THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943). Director: Richard Wallace.
John Garfield enters Alfred Hitchcock territory with mixed results in this story of John "Kit" McKittrick (Garfield), who escaped from a Spanish prison and has something [the "MacGuffin"] that Nazi agents are after. In New York he investigates the death of a close friend who fell or was pushed from an upper story window during a party. Kit gets embroiled with three women: Toni Donne (Maureen O'Hara); old girlfriend Barby (Patricia Morison); and young singer Whitney (Martha O'Driscoll), none of whom he can trust any more than the men he encounters. Then there's the mysterious limping man who was a torturer in the Spanish prison and is now skulking around New York [his identity comes as no great surprise]. Garfield, Morison and O'Hara are all fine, and Walter Slezak scores as a strange professor in a wheelchair. Nestor Paiva [Mr. Reckless] and Hugh Beaumont [Larceny in Her Heart] have small roles as well. The movie is only sporadically interesting and can hardly be considered one of Garfield's more interesting pictures. What this needs is Alfred Hitchcock and a stronger script.
Verdict: Watch Body and Soul instead. **1/2.