Movie Tuesday: The Falcon Out West (1944)

After loving The Gay Falcon a few weeks ago, I decided to watch another Falcon movie this week: The Falcon Out West.

The Falcon Out West

This time the suave gentleman detective was played by Tom Conway, who was the older brother of George Sanders who played the detective in the earlier movies. I didn’t actually realise until afterwards that they were different people so I guess the brothers were fairly similar in the role! Apparently Sanders played the role for three years before bowing out and handing the role over to his brother.

While the original Falcon actor voiced Shere Khan in Disney’s Jungle Book, Tom Conway voiced a collie who offers the dalmatians shelter in a barn in 101 Dalmatians.

The Falcon Out West predictably centers around investigations on a ranch in Texas after a cattle baron is murdered with an apparent rattlesnake bite in a New York nightclub.  It features the beautiful Carole Gallagher as the victim’s fiance and Barbara Hale (who later played Della Street in Perry Mason) as a horse-riding Texan girl.

The Falcon Out West

The lovely, but deadly, Carole Gallagher

The movie has a good plot, but I was put off by the amount of casual Cowboys-and-Indians racism which was sprinkled throughout the movie. A 1940s movie audience might not have batted an eyelid at this, but it made me feel distinctly uncomfortable. Tom Conway played the detective valiantly but just didn’t have the same easy charm that his brother did, making his weakness for anything in a skirt more than a little frustrating.  I felt like throwing something at the telly when he confronted the murderess by flirting audaciously with her and seeming totally unaware of her murderous intentions.

The Falcon Out West

Della Street, back in her young cowgirl days

All in all, this movie is perhaps one which is best left in the 1940s. Some movies transcend the decades without a problem, but this one didn’t so much. Take a look at this clip ad let me know what you think of it all…

You can also watch the whole movie her on archive.org if you like. I’d love to know what you thought of it!

  • http://cakesandcakesvintage.blogspot.com cakesandcakesvintage

    The casual racism in a lot of old movies can be so offputting. I really want someone to re-edit Breakfast at Tiffany’s so I don’t have to deal with Mickey Rooney in yellowface.

    • http://weheartvintage.co/ Mary, WHV

      It’s been a long time since I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s – it was always beautifully stylish but I never liked it because she was unkind to her cat. I never noticed the casual racism at the time but I probably would now *sigh* On the plus side I still love ‘An Affair To Remember’ and I don’t think that has any casual racism in it at all. Just the wonderful Cary Grant and lots of lovely romance :)