Wednesday 21 November 2007

The Falcon Strikes Back (1943) Edward Dmytryk

This is the first Falcon movie that Tom Conway could get his teeth into without his brother George Sanders being in the mix too. Of course he looks and sounds enough like his brother for the transition to be pretty smooth. Unfortunately for him, his character is quickly framed by a beautiful young lady so he's hardly on top of anything. It's a neat job too, taking him to a bar on false pretences where he's knocked out and dumped in his car which has just been used in a robbery. $250,000 in war bonds was stolen by person or persons unknown and left a murder victim behind to boot, candidate number one for 'person or persons unknown' being the Falcon.

It's actually a pretty cool concept, taking the suave and sophisticated Falcon and running him through the mill. We know he's the good guy but everything points to him being the bad guy and so he has to find a way to prove that to the other characters. The framework for the most part is the textbook closed set mystery with an obvious villain, so there aren't a lot of surprises but the ride is an enjoyable one.

It's more interesting watching Tom Conway, who got the chance to strut his stuff for the first time. He'd play the part another eight times after this, making nine solo outings plus The Falcon's Brother where he shared the dues with Sanders and got his introduction to the series. I have five of these eight on my DVR courtesy of TCM and while this one is hardly a great film it's a great promise to the rest of the series and I'm really looking forward to them. In many ways Conway is more fun to watch than Sanders.

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