VOICE OF THE WHISTLER
(director/writer: William Castle; screenwriter: Wilfred H. Petitt/story by Allan Radar; cinematographer: George Meehan ; editor: Dwight Caldwell; music: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco; cast: Richard Dix (John Sinclair / John Carte), Lynn Merrick (Joan Martin Sinclair), Rhys Williams (Ernie Sparrow), James Cardwell (Fred (Doc) Graham), Tom Kennedy (Ferdinand / Hammerlock), Doouglas Wood (Paul Kitridge – Attorney), Egon Brecher (Dr. Rose), Gigi Perreau (Bobbie); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rudolph C. Flothow ; Columbia; 1945)
“Juicy crime drama based on the popular radio series of the 1940s.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
William Castle(“The Tingler”/”13 Ghosts”/”Macabre”) co-writes with Wilfred H. Petitt this juicy crime drama based on the popular radio series of the 1940s. The story is by Allan Radar. This is the fourth film in the eight film Whistler series, in which Castle directed half of them.
Warning: spoiler alert.
The ruthless industrialist millionaire John Sinclair (Richard Dix) collapses in a cab from a mild heart attack and the kind-hearted ex-fighter cabbie, Ernie Sparrow (Rhys Williams), takes the unidentified man to the local slum clinic. While being treated, the lonely Sinclair falls in love with his pretty nurse Joan (Lynn Merrick) and lies to her that he has only six months to live, but tells her his real name and about his wealth. Joan is engaged to a poor intern, Fred Graham (James Cardwell), but greedily succumbs to Sinclair’ offer to go away with him for six months when he promises that he will leave her his vast amount of money. She tells the intern they will reunite in six months all the richer and he reluctantly goes along with her cold plan. The couple move to a remote lighthouse in Maine, and the cabbie is hired as the handyman. She can’t stand the isolation and the loveless marriage, but makes it through the six months. When the intern visits her at that time, she again starts up her affair with him. Things get eerie when Joan learns Sinclair lied to her about his illness, and the jilted fiancé tries to kill Sinclair but is instead killed in the trap the sinister industrialist sets for him. His death is made to look like an accident. At the trial, the truth comes out about Sinclair’ lies and he’s sentenced to the electric chair when his wife testifies that hubby set up her lover by inciting him to try and kill him. In the end, Joan lives sadly alone in the lighthouse, pining for her deceased true love, but at least she inherits the money she coveted.
REVIEWED ON 9/23/2014 GRADE: B