6.5/10
735
28 user 10 critic

The Whistler (1944)

A depressed man hires an assassin to kill him when he least expects it, but when his life takes an upward turn, he finds he now wishes to live.

Director:

William Castle

Writers:

J. Donald Wilson (based on the CBS Radio Program by), Eric Taylor (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Richard Dix ... Earl C. Conrad
Gloria Stuart ... Alice Walker
J. Carrol Naish ... The Killer
Alan Dinehart ... Gorman
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Storyline

A man, despondent over the death of his wife, wants to commit suicide but can't bring himself to do it. He hires a man to hire a professional killer to do the job. However, he soon finds out that his wife isn't really dead - but the man he paid to hire the hitman is, and he has no idea who the man hired or how to get him to call off the hit. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHOCKS YOU SENSELESS! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film series is based on the radio program "The Whistler" that aired on the CBS radio network from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955. See more »

Goofs

While the killer is lying on the bed perusing his book on Fear of Death, a cigarette suddenly appears in his mouth. See more »

Quotes

The Bum in the Next Bed: Rats in this place as big as beavers. They won't hurt ya... but you're liable to trip over them in the dark.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

User Reviews

 
quintessential "b"
17 January 2004 | by goblinhairedguySee all my reviews

Before he became a producer and conjured up all those publicity gimmicks for his cheesy horror pictures, William Castle churned out a series of nifty little pictures as a director for Harry Cohn's B unit -- including the immortal "When Strangers Marry". "The Whistler" is a clever noir that tackles the old premise of a despondent man hiring a contract killer to murder him, only to change his mind later. Castle provides a higher standard of mise-en-scene than in most pictures of this ilk, with nice camera movement and grungy, realistic sets. The absurd plot twists and lapses of logic stretch credulity to the utmost -- but that's one of the "beatitudes of the B's" (as Andrew Sarris would say). It's surprising that Cornell Woolrich was not the original author, so close is the atmosphere to his oeuvre. Dix is a bit of a cipher, but Naish is as compelling as always in another offbeat role as the philosophical hit man who suffers from fear of death; plus there are plenty of familiar faces in minor roles. The mysterious omniscient Whistler narrator is effective, if somewhat underused here. Castle went on to direct two even better entries in the series.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Whistler See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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