The Falcon’s Adventure (1946)

2014 #31
William Berke | 59 mins | download | 4:3 | USA / English | PG*

The Falcon's AdventureThe final Falcon film to star Tom Conway (three more were made a few years later, but there seems to be debate about whether that was the same character) sees our avian-monikered detective planning to take a fishing holiday… until he can’t resist saving a damsel in distress and gets dragged in to a plot involving kidnap, theft, and murder. I think I saw someone jaywalking too, so it’s a veritable hotbed of criminality.

After 13 films the series could be getting tired, but in fact remains as entertaining as ever. Chief among the joys are Conway, as effortlessly suave and droll as always, and Edward S. Brophy, resuming the role of the Falcon’s more hysterical sidekick, Goldie. The MacGuffin is a formula for manufacturing diamonds, which gives plenty of people a motive to rob and kill. But who is connected to who — how big is the conspiracy our heroes face? And that probably makes it sound a tad more dramatic than it actually is.

The best sequence comes on a train from New York to Miami, where the Falcon and Goldie help out a female passenger who seems to be being stalked by another lecherous chap. Without meaning to give anything away, it’s quite nice to see the Falcon’s reputation — which seems to precede him in every film — being used against him. Unless he’s one step ahead of those who are a step ahead of him, of course…

Crocodile gun-deeThe Falcon’s Adventure is a terribly generic title for a film that isn’t the series’ very best, but is a solid upper-end instalment. They’re mostly quite formulaic films, naturally, but Adventure gets the mix right with some good sequences and gags. As the last film it doesn’t represent much of a conclusion, but then they didn’t really go in for big “series finales” back then, did they.

3 out of 5

* As with the vast majority of the Falcon series, The Falcon’s Adventure hasn’t been passed by the BBFC since its original release. Nonetheless, it’s available on DVD, rated PG. ^

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