Fall Guy (1947)

62 or 64 mins | Mystery | 15 March 1947

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HISTORY

Cornell Woolrich's short story "C-Jag" was reprinted as "Cocaine" in Black Mask in Jan 1947. Fall Guy marked the first lead role of actor-director Leo Penn (1921--1998), who previously had appeared in bit roles. He was credited onscreen and in reviews as Clifford Penn, a name that he used only for this film. Penn was the father of actors Sean and Chris Penn.
       In two separate HR production charts, Bob Pierce and Robert Penn are listed as principal cast members, but it is possible that both names actually refer to Clifford Penn. HR news items add Brooks Benedict, Paul Gustine, Mike Lally and Roy Bross to the cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been ... More Less

Cornell Woolrich's short story "C-Jag" was reprinted as "Cocaine" in Black Mask in Jan 1947. Fall Guy marked the first lead role of actor-director Leo Penn (1921--1998), who previously had appeared in bit roles. He was credited onscreen and in reviews as Clifford Penn, a name that he used only for this film. Penn was the father of actors Sean and Chris Penn.
       In two separate HR production charts, Bob Pierce and Robert Penn are listed as principal cast members, but it is possible that both names actually refer to Clifford Penn. HR news items add Brooks Benedict, Paul Gustine, Mike Lally and Roy Bross to the cast, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Mar 1947.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1947.
---
Film Daily
7 Mar 47
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 46
p. 12, 20
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Nov 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 46
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 46
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 47
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
23 Nov 46
p. 48.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Tech dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Jr.
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the short story "C-Jag" by Cornell Woolrich in Black Mask (Oct 1940).
SONGS
"Tootin' My Own Horn," words and music by Edward J. Kay and Eddie Cherkose.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 March 1947
Production Date:
8 November--early December 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 March 1947
Copyright Number:
LP943
Physical Properties:
Silent with sound sequences
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
62 or 64
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Soon after a man stumbles out of a New York telephone booth and falls unconscious on the street, he is found by a passing policeman. Because the man is clutching a bloody knife, he is taken to a police hospital, where, upon awakening, he is questioned by detectives. Still under the influence of cocaine, the man, Tom Cochrane, is unable to respond, but manages to slip out of the hospital undetected. Later, Tom's estranged fiancée, Lois Walters, receives a telephone call from Tom's brother-in-law, Mac McClane, with whom Tom lives, apprising her of Tom's disoriented state. Although her guardian, Jim Grossett, disapproves of Tom, a drifting ex-serviceman, Lois insists on going to Mac's to see him. When she arrives at Mac's, she overhears Tom confessing to Mac, a police detective, his fears that, while under the influence of cocaine, he killed a woman. After Lois pledges her love, Tom struggles to recall his recent activities: The heavy drinking Tom goes to a wild party with a man he met in a bar and drinks with an attractive singer. He soon begins to feel a "crazy glow" and falls into a daze. Sometime later, he awakens and finds himself alone in the apartment. While groping for the way out, Tom opens a closet door and discovers a woman's corpse inside. Tom then picks up a knife and a key near the closet and stumbles out to the phone booth, where he collapses. After Tom finishes his story, Mac insists that he return to the police, but Lois convinces Mac to conduct his own investigation while Tom is still free. Before ... +


Soon after a man stumbles out of a New York telephone booth and falls unconscious on the street, he is found by a passing policeman. Because the man is clutching a bloody knife, he is taken to a police hospital, where, upon awakening, he is questioned by detectives. Still under the influence of cocaine, the man, Tom Cochrane, is unable to respond, but manages to slip out of the hospital undetected. Later, Tom's estranged fiancée, Lois Walters, receives a telephone call from Tom's brother-in-law, Mac McClane, with whom Tom lives, apprising her of Tom's disoriented state. Although her guardian, Jim Grossett, disapproves of Tom, a drifting ex-serviceman, Lois insists on going to Mac's to see him. When she arrives at Mac's, she overhears Tom confessing to Mac, a police detective, his fears that, while under the influence of cocaine, he killed a woman. After Lois pledges her love, Tom struggles to recall his recent activities: The heavy drinking Tom goes to a wild party with a man he met in a bar and drinks with an attractive singer. He soon begins to feel a "crazy glow" and falls into a daze. Sometime later, he awakens and finds himself alone in the apartment. While groping for the way out, Tom opens a closet door and discovers a woman's corpse inside. Tom then picks up a knife and a key near the closet and stumbles out to the phone booth, where he collapses. After Tom finishes his story, Mac insists that he return to the police, but Lois convinces Mac to conduct his own investigation while Tom is still free. Before Mac's superior, Inspector Shannon, shows up at the apartment, Tom and Lois sneak out the back and hide in a movie theater. Although Shannon suspects that Mac is protecting Tom, he allows him to go, hoping that he will lead him to Tom. Mac throws Shannon off his trail, however, and with Tom in tow, returns to the bar where Tom met the friendly stranger. Just as Tom remembers that the stranger's name was Joe, he sees the singer leaving the bar and runs after her. Tom loses the singer in the subway, but then recalls that Joe had identified himself as an elevator operator. After an exhaustive search, Tom and Mac locate Joe and coerce him into revealing the location of the hotel where the party took place. There Mac questions the couple who hosted the party, but gathers no useful information from them. As Mac is concluding his interrogation, he sees Joe standing across the street. Joe, who had previously eavesdropped on a phone call that Mac made to Lois, is then pushed in front of a car and killed. Noticing the neon sign for the neighboring hotel, Tom suddenly realizes that the couple's apartment was not the one in which he found the body, but was on the floor above. At that deserted apartment, Tom and Mac find the corpse in the closet and confirm that the victim was not the singer, but a similar-looking woman. Before Tom and Mac can leave, Shannon arrives, but Tom manages to escape and flees in Lois' car. After Mac is arrested, Lois, who left Tom at an all-night theater, is interrogated by the police but reveals nothing. Tom then returns to the bar to search for the singer, but leaves discouraged moments before she shows up with her boyfriend Mike. The singer, Marie, confesses to Mike that she was hired by a gentleman to ply Tom with drinks at the party and that the man had ordered her to pay off Joe and leave town. Marie also reveals that she has been unable to contact their mutual friend Patty, an addict who got her drugs from the gentleman. Feeling edgy, Marie leaves the bar with Mike just as Tom returns, having been alerted to her presence by the bartender. Tom tries to follow Marie, but is knocked unconscious by Mike. In her apartment, Marie is then strangled by Jim, the mysterious gentleman, who had questioned the unsuspecting Lois about Mac's investigation and was aware of Tom's movements. Jim flees out the window when Mike, hearing screams, breaks down the door. Tom shows up next and discovers Jim on the roof. After Jim tries to shoot Tom and the two men fight, Mike kills Jim in a rage. Later, Lois admits that she was oblivious to her guardian's jealousy of Tom, and also was unaware that he was a drug addict who was being blackmailed by Patty. With Jim implicated in Patty's murder, both Tom and Mac are cleared, and Lois happily anticipates her upcoming marriage to Tom. +

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

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