EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THE FALCON IN HOLLYWOOD (director: Gordon Douglas; screenwriter: Gerald Geraghty/based on the characters by Michael Arlen; cinematographer: Nicholas Musuraca; editor: Gene Milford; music: C. Bakaleinikoff; cast: Tom Conway (Tom Lawrence/The Falcon), Barbara Hale (Peggy Callahan), Veda Ann Borg (Billie), Jean Brooks (Roxanna), Rita Corday (Lili D'Alio), Sheldon Leonard (Louie Buchanan), John Abbott (Martin Dwyer), Konstantin Shayne (Alec Hoffman), Emory Parnell (Inspector McBride ), Frank Jenks (Lieutenant Higgins), Useff Ali (Nagari), Chester Clute (Hotel Manager), Walter Solderling (Ed), Robert Clarke (Perc Saunders); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Maurice Geraghty; RKO; 1944)|
and enjoyable crime drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
tenth Falcon in the series is a snappy and enjoyable
crime drama, as directed by Gordon Douglas ("Dick
Tracy vs. Cueball"/"Sincerely Yours"/"Rio Conchos")
and written by Gerald Geraghty. It
features good back lot Hollywood location shots and a
great scene at the LA Coliseum.
amateur sleuth, the Falcon (Tom Conway), vacations in
Los Angeles, and
while at the race track meets Inspector McBride (Emory
Detective Higgins (Frank Jenks). They warn him that they're after (Louie
Leonard), someone the sleuth was involved with in NYC
and had arrested but now is reportedly in LA with his
actress girlfriend. When the cops leave, the Falcon
runs into Louie, his supposed actress girlfriend Peggy
Callahan (Barbara Hale), and also the wealthy
numerologist actress Lili D'Allio (Rita Corday). When Peggy accidentally takes Lili's purse, the Falcon
rides in the cab driven by stunt rider Billie (Veda
and follows Peggy to Sunset studio. There the Falcon
hears a shot fired from a sound stage and finds the
corpse of leading man Ted Miles, but the body
disappears when reported to the studio. Later it's
found in the prop room. Miles is married to costume
designer Roxanna (Jean Brooks), who hates him and wants
a divorce. The icy Roxanna left her hubby and plans to
marry the film's harried autocratic director Alec
Hoffman (Konstantin Shayne), but is surprised when
Lily claims Alec is her man.
Despite the Falcon's
insistence that he's here on vacation and wants no
part in the murder investigation, he gets drawn into
the investigation when he locates the missing murder
weapon in a plaster statue on the studio grounds. That
turns out to be the stolen gun of the Shakespeare-quoting
British producer Martin Dwyer (John Abbott), who claims the picture
is jinxed and worries he'll lose all his money because
of shooting delays.
Before solving the mystery,
the Falcon also uncovers info about a valued ruby ring
from India owned by Dwyer, that the wealthy womanizer
Miles was an investor in the film and had accumulated
large gambling debts he couldn't meet, that the
gun-toting Louie was also an investor in the film, and
that Lily was upset that Peggy got her part.
It ends as neatly as all the Falcon films do, but if the story is a familiar one then the lively presentation trumps that and keeps the predictable thriller watchable.
REVIEWED ON 6/30/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ