Friday, November 15, 2013

Tonight's Movie: The Falcon's Alibi (1946)

THE FALCON'S ALIBI, the 12th Falcon film, is an especially enjoyable, well-paced entry in the long-running detective series.

This was Tom Conway's penultimate performance as the Falcon; he concluded his run as the title character later that year with THE FALCON'S ADVENTURE (1946).

This time around the Falcon is mixed up with fake jewels and murder at a California resort. There are lots of lovely ladies involved in the mystery, not to mention Elisha Cook Jr. as a creepy late-night DJ who broadcasts from a record-filled room on the top floor of the hotel.

Cook's secret wife is a beautiful nightclub songbird played by Jane Greer, who puts over two nice songs in what certainly sounds like her own singing voice. She would later sing in STATION WEST (1948). She makes a very nice impression in this film, showing the beauty and intriguing personality which would take her to stardom the next year in OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and THEY WON'T BELIEVE ME (1947).

Rita Corday, in her fifth and final FALCON film, is the damsel in distress aided by the Falcon. Jean Brooks, also in the last of her five Falcon films, has a small throwaway role without much to do. It almost seems as though Brooks is hanging around simply because she was in so many films in the series, so that it's expected for her to pop up at some point.

Viewers can also be on the lookout for a couple more of RKO's beautiful contract actresses, with Myrna Dell having a fleeting scene as the Falcon's dance partner and Nan Leslie as the nightclub cashier who sells the Falcon her lunchbox.

This time around the Falcon's righthand man, Goldie Locke, is played by Vince Barnett. The cast also includes Esther Howard, Emory Parnell, Al Bridge, Jason Robards Sr., and Paul Brooks. Brooks' real name was Paul Brinkman; off the screen he was married to Jeanne Crain, with whom he had seven children. This was one of his last films.

THE FALCON'S ALIBI runs 61 minutes. It was directed by Ray McCarey, brother of director Leo McCarey. It was shot by Frank Redman.

This film is available on DVD in a very nice print in the Warner Archive's The Falcon Mystery Movie Collection, Vol. 2.

It's also had a release on Region 2 DVD.

Reviews of the earlier films in the series: THE GAY FALCON (1941), A DATE WITH THE FALCON (1942), THE FALCON TAKES OVER (1942), THE FALCON'S BROTHER (1942), THE FALCON STRIKES BACK (1943), THE FALCON IN DANGER (1943), THE FALCON AND THE CO-EDS (1943), THE FALCON OUT WEST (1944), THE FALCON IN MEXICO (1944), THE FALCON IN HOLLYWOOD (1944), and THE FALCON IN SAN FRANCISCO (1945).

1 Comments:

Blogger barrylane said...

I have both sets of Falcon DVD's and only Tom Conway's likeability survives repeated showings. Not that some of the other performers and don't do well, but there is almost nothing in the material. On the other hand, perhaps stoned and watching repeatedly on a large screen might bring positive results. Something on the order of The Impressionist painters

9:39 AM  

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