Paul Guilfoyle, John Calvert, Janis Carter, Richard Dix, and Matt Willis in The Mark of the Whistler (1944)


(director: William Castle; screenwriters: George Bricker/based on the story Dormant Account by Cornell Woolrich; cinematographer: George Meehan; editor: Reg Brown; music: Wilbur Hatch; cast: Richard Dix (Lee Nugent), Janis Carter (Patricia Henley), Porter Hall (Joe Sorsby), Paul Guilfoyle (‘Limpy’ Smith), John Calvert (Eddie Donnelly), Otto Forrest (The Whistler), Matt McHugh (Tom, Reporter), Matt Willis (Perry Donnelly), Willie Best (Men’s Room Attendant), Howard Freeman (M.K. Simmons); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rudolph C. Flothow; Columbia; 1944)

Suspenseful film that’s derived from the popular Whistler mystery radio show.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

William Castle (“When Strangers Marry”/”Strait-Jacket”/”The Old Dark House”), noted as the gimmicky filmmaker, directed a few episodes in the Whistler series. Castle ably directs this suspenseful film about a cheat, that’s derived from the popular Whistler mystery radio show. It’s based on the story Dormant Account by Cornell Woolrich. The screenplay is written by George Bricker.

The drifter Lee Nugent (Richard Dix) poses as the owner of an unclaimed dormant bank account, someone he almost shares the same name as. But Lee’s new identity brings him more trouble than he can imagine, as he inherits with his new identity the real claimant’s dark secrets from the past and becomes the target of two violent disgruntled men. The men are the sons seeking revenge because their father went to jail in his conflict with his partner over the money. Somehow Lee gets out of the jam and later befriends the real owner of the dough, a crippled peddler (Paul Guilfoyle). How the twisty film ends, keeps the viewing guessing until the end.

Like all the films in the Whistler series it’s narrated by the unseen, shadowy Whistler (Otto Forrest).