The Falcon and the Co-eds (1943)
This seventh film in the Falcon series
This was the second of four Falcon features produced by Maurice Geraghty in which his brother Gerald was a contributing writer; he assisted Ardel Wray with adapting her story based on the Michael Arlen character. In this B crime mystery drama directed by William Clemens Tom Conway plays Tom Lawrence aka The Falcon and actress Isabel Jewell (among others) joins series regulars Jean Brooks Rita Corday and Amelita Ward whereas George Givot joins Cliff Clark and Edward Gargan among the other actors. Ian Wolfe also appears uncredited as an undertaker; Leonard Maltin’s guide also credits Dorothy Malone among the uncredited co-eds.
Jane Harris (Ward) calls the police to ask Detective Bates (Gargan) for the Falcon’s phone number because she wants him to investigate the murder of a professor at her all girls Bluecliff college. Bates responds but is then asked by Inspector Timothy Donovan (Clark) what department he’s in to which the detective responds “homicide”. But as usual the Falcon will lead the investigation and the police will fade into the background (in this one more so than in others in the series).
Once on campus the Falcon goes by Tom Lawrence insurance investigator to keep the as-yet-unknown suspects from knowing that he’s looking into the professor’s death as if it weren’t accidental as the death certificate had been signed by the college’s psychology professor Dr. Graelich (Givot). The doctor tells Lawrence that the cause of death was actually suicide and that he was trying to cover it up to prevent a scandal at the request of the school’s headmaster Miss Keyes (Barbara Brown). But Bates too is soon found dead by fencing sword a death foreseen by a mysterious and psychic student named Marguerita Serena (Corday) which adds school play producer Vicky Gaines (Brooks) to the list of suspects. Another curious ever-present person is the music teacher Mary Phoebus (Jewell).
Comic relief is provided by the three Ughs Miss Bates’s precocious nieces who must stay on campus played by Nita Hunter aka Juanita Alvarez Ruth Álvarez and Nancy McCollum.