Even worse, RKO took Chandler's now-acclaimed novel and adapted it as The Falcon Takes Over (1942), a "B" detective film. It was the third entry in the Falcon film series, based on a gentleman detective created by Michael Arlen in a 1940 short story. In fact, the film's opening credits state the screenplay was "based on the character created by Michael Arlen" and then in smaller letters, it includes "From the novel Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler."
|George Sanders as The Falcon,|
with Lynn Bari.
For anyone who has read Chandler's novel or has seen the superior 1944 adaptation Murder, My Sweet, it's jarring to see George Sanders' upper-class detective filling in for Marlowe. Marlowe's cynical first-person narrative and the seedy settings have been replaced with lighthearted title music and a bumbling assistant named Goldy (Allen Jenkins) who provides comic relief.
|Brothers Tom Conway and George|
Sanders, with Jane Randolph.
|Why didn't Helen Gilbert|
get better roles?
The supporting cast in The Falcon Takes Over also includes Turhan Bey as the fake psychic (foreshadowing his role in The Amazing Mr. X), James Gleason as a police detective, and Hans Conrad (who is unbilled).
A third version of Farewell, My Lovely (with that title, for a change) appeared in 1975 with Robert Mitchum as Marlowe. It earned generally positive reviews, although I was less enthused, principally because Mitchum seemed at least a decade too old to be playing Chandler's detective.