The Great Flamarion (1945)

78 mins | Film noir | 30 March 1945

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Dead Pigeon and Strange Affair . The picture marked the debut of William Wilder as a motion picture producer. Wilder, who was sometimes credited as W. Lee Wilder on his later films, was an "eastern industrialist," according to a Sep 1944 HR news item, and was the brother of director Billy ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Dead Pigeon and Strange Affair . The picture marked the debut of William Wilder as a motion picture producer. Wilder, who was sometimes credited as W. Lee Wilder on his later films, was an "eastern industrialist," according to a Sep 1944 HR news item, and was the brother of director Billy Wilder. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Apr 1945.
---
Daily Variety
13 Apr 45
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Feb 45
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 44
p. 4, 17
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 45
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Dec 44
p. 2250.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Jan 45
p. 2277.
New York Times
15 Jan 45
p. 15.
Variety
17 Jan 45
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
SET DECORATOR
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus supv
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "Big Shot" by Vicki Baum in Collier's (19 Sep 1936).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Chita," music and lyrics by Faith Watson
"Lights of Broadway," music and lyrics by Lester Allen
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Dead Pigeon
Strange Affair
Release Date:
30 March 1945
Production Date:
September 1944 at California Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
23 February 1945
Copyright Number:
LP13190
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78
Length(in feet):
7,016
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10519
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1936, a performance in a Mexico City vaudeville hall is interrupted by the sound of gunshots emanating from backstage. After the body of Connie Wallace, one of the performers, is found, the police investigate and arrest Eddie Wheeler, her husband, for strangling her. Following the departure of the police, Tony, the clown, is collecting his stage props when a man with gunshot wounds falls from the rafters. Tony recognizes the man as "The Great Flamarion," a former vaudeville marksman renowned for his skill. Certain that he will die before the police arrive, Flamarion reveals to Tony why he, and not Eddie, murdered Connie: Some time before in Pittsburgh, Flamarion worked the vaudeville circuit, with Connie and her then husband, Al Wallace, as his assistants. Connie, a scheming confidence woman always searching for an angle, tires of Al, who is weak and perpetually drunk. Determined to better her situation by using Flamarion, Connie entraps him in a love affair, seducing him despite his long-standing mistrust of women. While Connie is trying to convince Flamarion that Al must be killed because he will never divorce her, she is also having an affair with Eddie, who does a bicycle act on the same bill with them. One night, Connie finally persuades Flamarion to kill Al, and the following Saturday, Flamarion shoots Al during a performance. The coroner's inquest determines that Al was drunk during the show and that Flamarion killed him accidentally. The love-addled Flamarion wants to leave immediately with Connie, but she tells him that they must wait to avoid arousing suspicion. Instructing him to meet her in Chicago in three ... +


In 1936, a performance in a Mexico City vaudeville hall is interrupted by the sound of gunshots emanating from backstage. After the body of Connie Wallace, one of the performers, is found, the police investigate and arrest Eddie Wheeler, her husband, for strangling her. Following the departure of the police, Tony, the clown, is collecting his stage props when a man with gunshot wounds falls from the rafters. Tony recognizes the man as "The Great Flamarion," a former vaudeville marksman renowned for his skill. Certain that he will die before the police arrive, Flamarion reveals to Tony why he, and not Eddie, murdered Connie: Some time before in Pittsburgh, Flamarion worked the vaudeville circuit, with Connie and her then husband, Al Wallace, as his assistants. Connie, a scheming confidence woman always searching for an angle, tires of Al, who is weak and perpetually drunk. Determined to better her situation by using Flamarion, Connie entraps him in a love affair, seducing him despite his long-standing mistrust of women. While Connie is trying to convince Flamarion that Al must be killed because he will never divorce her, she is also having an affair with Eddie, who does a bicycle act on the same bill with them. One night, Connie finally persuades Flamarion to kill Al, and the following Saturday, Flamarion shoots Al during a performance. The coroner's inquest determines that Al was drunk during the show and that Flamarion killed him accidentally. The love-addled Flamarion wants to leave immediately with Connie, but she tells him that they must wait to avoid arousing suspicion. Instructing him to meet her in Chicago in three months, Connie tells Flamarion that she is going to live with her mother, but actually, she leaves with Eddie for a year-long tour of Central America, during which time they are married. Three months later, Flamarion arrives at the appointed meeting place and is crushed when Connie does not appear. He discovers that the address she gave him for her mother does not exist and then begins searching for her. After Flamarion has lost all his money and has even pawned his prized pistols, he learns from Cleo, another performer, that Connie is in Mexico City with Eddie. Flamarion travels there and confronts Connie in her backstage dressing room. Connie desperately tries to convince Flamarion that it has all been a mistake and that she will go away with him, but the weary marksman knows that she is lying again. Although she wrests his gun away from him and shoots him, he strangles her before climbing to the rafters to hide. His story finished, Flamarion dies in Tony's arms as the police arrive. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.