The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

Ward Bond in The Falcon Takes Over (1942)

The Falcon is Bond's Man

As Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke (Allen Jenkins) waits outside Club 13 for his boss to show up, the burly Moose Malloy (Ward Bond) arrives looking for his girl Velma who had worked at the club before Moose did time and before the club changed its name. When Moose barges in to the manager's office he leaves shortly after with the manager left dead on the floor with his neck snapped and forces Goldy to drive him to an address. That is enough for Gay Lawrence (George Sanders) who whilst his girlfriend is away will do some sleuthing. It brings him in to contact with broads, reporters and a close shave with Moose as well as some double crossers.

With the camera aimed upwards Ward Bond as Moose Malloy is an imposing sight to open "The Falcon Takes Over" with and with Bond giving him a direct, brutish manner this is not someone you would want to get on the wrong side of. Sadly after Bond's good opening "The Falcon Takes Over" quickly goes down hill for me and the root of its problems lies in its source material. You see this movie is a version of Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely" which just two years later would be turned in to the more impressive "Murder, My Sweet" starring Dick Powell. The trouble is that Chandler's story is a dark twisted thriller which works well as such but not turned in to a light weight Falcon movie with scenes of comedy.

But the irony of this is that the likes of Sanders, Jenkins, Bari and Gilbert are all on fine form and in many ways the comedy in this is snappier than in the previous movies. Yet it feels out of place used with Chandler's story of intrigue which in turn makes "The Falcon Takes Over" actually a bit of a slog. Slog may be the wrong word but basically it doesn't gel and feels like it is fighting itself over what it should be,

What this all boils down to is that "The Falcon Takes Over" ends up a straight down the middle movie with some fun scenes and also some dramatic scenes but unfortunately the two don't always work well together.