Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Whistler Movie Series: #1 The Whistler 1944 6 out of 10

The Whistler was a film noir movies series consisting of 8 films in total from 1944-1948 that were released by Columbia Pictures.  Each film begins with a mysterious character known as the Whistler seen as a shadow on the wall serves as a shadowy narrator of the tales that focus on crime stories.  It was originally a radio drama in the 1930's and 1940's.  Actor Richard Dix played the main character in the first 7 movies in which he played a different character in each film.  I was wondering why he wasn’t in the final film  so I looked up him up on IMDB and noticed that he had about 100 credits to his name.  He died at age 56 shortly after retiring.  The 8th film in the series starred Michael Duane as the main character taking over for Dix.  When watching some of these old movie series it feels like watching a TV Show, especially with the short running times of barely over an hour.

 1.  The first film in the series The Whistler from 1944 was directed by William Castle of gimmicky horror movie fame.  It features Richard Dix as an Industrialist whose wife was lost at sea that is so filled with guilt that ends up hiring a hit man to kill him.   He then finds out his wife is still alive --but is unable to call off the hit because the person he hired the killer from has passed away.   He diguises himself as a bum to try and hide from his killer. The movie is basically a cat and mouse tale with Dix character in a panic not knowing who is trying to kill him.  Richard Dix plays paranoid well. It was an enjoyable little mystery film- but not one of the best of this series.

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