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directed by Lothar Mendes
USA 1946


Several shady characters in pursuit of an elusive but fabulous treasure, la The Maltese Falcon, is an all but sure-fire formula for success (sure, sometimes it misfires: See The Argyle Secrets). The Walls Came Tumbling Down is no black bird, but neither is it an unpaired old sock. It's an entertainingly cheesy, semi-hard-boiled mystery with Humphrey Bogart's gumshoe replaced by ace reporter Lee Bowman, who apes the long-in-the-tooth, desperately debonair style of the first filmed Sam Spade, Ricardo Cortez.

He's on the scene along with the cops when his old parish priest appears to have hanged himself in the rectory. The discreet cover story fed to the press is a heart attack, but Bowman knows it's not mortal sin but murder. (There's some anticipation, in this homicide of a holy man, of the much better Red Light of three years later.) But who would want to kill the beloved old rector?

Dressed to the nines, in slithers Marguerite Chapman (who never made it to a really good movie), claiming to be an old chum of the padre from San Francisco, an alibi Bowman quickly pierces by getting her to confabulate about Bellini's Restaurant on 3rd and Broadway in the city by the bay, which of course is nonexistent.

Other unbidden visitors show up, too. George Macready as a phoney missionary, accompanied by his horror of a wife (Katherine Emery) and worse horror of a goon (Noel Cravat), seeks a pair of Bibles the murdered priest had in his possession. Equally eager to lay hands upon the Good Books are J. Edward Bromberg, posing as Chapman's unhinged father, and his legal custodian Edgar Buchanan. All the fuss about the Bibles owes to their concealing clues to the whereabouts of a lost masterpiece, Leonardo Da Vinci's 'The Walls of Jericho'....

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 7 June 1946 (USA)

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Sony Pictures

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:54

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: June 3rd, 2014
Keep case

Chapters 8





The Walls Came Tumbling Down is a little B thriller from Columbia pictures that owes a lot to The Maltese Falcon as a number of shady characters are looking for 2 bibles with whereabouts of the last masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci. Lee Bowman makes a likable protagonist and Marguerite Chapman is beautiful, but she's no Mary Astor. George Macready is especially memorable as a shady missionary trying to get the bibles all to himself. Sony Pictures released the film on made-on-demand single-layered disc as part of Choice Collection. The company proves themselves as providing the best restorations for most of their MOD releases. There is very minimal damage and the contrast is excellent, with very healthy grain. The mono audio is on par with image quality, with no distortion or damage. There are no extras or menu screens and the film is divided into 8 chapters. The film is entertaining and the release is recommended for adventurous noir fans who have seen all the classics.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

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Sony Pictures

Region 0 - NTSC



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