The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller

The Falcon Takes Over (1942) Poster

The Falcon and reporter Ann Riordan try to solve a string of murders after an ex-wrestler, released from jail, goes looking for his girl friend.


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6 June 2003 | McGonigle
An amusing trifle
Put this one in the same category as "Satan Met a Lady". An amusing way to kill some time for hard-core fans (of Chandler or Hammett), but so far from "essential" that you can't even see the road back to "essential".

I guess that we have "The Thin Man" to blame for all this. The success of that movie (and franchise) must have inspired every movie studio out there to create their own version of the suave, wise-cracking society detective.

It terms of the source material, it's kind of a "mystery" to me (sorry) why they even felt it necessary to borrow part of the plot from "Farewell, My Lovely". The movie is only 65 minutes long, so you barely get past the first visit to Amthor (the psychic) and things are starting to wrap up. That's only about 1/4 or maybe 1/3 of the way through the original novel -- and most of what *is* taken from the novel had to be twisted around to fit the characters in this movie -- so you get none of the classic Chandler material about Santa Monica (excuse me, "Bay City"), the sanitarium, the gambling boat, etc, etc, etc. Also, the whole setup with Lindsay Marriott coming in to ask the detective to accompany him to his payoff is pretty absurd when the main character is a society bon vivant who solves crimes in his spare time rather than a professional private investigator. It seems to me like it wouldn't have been that much harder to just write a new mystery (or adapt some less incongruous one) but I guess that starting with "Farewell My Lovely" allowed them to finish the script for this movie in, say, twenty minutes instead of an hour.

So there's nothing "noir" about this movie at all; it's really only for hard-core fans of Chandler's writing or light 30s/40s mystery/comedies, but it's a fun way to pass some time on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

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