The Fallen Sparrow (1943)

the fallen sparrow 1943

John Garfield gives a great performance in this intricate story involving a ring of enemy agents in New York. TV fans be on the lookout for John “Sgt.Schultz” Banner as musician Anton and Hugh “Ward Cleaver” Beaumont using  a German accent as Otto.

John “Kit” McKittrick (John Garfield) escapes from a POW camp in Spain. He’s resting at a ranch in Arizona. He reads in a month old newspaper about his best friend Louis who died from a fall from a window. He doesn’t buy it and goes to New York to investigate. Louis was the one who helped him escape after Kit smuggled a letter out to him.

On the train he accidentally bumps into a woman. They’ll meet again. New York Inspector Tobin says it was an accidental fall. No help there. Kit stays at his friend  Ab Parker’s place while Ab has to go to Washington. Before he leaves he takes Kit to see society dame Barby (Patricia Morison). It was at her party where Louis fell.

At this gathering he meets Norwegian refugee Dr.Christian Skass (Walter Slezak) and his nephew Otto (Hugh Beaumont). Skass tells Kit he’s studying methods of torture from the ancients up to the present day.

Ab takes him to a nightclub owned by Louis’ brother. That’s where Ab’s sister Whitney performs as a singer. Her accompanist is Anton (John Banner).

That night in Ab’s apartment Kit is haunted by the sound of a limping man dragging his foot. That’s the sound he heard in the prison camp just before he was taken for a torture session. In his pocket he finds Louis’ wallet with the letter Kit sent. He’ll figure out later who put it there.

Earlier at Barby’s gathering Kit couldn’t take his eyes of Toni Donne (Maureen O’Hara). He goes to the hat shop where she works and tries to take her to lunch. No deal. Later he sends her flowers. Now it’s off to dinner. He also meets her Grandfather the Prince.

Kit is suspicious of almost everybody. One night in Ab’s apartment he’s attacked by Anton. He gets the best of him and finds out he was allowed to escape and has been watched ever since. Anton says Kit has something the Nazi’s want. He tosses Anton out and then Ab’s butler. Now he hears the sound of a dragging foot. Later it’s a gunshot. It’s Ab dead on the floor. Looks like he shot himself.

From here on out the revelations start. To me the major flaw in the movie is the identity of the limping man is very obvious but the performances of Garfield and Slezak make it even more obvious why you should see this one.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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