Friday, August 29, 2003


The best Falcon film I've seen yet (I've also seen THE FALCON IN HOLLYWOOD and THE FALCON'S ALIBI), perhaps partly because it's based on a Raymond Chandler novel, "Farewell My Lovely." George Sanders gets tangled up in a murder at a nightclub, Club 13; the manager is killed by ex-con (and ex-wrestler) Ward Bond, and Sanders' sidekick (Allen Jenkins) is forced into driving the getaway car. Sanders' fiancee is out of town and a lovely rookie reporter (Lynn Bari) accompanies him as he investigates. It turns out that Bond is searching for a mysterious damsel named Velma, who done him wrong. Other fishy characters include a fey rich guy (Hans Conreid), a psychic (Turhan Bey), and a beautiful blonde (Helen Gilbert). The supporting cast includes James Gleason as a cop and Anne Revere as a scared underling. Most of the cast members only get one good scene before getting bumped off. Bond comes off a bit like the Frankenstein monster, threatening to break people's necks with his bare hands. The plot is more coherent than the average B-mystery, fairly easy to follow until the end, and the fates of the characters are satisfying. There is quite a bit of humor, with Jenkins referring several times to "corpus delicious," and Sanders telling someone that he never drinks before sunset, but "after that, the deluge." At 65 minutes, it clips along nicely.