Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


George Mitchell as the syndicate chief
FALLGUY (1962). Director: Donn Harling.

Young Sonny Martin (Ed Dugan) is driving along the highway one night when he witnesses a car being forced off the road. He comes to the other driver's aid and finds himself at gunpoint, forced to drive to the home of mob doctor Sam Johnson (Don Alderette). The doctor and the would-be victim get into a gun battle, and Sonny flees, eventually telling his story to the police chief (Louis Gartner), who, unfortunately for Sonny, is in the secret employ of newspaper man Carl Tamin (George Mitchell), the syndicate head who ordered the hit in the first place. Sam, Carl, and the cop -- with the aid of a hit man named the Indian -- contrive of a way to not only have Sonny accused of the murder, but be bumped off to boot. Although Ed Dugan has his name above the title, the true star of the film is co-screenwriter George Mitchell, who is fun as the reptilian mob chief who surrounds himself with gals, two of whom have a brief and silly cat fight. There's something vaguely compelling about the movie, which moves fairly briskly for the most part, and has an interesting jazz score by Jaime Mendoza-Nava which actually works well for the film, not always the case with melodramas of this sort. Ed Dugan is introduced with a long dolly shot and initially has a bad boy air that makes him seem interesting and dangerous, but his character turns out to be a bit of a wimp and at times he over-acts. This was his only film appearance. Madeline Frances plays Dr. Johnson's feisty daughter. Most of the people involved in this production did not have careers in movies, Mitchell, Mendoza-Nava, and co-writer Richard DeLong Adams being exceptions.

Verdict: Odd crime drama. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Another one that I have never heard of, but now I have, thanks to you and Great Old Movies! It sounds intriguing! Will catch it when I run across it.

William said...

It's probably on youtube, although lately these things disappear very quickly. However, if this one isn't public domain I'll eat my hat.