The Falcon in Mexico (1944)

2013 #77
William Berke | 67 mins | download | 4:3 | USA / English | PG*

The Falcon in Mexico“In our peaceful country, life is very seldom in danger,” states one character halfway through The Falcon in Mexico, just one of many instances that might make you think the film was co-funded by the Mexican tourist board. Oh sure, there’s the usual array of thefts and murders that you’d expect from a Falcon adventure, but they’re mostly committed by Americans. No, the film on the whole is very keen on the place, and the quality of its police, and even ends with a shot of a poster proclaiming “Visit Mexico!”

That’s something the production team didn’t do, incidentally, recreating it via some surprisingly good rear-projection (a few times I actually wondered if they had gone for a jolly after all) and intercut documentary footage (rumoured to have been shot for Orson Welles’ unfinished documentary about Brazil, which sort of became It’s All True).

As for the story, it’s one of the more convoluted plots the series has come up with, all to do with apparently-new paintings by a supposedly-dead artist. I confess I actually found it a little hard to keep track of, especially once it all starts getting explained in hefty scenes of speedy exposition towards the end. The Falcon is observedWhat I did make out was grandly far-fetched — more so than normal, I mean. Considering the tone and style of the series, it’s kind of OK that most of the plot’s explanations are not even close to plausible in the real world. On the bright side, it does make for another genuine mystery (I should stop praising the series for this now, all the films do it).

It all adds up to another entertaining outing for the Falcon, with a pleasantly different international flavour.

3 out of 5

* As with the vast majority of the Falcon series, The Falcon in Mexico hasn’t been passed by the BBFC since its original release. Nonetheless, it’s available on DVD, rated PG. ^

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