The Falcon (radio)

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The Falcon
Genre Mystery-detective drama
Running time 30 minutes
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates
  • Blue Network
  • Mutual
  • NBC
Starring
  • Berry Kroeger
  • James Meighan
  • Les Tremayne
  • Les Damon
  • George Petrie
Announcer
  • Ed Herlihy
  • Jack Costello
Written by
  • Gene Wang
  • Bernard Dougall
  • Jay Bennett
Directed by
  • Carlo De Angelo
  • Richard Lewis
  • Stuart Buchanan
Produced by Bernard L. Schubert
Original release April 10, 1943 – November 27, 1954
Sponsored by

The Falcon radio series premiered on the Blue Network on April 10, 1943, continuing on NBC and Mutual until November 27, 1954.[1] Some 70 episodes were produced.

Background[edit]

"Drexel Drake" (a pseudonym of Charles H. Huff) created Michael Waring, alias the Falcon, a free-lance investigator and troubleshooter, in his 1936 novel, The Falcon's Prey. It was followed by two more novels (The Falcon Cuts In, 1937 and The Falcon Meets a Lady, 1938) and a 1938 short story. In 1941, RKO made a movie, The Gay Falcon, based on a 1940 short story, "Gay Falcon," by Michael Arlen, renaming Arlen's Gay Stanhope Falcon as Gay Lawrence aka the Falcon. It became a film series, and its popularity led eventually to the radio series. No explanation for the nickname was ever mentioned in any of the dramatizations. The Michael Waring Falcon was also the hero in three late 1940s movies starring John Calvert, and a television series starring Charles McGraw.[2]

Characters and story[edit]

James Meighan portrayed the Falcon from 1945 to 1947.
Ken Lynch and Les Damon in a broadcast of The Falcon

Like the Falcon film series, the radio plots mixed danger, romance and comedy in equal parts. Each show began with a telephone ringing and Michael Waring, the Falcon, answering the phone. Speaking with a woman whose voice was never heard, Waring would explain that he had an urgent situation in which he had to deal with criminals. This led into the standard opening, followed by the week's tale of adventure. Often, incompetent police were unable to solve the mysteries without his help.

Actors[edit]

The program's characters and the actors who played them are indicated in the table below.

Character Actor
The Falcon
(Michael Waring)
Berry Kroeger (1943)
James Meighan (1945–47)
Les Tremayne (1947–1950)
Les Damon (1950–1953)
George Petrie (1953–1954)
Nancy Joan Banks
Elspeth Eric
Joan Alexander
Sergeant Johnny Gleason Mandel Kramer
Sergeant Corbett Ken Lynch

Source (except for years): Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows[3]

Those heard in supporting roles included Robert Dryden, Ethel Everett and Everett Sloane.[4] Russ Dunbar and Ed Herlihy were the announcers. The organist was Bob Hamilton, with Emerson Buckley and Harry Sosnik as orchestra leaders. Bernarld L. Schubert was the producer.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Pp. 239-240.
  2. ^ Smith, Kevin Burton; "The Falcon (Michael Waring, Gay Stanhope Falcon, Gay Lawrence, Tom Lawrence)"
  3. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4. Pp. 112-113
  4. ^ Cox, Jim (2002). Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age. McFarland. pp. 32–34. ISBN 9781476612270. Retrieved 5 August 2016.

External links[edit]