Wednesday, June 3, 2020

THE FALCON TAKES OVER - "The Moose & Velma Show Part 04" (1942)

Tonight's Wednesday Weirdness is the fourth and what should be the final segment of shows based on Raymond Chandler's novel, "Farewell, My Lovely." I guess if I ever planned anything I would have done them in chronological order, but that's a different story!

Proving to be a very versatile story, "Farewell, My Lovely" is able to change lead characters at will. "The Falcon Takes Over" from 1942 was actually the first film version. Like the other three versions I've shown you, they take the basic story and cherry pick what details they choose to use!

I guess when you consider Raymond Chandler's methodology, it all makes great sense, since according to Wikipedia, Mr. Chandler liked to  cannibalize his own stories and "Farewell, My Lovely" was actually a combination of three of his other stories, "Try The Girl," "Mandarin's Jade", and "The Man Who Liked Dogs". 

It kind of all makes sense to me now how the filmmakers were able to pick and choose what parts of the story seemed pertinent to them in each case.
In the book, the story takes place is Los Angeles, but this version is set in New York instead!

It's a little ritzy for my tastes, but this looks like my kind of place!

Big mean Moose Malloy is played by Ward (Wagon Train) Bond in this version! 
Moose looks even bigger when you shoot from the ground up
The character of Moose is one of the few things that is a constant in all these films, but completely different in Chandler's novel. In the movies, Moose is a fairly dapper dresser, but in the book, he's described thusly!

"He wore a shaggy borsalino hat, a rough gray sports coat with white golf balls on it for buttons, a brown shirt, a yellow tie, pleated gray flannel slacks and alligator shoes with white explosions on the toes. From his outer breast pocket cascaded a show handkerchief of the same brilliant yellow as his tie. There were a couple of colored feathers tucked into the band of his hat, but
he didn’t really need them."

"Even on Central Avenue, not the quietest dressed street in the world, he
looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food." - Raymond Chandler

And even though this Moose isn't dressed as flamboyantly as that description, he's still not dressed well enough to fit in with the crowd in this upper-crust club!

Moose picks The Falcon's unwilling buddy Goldy Locke to be his getaway driver!
Goldy is played by Allen (Singin' In The Corn) Jenkins. Allen was also Officer Dibble's voice in the "Top Cat" cartoon TV series!

First I read that Ward Bond was 6'6", but Google has him at 6'1" and IMDB says he was 6'2".
George Sanders was almost 6'3" himself!

The "lady with a face like a bucket of mud" is played this time by Anne (The Devil Commands) Revere.

A very young Ringo Starr makes an appearance as Marriot. Actually, of course, this is everybody's favorite piano teacher, Hans (Fractured Flickers) Conried!

Looks like you could expect Dracula to show up any second!

Lovely Lynn (The Amazing Mr. X) Bari has the role of Ann Riordan.

At least being a ravishing blonde was an accurate portray from the book for the role by Helen (Girls In Prison) Gilbert! Being beautiful wasn't enough for Helen, she was also a performing cellist!

The always mysterious Turhan Bey is the phony psychic Jule Amthor.

I couldn't find Allen Jenkins' height anywhere, but he looks like he was at least a foot shorter than Ward Bond!

Velma, Velma, Velma!
This gal has caused more problems lately!

George Sanders is always great as The Falcon Gay Lawrence, but he's not so good as filling Philip Marlowe's shoes. George Sanders is so proper and debonair, I don't think they were able to use even one line of Philip Marlowe's. Forgetting all that, and adding the fact that it's a comedy of sorts, it's still a fun movie to watch on it's own. Just don't try comparing it to the other versions!


K said...

This is cool, seeing how many versions were turned out from the same basic storyline! In the sci-fi movie world, the same thing (uncredited of course) can be said of something like Wells' THE TIME MACHINE: CAPTIVE WOMEN, WORLD WITHOUT END, BEYOND THE TIME BARRIER, THE TIME TRAVELERS, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME, on and on...and I'm sure I'm missing a few!

EEGAH!! said...

Yep! A good idea goes a long way!

Unknown said...

You ought to do a similar exercise with "The Maltese Falcon." There were several versions of that one, too, including one with Bette Davis. But John Huston's version (his directorial debut, if I remember correctly) was the one that really gave us the "real" Sam Spade with Bogey in the role.

EEGAH!! said...

Thanks. Good idea, but I'm not feeling that vigorous!

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