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The Fallen Sparrow (1943)

In 1940, a former prisoner is determined to find the killer of the New York Police Lt. who helped him escape from a Nazi torture camp in Spain.

Director:

Richard Wallace

Writers:

Warren Duff (screen play), Dorothy B. Hughes (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Garfield ... John 'Kit' McKittrick
Maureen O'Hara ... Toni Donne
Walter Slezak ... Dr. Christian Skaas
Patricia Morison ... Barby Taviton
Martha O'Driscoll ... Whitney 'The Imp' Parker
Bruce Edwards ... Ab Parker
John Banner ... Anton
John Miljan ... Inspector 'Toby' Tobin
Hugh Beaumont ... Otto Skaas
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

23 November 1943 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Beijo da Traição 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

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 14, 1944 with Maureen O'Hara and Walter Slezak reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

The event sign for the dinner in the Tavern Room honoring Dr. Skaas misspells the word "Norwegian" as "Norweigan." See more »

Quotes

John 'Kit' McKittrick: [Last Lines] Another sparrow fell.
Inspector 'Toby' Tobin: So long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "...in a world at war many sparrows must fall ... See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood contra Franco (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Nightclub Song
Sung by Martha O'Driscoll (dubbed by Martha Mears)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Better Plot Premise
3 December 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Spanish Civil War was never a popular subject to begin with for Hollywood, but in 1943 two films would come about it. The first was Paramount's big budget For Whom The Bell Tolls and the second made for considerably less was The Fallen Sparrow about a veteran of that conflict's and the quest after him.

Before just membership in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade blacklisted you from all kinds of places after, people returned after the loss of the war by the Republic to the Falangists without any of the problems that John Garfield faces in The Fallen Sparrow. But it seems as though Garfield managed to cop a battle flag from some old European house that is in sympathy with the Nazis. Believe it or not, Adolph Hitler is going through some really unbelievable lengths to get it back.

Maybe if Garfield had some secret chemical formula stashed somewhere I might have gotten the plot of this film. But for the life of me if it weren't for Garfield's strong performance as a veteran who underwent all kinds of sophisticated torture, the film would have been laughable. So while the plot premise was ridiculous, Garfield's performance anticipates by several years other films about brainwashing techniques on prisoners and the readjustment to civilian life which Garfield never quite makes.

In any event back from the Spanish Civil War and before America gets into World War II, Garfield finds himself involved with some strange foreign refugee types as he goes looking for the murderer of a New York City cop and pal of his who arranged his escape from the clutches of the new Falangist government under Francisco Franco. The most sinister of them and he usually is in these films is Walter Slezak.

In her memoirs Maureen O'Hara said that Garfield was a delightful person to work with even though she was far from sympathetic with his politics. She had no hesitation in labeling him a Communist. In point of fact Garfield was a strong New Deal Democrat who in his years growing up poor and later in the Group Theater made some friends who unashamedly were Communists. They called people like him 'fellow travelers' back in those old bad old days.

The Fallen Sparrow would have been a lot better film had it been given a stronger plot premise.


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