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The Fallen Sparrow

The Fallen Sparrow(1943)

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The opening credits feature the following written prologue: "...in a world at war many sparrows must fall..." According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, RKO purchased the rights to Dorothy Hughes's novel for $15,000 as a vehicle for Maureen O'Hara. Other pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter mentioned that Anna Lee, Barton MacLane and Walter Kingsford were to be in the cast, however, they are not in the viewed print. Although the CBCS lists Russell Wade as "Ab Hamilton," the character "Ab" in the film was named "Ab Parker" and was played by Bruce Edwards. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, RKO planned to promote Wade from a bit role to the part of "Ab" because of his performance in Bombardier. The studio was prevented from expanding Wade's part, however, because of the actor's prior committments to The Leopard Man and Gildersleeve's Bad Day. Although a Hollywood Reporter production chart includes Wade in the cast, it is unclear whether he was filmed in the part of "Ab" and later replaced by Edwards, appeared in a minor role or did not appear at all in the completed film. Although Sam Goldenberg's character is named "Prince deNamur" in CBCS, he is addressed as "Prince Francois St. Louis" in the film's dialogue.
       This picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Score. According to modern sources, RKO traded its rights to Of Human Bondage and The Animal Kingdom to Warner Bros. in exchange for the services of John Garfield in this picture and Joan Leslie for The Sky's the Limit. Maureen O'Hara and Walter Slezak reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on February 14, 1944, co-starring Robert Young.