George Sanders is the Falcon, an upper crust society-type who is also a private investigator. He seems to also have a way with the ladies (a la James Bond). However, in this film, a rendering of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, the Falcon is really Philip Marlowe, so there's a bit of dissonance: Marlowe was never so suave. Indeed, Dick Powell's Marlowe in the superior Murder, My Sweet (1944) is far more lived in and grungy. He also gets beat up a fair bit which doesn't happen to the Falcon; instead Sanders has a sidekick played by Allen Jenkins who takes the various beatings from Moose Malloy and also provides comic relief by getting into trouble. This moves the film into the more formulaic territory of the mystery serials (e.g., Charlie Chan, Dick Tracy, Mr. Moto, Sherlock Holmes, etc.) which were generally lighter fare. But somehow the Chandler text elevates the picture to something more than the usual "guess the murderer before he/she is identified by the sleuth" mystery - it is a little more confusing, less straightforward, more interesting. George Sanders' star power is more than evident but he's still an odd droll character - who thought he should be the hero? That said, I fully approve of him and the film was fine.