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Fallen Sparrow
     

The Fallen Sparrow

Director: Richard Wallace, John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak

Cast: Richard Wallace, John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak

 
John Garfield was borrowed from Warner Bros. by RKO Radio for the tense espionage melodrama The Fallen Sparrow. Garfield is cast as Kit, an idealistic Spanish Civil War veteran who survives two torturous years in a fascist prison. Upon returning to New York, Kit is pounced upon by Nazi agents, who hope to learn the valuable secrets that Kit would not reveal to

Overview

John Garfield was borrowed from Warner Bros. by RKO Radio for the tense espionage melodrama The Fallen Sparrow. Garfield is cast as Kit, an idealistic Spanish Civil War veteran who survives two torturous years in a fascist prison. Upon returning to New York, Kit is pounced upon by Nazi agents, who hope to learn the valuable secrets that Kit would not reveal to his captors during his ordeal. Among the methods of persuasion utilized by the Nazis is the beautiful Toni (Maureen O'Hara in a masterpiece of against-type casting). But Kit is made of stronger stuff than the spies are used to, and eventually he is able to beat them at their own game. Walter Slezak costars as the mellifluous-but-deadly Dr. Skaas. The Fallen Sparrow was based on the best-selling novel by Dorothy B. Hughes.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although it suffers from a muddled script, The Fallen Sparrow emerges as a more than decent little spy thriller mixed with film noir. That Sparrow ultimately triumphs over its often-vague screenplay is a testament to the towering central performance of John Garfield. One of the era's most intense actors, Garfield tended to throw himself wholeheartedly into a role, usually working with a dedication and commitment that are inspiring. He's in total command and control in Sparrow, taking every tortured twist and turn of his character's psyche and playing it for all it's worth. In other hands, this could become self-indulgent and lead to serious overacting; but Garfield is too interested in creating a character rather than an effect, and so he is at all times true to the demands of the drama here, rather than to ego. Walter Slezak] is also in good form, if not working on Garfield's exalted level. Maureen O'Hara, however, is simply miscast. Richard Wallace finds opportunity to utilize his camera and an array of shadows to create chilling effects. Were the screenplay more artfully written, Sparrow would be a solid classic, rather than the good-but-flawed film it is.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/05/2009
UPC:
0883316165294
Original Release:
1943
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
13,802

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Garfield John "Kit" McKittrick
Maureen O'Hara Toni Donne
Walter Slezak Dr. Skaas
Patricia Morison Barby Taviton
Martha O'Driscoll Whitney Parker
Bruce Edwards Ab Parker
John Banner Anton
John Miljan Inspector Tobin
Sam Goldenberg Francois de Namur
Hugh Beaumont Otto Skaas
Patti Brill Actor
Jack Carr Danny
André Charlot Pete
William Edmunds Papa
Edith Evanson Nurse
James Farley Bartender
Martin Faust Chef, Carlo's Cafe
Fely Franquelli Gypsy Dancer
Erford Gage Roman
Rosina Galli Mama
Bud Geary Cab Caller
Rita Gould Dot
Mary Halsey Bits
Joseph King Desk Sergeant
Mike Lally Taxi Driver
Margaret Landry Actor
George Lloyd Sgt. Moore
Charles Lung Carlo
Miles Mander Dr. Gudmundson
Billy Mitchell Porter
Nestor Paiva Jake
Lee Phelps Cop
Russell Powell Priest
Stanley Price Caterer
Al Rhein Man
George Sherwood G-Man
Margie Stewart Actor
Russell Wade Flower Clerk
Lillian West Receptionist
Eric Wilton Butler
Jane Woodworth Actor
Stella LeSaint Woman in Street
Babe Green Actor
Symona Boniface Guest

Technical Credits
Richard Wallace Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Warren B. Duff Screenwriter
Robert M. Fellows Producer
Mark-Lee Kirk Art Director
Harley Miller Set Decoration/Design
Nick Musuraca Cinematographer
Van Nest Polglase Production Designer
Sam Ruman Asst. Director
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Edward Stevenson Costumes/Costume Designer
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Roy Webb Score Composer
Robert Wise Editor

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