Falcon and the Co-eds


The Falcon and the Co-eds

William Clemens
USA, 1943
67min, OF

© Viennale

The Falcon and the Co-eds

William Clemens
USA, 1943
, 67min, OF

Tom Conway
Jean Brooks
Rita Corday
Amelita Ward
Isabel Jewell
George Givot
Cliff Clark
Ardel Wray
Gerald Geraghty
Michael Arlen
J. Roy Hunt

RKO Pictures
16 mm

THE FALCON AND THE CO-EDS is the best of the films in the Falcon series because it has the least do with the Falcon, instead focusing on several female characters. The touch of screenwriter Ardel Wray, who wrote or co-wrote four films produced by Val Lewton, is undoubtedly decisive in giving the film its strong Lewtonesque flavor, to which the main-title music, lifted from Roy Webb’s score for I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, and the recurrence of a seashore location from that film, also contribute, as does the casting of Jean Brooks and Isabel Jewell, whom Lewton had previously teamed in both THE LEOPARD MAN and THE SEVENTH VICTIM. The Falcon films constantly assert that woman is incomprehensible and ever apt to make mountains out of molehills; man, as incarnated by Tom Conway (who inherited the Falcon role from his brother, George Sanders), is imperturbable and immaculate and trivializes everything. THE FALCON AND THE CO-EDS doesn’t so much overturn this structure as explore it from a female point of view. Always a mild and restrained actor, Conway disappears into THE FALCON AND THE CO-EDS even more than usual. After the film is over, it’s hard to remember him, as if he hadn’t been in it, as if it had been a film entirely of women. (Chris Fujiwara)