On the eve of his marriage, a young man's fiance disappears. He hires a private detective to help him track her down, but soon finds himself entangled in a web of lies, intrigue and murder ...
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In the 7th of Columbia's "Whistler" series, truck-firm owner Steve Reynolds gets involved in a feud with a rival firm, and shortly thereafter is slugged by a masked assailant who steals the... See full summary »
The fifth entry in the Columbia series based on the CBS radio program, "The Whistler", opens with kindly old music store owner Edward Stillwell (Paul E. Burns) hiring private detective Don ... See full summary »
A drifter claims the money in an old bank account. Soon he finds himself the target of two men who turn out to be the sons of the man's old partner, who is now in prison because of a ... See full summary »
The 4th film of the Columbia series based on the CBS radio program, "The Whistler", finds wealthy John Sinclair, with no health or friends, being advised by his doctor to take a long ... See full summary »
An artist married to a wealthy but ill woman begins an affair with one of his models, who is after him solely for his money. His wife discovers the affair and threatens to cut him out of ... See full summary »
Tom Cochrane (Leo Penn'), full of dope (cocaine) and covered with blood, is picked up by the police and then questioned by detectives Shannon (Douglas Fowley) and Taylor (Harry Strang), but... See full summary »
On the eve of his marriage, a young man's fiance disappears. He hires a private detective to help him track her down, but soon finds himself entangled in a web of lies, intrigue and murder revolving around his fiance's dead ex-husband and his wealthy, corrupt family.Written by
The "Whistler" series of mysteries in the 1940s was one of the immediate ancestors of "film noir." The stories were usually dark, the characters were morally ambiguous, and the shadowy, anonymous narrator ("I am the Whistler") added an extra touch of creepiness.
This last entry in the series is different from the others. It's lighter, in both senses of the word. Though it's an adequate "B" mystery, it's no grimmer than an Agatha Christie film.
The difference is partly due to the writing and directing, but the absence of Richard Dix, the aging former star who played the leads in the previous films, is a big factor. Dix had a "noir" persona if ever there was one. He looked like a man haunted by the past and worried about the future. Here he's replaced by fresh-faced young Michael Duane, who just doesn't have the same gravitas.
The plot is a variation on a familiar theme. A man's new fiancée vanishes, and he quickly realizes how little he really knows about her. The more he learns what seems to be the truth, the more it makes sense simply to forget all about her, but he can't get past the feeling that somebody is lying to him.
The mystery woman is played by Lenore Aubert, who was sort of the poor man's Hedy Lamarr in the 1940s. She's supposed to be a French widow here, though she doesn't sound terribly French. (She was actually born in Slovenia and raised in Austria, and her Gallic-sounding screen name was dreamed up by Hollywood.)
This is a decent little crime story, but it's not representative of the "Whistler" movies. If you don't happen to like it, at least give another film in the series a look.
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