6.7/10
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25 user 14 critic

The Fallen Sparrow (1943)

In 1940, a former prisoner is determined to find the killer of the New York Police Lt. who helped him escape from a Nazi torture camp in Spain.

Director:

Richard Wallace

Writers:

Warren Duff (screen play), Dorothy B. Hughes (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Garfield ... John 'Kit' McKittrick
Maureen O'Hara ... Toni Donne
Walter Slezak ... Dr. Christian Skaas
Patricia Morison ... Barby Taviton
Martha O'Driscoll ... Whitney 'The Imp' Parker
Bruce Edwards ... Ab Parker
John Banner ... Anton
John Miljan ... Inspector 'Toby' Tobin
Hugh Beaumont ... Otto Skaas
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Storyline

A former Spanish Civil War prisoner, John McKittrick arrives in New York to find the truth behind the death of his friend Louie Lepetino. He finds himself being chased by Nazi agents who want an item he has brought back from Spain and cannot give up. When another of his friends is murdered, McKittrick realizes that he cannot trust anyone around him - not anyone. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian

Release Date:

23 November 1943 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Beijo da Traição See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martha O'Driscoll is listed in the records as "Whitney Hamilton," but she is called Whitney Parker (Ab Parker's cousin) in the film. See more »

Goofs

The Bust which is knocked through the window and crashes out on the street appears in it's original position in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

John 'Kit' McKittrick: [Last Lines] Another sparrow fell.
Inspector 'Toby' Tobin: So long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "...in a world at war many sparrows must fall ... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Exhumed (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Nightclub Song
Sung by Martha O'Driscoll (dubbed by Martha Mears)
See more »

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User Reviews

Stylish
26 December 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Lushly mounted espionage thriller that rivets the eye even when the narrative meanders. It's the great RKO artistic team of Musuraca, Silvera, and D'Agostino setting the stage for noir's post-war golden period, foreshadowed here by the rich b&w landscape. Garfield's a shattered veteran of the Spanish Civil War, tortured by the fascists and a mysterious limping man. Now he's back in New York trying to regain stability and find out who killed his best friend. Along the way, he meets up with sinister European types and the beauteous O'Hara looking like she stepped off a 1942 Vogue cover. Turns out everybody, including the limping man, is trying to get possession of a regimental battle standard whose whereabouts only Garfield knows. Needless to say, at times the storyline could use a road map to follow. But that's okay because the appeal lies elsewhere, as in the shadowy characters and photography.

Note how effectively Garfield's moments of derangement are highlighted by the musical score and the astute close-ups. Those penetrating few moments are hauntingly expressed as they reach into Kit's (Garfield) tortured "subjective" reality. The actor delivers in spades in a difficult role requiring that he be in about every scene. The movie's also an eye-full for the guys with three knockout leading ladies. However, despite her looks, I think the normally vivacious O'Hara is miscast, a little too stiff and impassive for the subtleties required by her character. On a different note, the limping man's dragging foot adds a creepy sound to the sinister atmosphere and is what I remember most from seeing the film as a kid. Anyway, the movie's an unusual thriller with a really great "look" that stands up well over the decades.


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