The Falcon Takes Over
|The Falcon Takes Over|
|Directed by||Irving Reis|
|Produced by||Howard Benedict (producer)
J. R. McDonough (executive producer)
|Written by||Raymond Chandler
|Screenplay by||Lynn Root
|Music by||Constantin Bakaleinikoff
(musical director, composer)
Roy Webb (original music)
|Edited by||Harry Marker|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures (theatrical)|
|Release dates||May 29, 1942|
|Running time||65 minutes|
The Falcon Takes Over, also known as The Falcon Steps Out, is a 1942 black-and-white mystery film directed by Irving Reis. The film was the third, following The Gay Falcon and A Date with the Falcon (1941), to star George Sanders as the character Gay Lawrence, a gentleman detective known by the sobriquet the Falcon.
Though the film featured the Falcon and other characters created by Michael Arlen, its plot was taken from the Raymond Chandler novel Farewell, My Lovely, with the Falcon substituted for Chandler's archetypal private eye Philip Marlowe and the setting of New York replacing Marlowe's Los Angeles beat. The film was the first adaptation of a Marlowe story – despite Farewell, My Lovely being written after Chandler's The Big Sleep (1939), in which the character was introduced.
Critic Louis Black, in a 1999 article for The Austin Chronicle, wrote that the film "had none of the atmosphere of Chandler's book" and recommended instead the later adaptation, Murder, My Sweet (1944).
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- George Sanders as Gay Lawrence aka The Falcon, an amateur detective
- Lynn Bari as Ann Riordan, a reporter
- James Gleason as Inspector Mike O'Hara, head of the homicide squad
- Allen Jenkins as Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke, Lawrence's assistant
- Helen Gilbert as Diana Kenyon, a lady friend of Marriot
- Ward Bond as Moose Malloy, an escaped convict
- Edward Gargan as Bates
- Anne Revere as Jessie Florian, murder suspect
- George Cleveland as Jerry
- Harry Shannon as Grimes
- Hans Conried as Lindsey Marriot, a dandyish socialite
- Turhan Bey as Jules Amthor
- Charlie Hall as Swan Club Waiter Louie
- Selmar Jackson as Laird Burnett
- Mickey Simpson as Bartender
- Barra, Allen (September 1, 2002). "Cover Story; Reinventing the American Mystery Story". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved October 18, 2009.
- Newman, Bruce (August 29, 2002). "Storied writer's novels, screenplays take up residence on TCM.". San Jose Mercury News.
The studios had so little interest in the character that in the first two movie adaptations of Chandler's books, he was replaced. When RKO bought the screen rights to Farewell, My Lovely, the studio made a craven bid to cash in on the popularity of the Warner Bros. hit The Maltese Falcon, turning Marlowe into a detective called the Falcon (played by George Sanders) and releasing the movie with the title The Falcon Takes Over.
- Black, Louis (July 9, 1999). "Scanlines: Murder, My Sweet". The Austin Chronicle.
- Profile of The Falcon Takes Over, accessed March 6, 2014.
- M. A. (July 8, 1942). "Movie Reviews". St. Petersburg Times.
- The Falcon Takes Over at the Internet Movie Database
- The Falcon Takes Over at AllMovie
- The Falcon Takes Over at the TCM Movie Database