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Movie Critique - The Falcon's Brother

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: Another typical Falcon movie but with a more badder version of him, and more wittier. A good mystery to watch on a lazy day.

The Falcon's Brother is a 1942 American crime drama film directed by Stanley Logan, produced by Maurice Geraghty, and released by RKO Radio Pictures Inc. The lead stars include George Sanders, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Don Barclay and Cliff Clark among others. This was the fourth of the 16 movies made in the series. Screenplay for this film was provided by Stuart Palmer and Craig Rice. 

Gay Lawrence "The Falcon" (portrayed by George Sanders, his side-kick Lefty (portrayed by Don Barclay) and his brother Tom Lawrence (portrayed by Tom Conway) get embroiled in a couple of murders connected to a Latin American cruise ship, a fashion show and espionage. They are trailed by several law enforcement agencies and Marcia Brooks (portrayed by Jane Randolph), a reporter, while they try to solve the mass murders. 

The Falcon was the alias for fictional detective Gay Stanhope Falcon created by Michael Arlen, appearing first in Arlen's 1940 short story The Gay Falcon published in Town & Country magazine. RKO brought The Falcon on to screen in 1941 with The Gay Falcon based on the short story mentioned above. Although in the film The Falcon's real name was Gay Lawrence.

George Sanders played the part of The Falcon. RKO was considering The Falcon movies as replacement for Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar aka The Saint. Sanders was already portraying The Saint, so it was an easy transition for RKO to put him as The Falcon. A total of 16 movies were made in the series of which Sanders did three, Conway did 9 and in one, this film, both were in the cast.

Falcon is a suave English gentleman with a weakness for women. After being The Flacon in the first three films, Sanders wanted to move on to more bigger roles in A films. So he brought in Tom Conway aka Thomas Sanders, his real-life brother, as The Falcon's fictional brother, Tom Lawrence. It's a pity that the filmmakers kill Sanders' Falcon to bring Conway's Falcon to life.

The opening credits have a silhouette of a man with a walking stick, a cigar and a top hat shown on the left side of the title card. Then they roll on a background of a ship coming into dock. 

Tom Conway was older brother of George Sanders, but they looked so much alike that they could be passed off as fraternal twins. There are references to the previous Falcon film, The Flacon Takes Over released in 1942 in the film. 

Jane Randolph who becomes famous with her role of Alice Moore in the 1942 Cat People, released a month after this film; and the 1944 The Curse of the Cat People, is in the supporting capacity of reporter Marcia Brooks. She is quick-witted and ambitious in her role.

The film portrays more of Tom Conway's Tom Lawrence setting the series to have Conway as The Falcon, naturally. However, one cannot miss the debonair action of his brother Sanders' Gay Lawrence. I must say though that Conway impressed me more as Falcon than Sanders. Sadly due to addiction to alcohol, despite having a successful career on radio, TV and film, Conway's career slowly dropped and eventually faded as his alcoholism increased.

One Falcon goes, and another Falcon rises; a premise followed in the plot from the beginning to the end. But Tom is almost as bad as Gay, and funner actually. Another typical Falcon movie but with a more badder version of him, and more wittier. A good mystery to watch on a lazy day.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Movie Trivia:

a. George Sanders and Tom Conway also acted together in another film, the 1956 Death of a Scoundrel. They play brothers in this film as well.

2) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:

a. Lefty throws the poisonous cigars from the car window on to the road. Wouldn’t anyone pick them up and get poisoned themselves if they smoke? Not an efficient way of disposing off something that were dangerous.

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