FALCON AND THE CO-EDS, THE (director/writer: William Clemens; screenwriters: Gerald Geraghty/Ardel Wray/Michael Arlen/from the story by Ardel Wray; cinematographer: J. Roy Hunt; editor: Theron Warth; cast: Tom Conway (Tom Lawrence), Jean Brooks (Vicky Gaines), Rita Corday (Marguerita Serena), Amelita Ward (Jane Harris), Isabel Jewell (Mary Phoebus), George Givot (Dr. Anatole Graelich), Ruth Álvarez/ Juanita Alvarez/Nancy McCollum (The Three Ughs), Cliff Clark (Timothy Donovan), Ed Gargan (Bates), Barbara Brown (Miss Keyes), Ian Wolfe (Eustace Herley, Undertaker); Runtime: 68; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Maurice Geraghty; RKO; 1943)
“This seventh film in the Falcon series is a very enjoyable programmer.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This seventh film in the Falcon series is a very enjoyable programmer. It’s based on a story by Ardel Wray (worked regularly with Val Lewton in such good films as I Walked with a Zombie, Leopard Man, Isle of the Dead), who also works on the screenplay with a team of other writers. William Clemens (“Devil’s Island”/”The Falcon in Danger”) does a workmanlike job in his direction, while cinematographer J. Roy Hunt does an outstanding job capturing the atmosphere of fear on the campus of an elite girls’s college.
Society sleuth Tom Lawrence (Tom Conway), better known as the Falcon, is called onto the Blue Cliff Seminary for Girls campus by coed Jane Harris (Amelita Ward), whose famous actress mom romanced him some three years ago. Jane believes the recently deceased popular literature Professor Jamison did not die of a heart attack, as stated on his death certificate, but was murdered. The Falcon learns that Jane’s roommate, Marguerita Serena (Rita Corday), an hysterical girl with psychic ability had predicted Jamison’s death and will later predict the fencing death of the school’s dean, Miss Keyes (Barbara Brown). The second death makes it easy to believe the first one was also murder. The suspects range from the secretively married European psychology teacher, Anatole Graelich (George Givot ), the high-strung fencing/drama teacher Vicky Gaines (Jean Brooks), who attracted the love interst of both Jamison and Graelich, lonelyheart music teacher Mary Phoebus (Isabel Jewell) and, of course, the psychic. The trail of murder brings homicide chief Timothy Donovan and his dim-witted sidekick Bates to the campus. For comedy relief, the caretaker’s three young precocious daughters, known as the Three Ughs, are always together and in uniform, and pop up every now and then to play a part in the mystery.
There’s even poetry in this snappy film; it takes a sample from one of Jamison’s poems dedicated to Vicky Gaines, that goes like this: “He who wears loneliness, wears armor.”
It leads to the exciting climactic scene, which takes place on a dangerous cliff overlooking the ocean.
REVIEWED ON 9/19/2007 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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