"The Fallen Sparrow" is a 1943 film starring John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak, and Patricia Morison. Directed by Richard Wallace, from the novel by Dorothy Hughes, the story concerns John McKitrick, a Spanish Civil War vet who escaped from a prison camp, where he was tortured. He's suffering from severe post-traumatic stress, but he has returned to New York to find out who killed his best friend. He has something he brought back with him from Spain, and Nazi agents are on his trail for it. McKittrick doesn't know whom he can trust, and that includes the beautiful Toni Donne (O'Hara), the mysterious wheelchair-bound refugee doctor (Walter Slezak), or even an old friend (Martha Driscoll).
Though Garfield is excellent as a former prisoner of war, and his performance is well worth seeing, the plot of "The Fallen Sparrow" is confusing; the film moves slowly and has very little action. The best thing about it is the cast - the stunning O'Hara, the glamorous Patricia Morison, and the sinister Slezak rounding it out.
Reminiscent of "The Maltese Falcon," but Warners didn't score big with this one. Nevertheless, anything John Garfield did during his short career is worth seeing.
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