The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

62-63 or 67 mins | Drama | 29 May 1942

Director:

Irving Reis

Producer:

Howard Benedict

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Editor:

Harry Marker

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Feild Gray

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Falcon Steps Out . A HR production chart adds Willie Fung and Edward Dunn to the cast and credits Jerry Cady with original screenplay, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. This was Howard Benedict's last production for RKO before moving to Universal. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and See Entry for The Gay Falcon . The Raymond Chandler novel also served as the basis for the 1944 RKO film Murder My Sweet (see above). The 1974 Avco Embassy film Farewell My Lovely , starring Robert Mitchum and Charlotte Rampling and directed by Dick Richards, was also based on the Chandler ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Falcon Steps Out . A HR production chart adds Willie Fung and Edward Dunn to the cast and credits Jerry Cady with original screenplay, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. This was Howard Benedict's last production for RKO before moving to Universal. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and See Entry for The Gay Falcon . The Raymond Chandler novel also served as the basis for the 1944 RKO film Murder My Sweet (see above). The 1974 Avco Embassy film Farewell My Lovely , starring Robert Mitchum and Charlotte Rampling and directed by Dick Richards, was also based on the Chandler novel. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 May 1942.
---
Film Daily
11 May 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 42
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 May 42
p. 646.
New York Times
30 May 42
p. 9.
Variety
6 May 42
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (New York, 1940) and characters created by Michael Arlen.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
The Falcon Steps Out
Release Date:
29 May 1942
Production Date:
early November--1 December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 May 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11354
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
62-63 or 67
Length(in feet):
5,680
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8056
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

As Jonathan "Goldy" Locke waits outside Club 13 for his boss, Gay Lawrence, the debonair sleuth known as "The Falcon," he is accosted by Moose Malloy, a threatening hulk who asks if he knows "Velma." When Goldy replies in the negative, Moose, who has returned for Velma after a five-year separation, strong-arms his way into the office of Montgomery, the club's manager. After gunshots are fired in Montgomery's office, Moose flees the club, jumps into Goldy's car and orders him to drive. Soon after, Gay arrives at the club and is met by police inspector Michael O'Hara. The coroner declares that Montgomery died of a broken neck, and when Moose's fingerprints are found in the office, he becomes O'Hara's prime suspect. O'Hara tells Gay that Moose has just broken out of jail after serving five years of a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. Consequently, when Goldy returns from his ride with Moose, the police arrest him as an accomplice to murder, but release him after questioning. When Goldy tells Gay that Moose forced him to drive to an address in Brooklyn, the detective proceeds to the house, where he is confronted by the hulking Moose. To avoid Moose's wrath, Gay pretends to be drunk, and Moose steals his car and drives away. Gay then enters the house, where Jessie Florian is shouting hysterically into a telephone, demanding protection from Moose. Jessie is instructed to send Moose to a certain address, which she writes down on a piece of paper. When Gay questions Jessie about Velma, she explains that Velma is dead, but that before she died, she worked at ... +


As Jonathan "Goldy" Locke waits outside Club 13 for his boss, Gay Lawrence, the debonair sleuth known as "The Falcon," he is accosted by Moose Malloy, a threatening hulk who asks if he knows "Velma." When Goldy replies in the negative, Moose, who has returned for Velma after a five-year separation, strong-arms his way into the office of Montgomery, the club's manager. After gunshots are fired in Montgomery's office, Moose flees the club, jumps into Goldy's car and orders him to drive. Soon after, Gay arrives at the club and is met by police inspector Michael O'Hara. The coroner declares that Montgomery died of a broken neck, and when Moose's fingerprints are found in the office, he becomes O'Hara's prime suspect. O'Hara tells Gay that Moose has just broken out of jail after serving five years of a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. Consequently, when Goldy returns from his ride with Moose, the police arrest him as an accomplice to murder, but release him after questioning. When Goldy tells Gay that Moose forced him to drive to an address in Brooklyn, the detective proceeds to the house, where he is confronted by the hulking Moose. To avoid Moose's wrath, Gay pretends to be drunk, and Moose steals his car and drives away. Gay then enters the house, where Jessie Florian is shouting hysterically into a telephone, demanding protection from Moose. Jessie is instructed to send Moose to a certain address, which she writes down on a piece of paper. When Gay questions Jessie about Velma, she explains that Velma is dead, but that before she died, she worked at Jessie's husband's nightclub, which has since been taken over by the Club 13. Before leaving the house, Gay glances at Jessie's note paper, on which he sees the address 415 Morton Avenue. Upon returning to his apartment, Gay receives a call from Quincy W. Marriott, who hires him to deliver some ransom money for a stolen jade necklace. Gay agrees to deliver the money to a deserted graveyard, but when he gets out of the car, Marriott grabs Gay's gun and shoots him, after which Marriott is shot by an unseen assailant, who speeds into the night. At that moment, Ann Reardon, a reporter who has been trailing Gay, steps out from behind some bushes and helps the detective to his feet. Explaining that the gun was loaded with blanks, Gay searches Marriott's coat pockets and finds a business card from psychic consultant Jules Amthor, of 415 Morton Avenue. Gay asks Ann to track down the stolen neckalce, and when she reports that it belongs to socialite Diana Kenyon, Gay visits Diana and makes a date to meet her at the Swan Club later that night. While he visits Diana, Gay sends Goldy to Amthor's address. As Goldy is admitted to the psychic's chambers, Moose arrives, the lights go out and shots are fired. When the lights are turned back on, O'Hara, who has followed Goldy, enters and upon discovering Amthor's dead body, threatens to arrest Goldy for murder unless he cooperates with the police. That night, Goldy and Gay return to Jessie's house and discover that her neck has been broken. After deducing that Jessie sent Moose to Amthor's to be killed, Gay finds a signed photo of Velma, but when he examines the signature, he realizes it is written in Jessie's hand. Gay confiscates the photo and returns to his apartment, where he meets Ann, who has spent the day at police headquarters investigating the records of the Moose Malloy case. Gay becomes intrigued when Ann tells him that the police think that Moose pleaded guilty to the manslaughter to protect Larry Burnett, the owner of the Swan Club. That night, when Gay meets Diana at the Swan Club, he asks for an introduction to Burnett. When Gay shows the photo of Velma to Burnett, Diana claims she saw her dancing at a road house and offers to drive Gay there. As her chauffeur drives them along a deserted country road, Diana pulls a gun on Gay, who calmly calls her Velma and says that he knew the photo was a fake because of the forged signature. Gay accuses Diana, Amthor, Burnett and Marriott of being involved in a blackmail scheme, concluding that Diana shot first Marriott, because he was weak, and then Jessie, because she knew too much. When Diana orders her chauffeur to pull over, Moose, who supplanted Diana's chauffeur and has overheard Gay's entire conversation, jumps out of the car and confronts Diana. She shoots him and is about to turn the gun on Gay when Ann, who has followed the car, drives up. Diana becomes startled by the sound of Ann's car backfiring, and Gay seizes her gun and arrests her. With Diana in jail, Goldy is exonerated of murder and Ann gets her scoop. Gay is about to leave the squadroom to meet his fiancée when a glamorous woman asks for his help and he comes to her aid. +

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.