robbery will ruin her reputation. Suddenly the Falcon is interested in attending, but doesn't tell his fiancée why.

Jewelry is not stolen at this party, but one of the guests in attendance slips the Falcon an expensive ring while they are dancing - she has no explanation as to why she does this and seems to have the Falcon confused with someone else. A few minutes later she is found shot dead. Worse, Goldy is held as a material witness to the crime, so now the Falcon is involved and must solve the crimes. Meanwhile he has both an angry fiancée on his hands and the society lady's swooning secretary, who loves the adventure of tracking down criminals alongside the Falcon.

This is a very good entry that has a very interesting supporting cast. Allen Jenkins is a natural and in good contrast to the suave Sanders as the Falcon's assistant. Edward Brophy is cut from the same cloth as Jenkins and is good as a police detective. Turhan Bey shows up outside of a Universal film for a change as an exotic and mysterious suspect. Arthur Shields, brother of Barry Fitzgerald and a dead ringer for him, seems a bit out of place as Inspector Mike Waldeck, whom the Falcon is more than ready to give credit to for solving the crime.

Recommended as a fast paced good start to the series.


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