Friday, May 31, 2002


This B-movie detective series is OK if you don't expect anything more out of it than you would out of a vintage TV series. Tom Conway is the Falcon, a rich amateur sleuth; Conway was the brother of George Sanders, who played the Falcon in the first couple of films. Conway comes off exactly like a cut-rate Sanders, and he never seems quite as smooth and debonair as his character is supposed to be. HOLLYWOOD takes place on a studio lot (actually, RKO's lot) and has one nicely atmospheric scene where a dead body is discovered on a deserted movie set. Veda Ann Borg adds some much needed life to the film as a spunky taxi driver who becomes Conway's sidekick. In real life, Borg seems to be mostly known as a B-movie actress who had her face completlly rebuilt through plastic surgery after a bad car accident in 1939. ALIBI has a much better developed plot (and was apparently loosely based on the plot of the very first Falcon movie), involving fake pearls, jewel theft, and murderous jealousy. Elisha Cook is quite good as a late-night jazz DJ and Jane Greer is just as good as his wife, a small-time singer who wants to hit the big time. The movie builds nicely to a memorable climax. Based on the evidence of these films, I'd probably watch some more Falcon flicks, but I wouldn't go terribly far out of my way to do so.

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