For review of all TV Shows / Movies in which the cast of Perry Mason TV Show (aired from 1957-1966) with Raymond Burr as Perry Mason acted in, go here.
Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: All in all playing two contrasting roles in these two films, Hale proved why she became a successful Della Street 13 years later in the Perry Mason television show. She is absolutely charming and pretty as a picture.
Here is the next movie in the series that has one of the main casts from the 1950s and 1960s American television legal drama series Perry Mason, one of my favorite shows. In fact I am posting about a pair of movies in the Falcon Detective series in which Barbara Hale played key roles.
The Falcon Out West
The first one is the 1944 American mystery film, The Falcon Out West, the fifth in the film series with Tom Conway as The Falcon, but 8th in the entire series. It was directed by William Clemens, produced by Maurice Geraghty and released by RKO Pictures. The film stars Tom Conway, Barbara Hale and Joan Barclay in the lead.
The plot was written by Billy Jones and Morton Grant based on the characters created by Michael Arlen. The murder is set in Texas. Ms. Irwin (portrayed by Joan Barclay) approaches Tom Lawrence aka The Falcon (portrayed by Tom Conway) to stop her ex-husband Tex Irwin (portrayed by Lyle Talbot) wedding to a gold digger. But The Falcon gets tangled in a murder in The Lone Star state aka Texas. I missed the beginning of the film so there is only the film poster, courtesy of Google.
In this film, Barbara Hale plays the part of Marian Colby, daughter of Tex’s partner Dave Colby (portrayed by Minor Watson). In fact before The Falcon shows interest in her, she is considered as one of his murder suspects. This is her second credited role in films. She looks charming, lush and beautiful riding a horse in this film.
Tom Conway became The Flacon in the fourth movie, the 1942 American crime drama film The Falcon’s Brother where he is introduced as Gay Lawrence’s (portrayed by George Sangers) brother Tom Lawrences, and the baton passes on to Tom as The Falcon when Gay is murdered. In real life George Sanders and Tom Conway are birth brothers. He is suave, intuitive sleuth working as a freelance adventurer as The Falcon.
Sadly there was poor depiction of Indians. Just like in any other films when you don’t know the culture of the other tribe or group, depiction is based on mis-heard information.
The Falcon in Hollywood
The second film is the 1944 American crime film, The Falcon in Hollywood, the seventh in the film series with Tom Conway as The Falcon, but 10th in the entire series. It was directed by Gordon Douglas who produced it along-side Maurice Geraghty and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The film stars Tom Conway, Barbara Hale, Jean Brooks and Rita Corday in the lead.
The screenplay is written by Gerald Geraghty based on the characters created by Michael Arlen. The Falcon comes to Hollywood in this story. Tom Lawrence aka The Falcon(portrayed by Tom Conway) is touring the Hollywood studios when he finds the corpse of a leading man. He starts investigating the murder and he doesn’t have any short of suspects. This was one of the successful films in the series.
In this film, Barbara Hale plays the part of a young starlet Peggy Callahan. She is on the wrong side of the law this time and again one of the murder suspects. She gets second billing in the credits. Two contrasting roles she plays in both these films, and she is at ease with her dialogue delivery and acting capabilities.
Notice female cab driver, Billie Atkins (portrayed by Veda Ann Borg, courtesy of WWII when man power shortage was there.
All in all playing two contrasting roles in these two films, Hale proved why she became a successful Della Street 13 years later in the Perry Mason television show. She is absolutely charming and pretty as a picture.
- The Falcon Out West:
- This was the fifth and final film in the Falcon series for Cliff Clark who portrayed the role of Police Inspector Timothy Donovan.
- This is the seventh and final film in the series for Edward Gargan who portrayed the role of Homicide Detective Bates. He is seen always eating in the film in every scene. Reminded me of Brad Pitt in the Oceans series where he is also shown always eating.
c. I love the beautiful dress Hale wears in a barbecue scene. Gosh if I could replicate it.
d. This the last but one film for Joan Barclay who played the role of Mrs. Irwin.
Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
- The Falcon Out West:
- Bates pants are already muddy when he is climbing on to the stagecoach. But he sits on the floor afterwards.
- In the long shot you see Bates opening the front door twice. And in the close-up he opens again before calling for The Falcon.
- The Falcon in Hollywood:
- Falcon takes a cab driven by Billie. In the beginning she is driving and he is in the back seat. There is a conversation where he asks her to pull over on account of her reckless driving. Then when they reach the Sunset Pictures studios he is seen driving, and she is getting out from back seat. So looks like a scene must have been cut where they exchange their places.
- When the murder weapon is discovered, both Falcon and Inspector McBride hold it with bare hands rendering it useless for fingerprints.