I started watching this,unknown to me,thriller not expecting much, but what a pleasant surprise I got. The plot is interesting, the dialogue smart and snappy, the pace is fast and the cast do well.
There are quite a few similarities to THE MALTESE FALCON. Instead of a priceless Falcon, there is a priceless Leonardo Da Vinci painting; LEE BOWMAN is a political journalist but spends the whole film investigating the murder of his old friend, a parish priest; Bowman’s name in the film is “Archer”; Bowman’s secretary is played by LEE PATRICK, very much in the Falcon style.
The people looking for the missing painting (called ‘The Walls of Jericho) know that the clues to where the painting is are in two bibles. With a few murders along the way, GEORGE MACREADY, J.EDWARD BROMBERG,EDGAR BUCHANAN and MARGUERITE CHAPMAN pursue the quest.
THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN obviously hasn’t the star power or the directorial expertise of John Huston, but I liked it a lot and wish the Film Noir Foundation would take an interest in it, with a view to restoration.
Lee Bowman was a pleasant surprise too. I liked his style.
In 1944 ,the Suspense radio series did a half hour version of the story, starring Keenan Wynn. ( from the novel by Jo Eisinger.)
The film was German director Lothar Mendes’s last film.