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The Whistler

The Whistler(1944)

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NOTES

powered by AFI

This was the first entry in Columbia "Whistler" series. Although not conceived as part of a series, audience reaction to this film was so favorable that the studio decided to produce more "Whistler" pictures, according to Hollywood Reporter. The series, which was based on a popular CBS radio series of the same name, consisted of eight films. The last entry was the 1948 film The Return of the Whistler. Richard Dix starred in all but the last film, but portrayed a different character in each, sometimes playing the hero and sometimes the villian. William Castle directed four entries in the series. Each film in the series began with the shadowy figure of "The Whistler," who would whistle a haunting tune and declare "I am the whistler, I know many strange tales." He would then introduce the story. The voice of The Whistler would also close each story, revealing the fate of the protagonist.
       The radio series, which began in 1942, was developed by J. Donald Wilson, who also wrote the first entry of the film series. That series also featured the haunting theme music written by Wilbur Hatch and the framing device of The Whistler. In the radio series, Bill Forman, Marvin Miller, Joseph Kearns and Everett Clark spoke the words of The Whistler, who was never a participant in the drama, but rather a narrator and commentator. Except for Otto Forrest, the actor who portrayed The Whistler in the films was not identified by contemporary sources. From 1954 to 1955 Joel Malone produced an anthology series called The Whistler for the CBS television network. In that series, Bill Forman spoke the lines of The Whistler. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index.