Whistling in Brooklyn


1h 27m 1943
Whistling in Brooklyn

Brief Synopsis

A radio sleuth infiltrates the Brooklyn Dodgers to solve a murder.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Mystery
Release Date
Dec 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,824ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

After New York police inspector Holcomb discovers the slain body of Sergeant Malcolm in a Sheepshead Bay lighthouse, he concludes that the policeman was killed by the mysterious "Constant Reader," whose typed note led authorities to the spot. As with three previous murders about which Constant Reader has written, the note describes the crime scene in exact detail. Soon after, government reformer Grover Kendall criticizes Holcomb for his failure to solve the string of murders and gives him another Constant Reader note. This one directs the police to the body of a long-missing gangster. While dredging up the body from the Hudson River, Holcomb hears a broadcast of The Fox radio show, in which the crime-solving "Fox," played by Wally Benton, discusses a fictitious "murder" letter. Because Wally's fictitious letter bears a striking resemblance to the latest Constant Reader note, Holcomb declares Wally the killer. Before the police find him, however, Wally and his bride-to-be and co-star, Carol Lambert, are accosted in Wally's dressing room by cub reporter Jean Pringle. Jean, who was alerted to the performers' impending elopement by Chester, Wally's dim-witted assistant, begs to accompany them on their honeymoon, but Wally and Carol refuse. Chester, an aspiring publicist, then casually tells Jean that Wally is Constant Reader, making Jean all the more determined to follow the couple. Just as Wally is about to leave with Carol and Chester, the police show up to arrest him. Thinking that they have been sent by his co-workers as a prenuptial gag, Wally teases the police and is startled when they begin shooting at him. Confused, Wally flees in his car with Carol and Chester, an ex-convict who confesses that, as a publicity stunt, he wrote the last Constant Reader note on Wally's typewriter with information he had acquired from his old gangster friends. After Wally, Carol and Chester finally stop at a Brooklyn warehouse, Wally sends Chester to arrange a peaceful surrender with the police. Unknown to Chester, his call is overheard by someone at the station, who alerts gangster Creeper and his thugs to Wally's whereabouts. Wally and Carol, meanwhile, discover Jean hiding in their car trunk, and to Carol's annoyance, the reporter begins to flirt with Wally. Just then, Creeper and his gang arrive and open fire on Wally and his companions, who assume the attackers are policemen. The foursome seeks cover on top of a freight elevator, which then breaks and almost kills them. When the police finally arrive at the warehouse, they engage in a gunfight with the gangsters, whom they assume are Wally and his cohorts. After the police chase off the gangsters, Wally decides to disguise himself and sneak into the police station to discover what is happening. Chester joins Wally and, upon studying photographs of Constant Reader's victims, Chester realizes that they were all involved in the conviction of a notorious gang leader. Wally then concludes that Constant Reader's next victim will be Kendall, who spearheaded the investigation, and determines to save him. Unknown to Wally, Kendall is actually the secret head of Creeper's gang and is also Constant Reader. As soon as Wally and his friends burst into his house to warn him, Kendall imprisons them at gunpoint. Kendall, who intends to become the undisputed king of crime, then announces that he is going to stab Holcomb while he is seated next to him at a Brooklyn Dodgers game and frame Wally for his death. Although Creeper is assigned to guard the foursome, Wally manages to escape and rushes to the Dodgers' stadium, Ebbets Field. Unable to get close to the heavily guarded Holcomb and Kendall, Wally knocks out a pitcher for the opposing team, the bearded Beavers, and dons his uniform and long beard. While posing as the pitcher, Wally throws a baseball with a warning message on it to Holcomb, but Holcomb fails to see it. After Wally inadvertently tosses the ball into Kendall's hands, Kendall alerts the police that Wally is in the ballpark. Kendall then sets his murder plan into action, but is thwarted by Wally. Despite his heroics, Wally is unable to convince Holcomb of Kendall's guilt and is pursued through the ballpark by both the police and the gangsters. Escaping in a taxicab, Wally rushes to free his friends, unaware that Kendall has already instructed Creeper to dispose of them. At Kendall's, Wally finds a recording made unwittingly by Carol, in which Creeper reveals where he is taking his prisoners. After Wally sends the taxicab driver with the recording to Holcomb, he races to the docks, arriving just as Creeper and two other thugs are about to throw the chained-up Carol, Chester and Jean off a boat. Wally tricks the crooks into believing he is the police, then grabs one their guns and starts shooting off the chains. When his gun runs out of bullets, Creeper and the other thugs descend on him, and a long chase ensues. At the police station, meanwhile, the taxicab driver finally convinces Holcomb to listen to Carol's record, and the police head for the boat. By the time they arrive, however, Wally has already apprehended all of the criminals, including Kendall. At last cleared of suspicion, Wally enjoys a much-needed kiss from Carol and looks forward to his honeymoon.

Cast

Red Skelton

Wally Benton

Ann Rutherford

Carol Lambert

Jean Rogers

Jean Pringle

"rags" Ragland

Chester

Ray Collins

Grover Kendall

Henry O'neill

Inspector Holcomb

William Frawley

Detective Ramsey

Sam Levene

Creeper

Arthur Space

Detective MacKenzie

Robert E. O'connor

Detective Finnigan

Steve Geray

Whitey

Howard Freeman

Steve Conlon

Tom Dillon

Manager of The Beavers

Frank Scannell

Joe

Anthony Caruso

Fingers

Oscar G. Hendrian

Joey

Charles Sullivan

Harry

Elliott Sullivan

Dutch

Gil Perkins

Police sergeant

John Wald

Studio announcer

Clancy Cooper

Officer Slocum

James Warren

Sound man

Emmett Vogan

Harcourt

Divonna Doxie

Quartette member

Barbara Whitson

Quartette member

Christine Stafford

Quartette member

Dorothy Wilson

Quartette member

Frank Pittman

Sound effects man

Harry Saz

Sound effects man

Chet Brandenberg

Painter

Harvey Perry

Workman

Loretta Rush

Confused matron

Lee Phelps

Officer Toomey

Donald Kerr

Cab driver

Buddy Gorman

Newsboy

Larry Harris

Newsboy

Bobby Winkler

Newsboy

Rudy Wissler

Newsboy

William Haade

Sergeant

Grant Withers

Reporter

Charles Jordan

Reporter

Jack Mulhall

Reporter

Jack Carrington

Reporter

John Bohn

Reporter

Bert Moorhouse

Reporter

Sammy Blum

Reporter

Howard Mitchell

Officer

William Bishop

Psychiatrist

Eddie Dunn

Policeman

Edgar Dearing

Policeman

Harry Tyler

Gateman

Billy Engle

Balloon vendor

Dewey Robinson

Beaver coach

Harry Strang

Gumbatz

Billy Bletcher

Announcer

Leo Durocher

Himself, Brooklyn Dodgers manager

Mickey Owen

Himself, catcher

Mitchell Lewis

Bearded spectator

Dolph Camilli

Himself, first baseman

Fred "snowflake" Toones

Fan

Mary Elliott

Veronica Lake look-alike

Sheldon Jett

Suspicious man

Bobo Newsom

Himself, Brooklyn Dodger

Ducky Medwick

Himself, Brooklyn Dodger

Arky Vaughan

Himself, Brooklyn Dodger

Billy Herman

Himself, Brooklyn Dodger

Freddie Steele

Brooklyn fan

Richard Thorne

Brooklyn fan

James Dundee

Brooklyn fan

George Magrill

Brooklyn fan

Sue Moore

Tough girl

Charles Dorety

Drunk

Morris Ankrum

Blake

Kathleen Williams

Office girl

Kay Medford

Phone operator

Happy Felton

Radio announcer

Sam Hayes

Baseball announcer

Robert Sully

Assistant baseball announcer

Mabel Smaney

Florence Turner

Lillian Yarbo

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Mystery
Release Date
Dec 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,824ft (9 reels)

Articles

Whistling in Brooklyn


After New York police inspector Holcomb discovers the slain body of Sergeant Malcolm in a Sheepshead Bay lighthouse, he concludes that the policeman was killed by the mysterious "Constant Reader," whose typed note led authorities to the spot. As with three previous murders about which Constant Reader has written, the note describes the crime scene in exact detail.

Soon after, government reformer Grover Kendall criticizes Holcomb for his failure to solve the string of murders and gives him another Constant Reader note. This one directs the police to the body of a long-missing gangster. While dredging up the body from the Hudson River, Holcomb hears a broadcast of The Fox radio show, in which the crime-solving "Fox," played by Wally Benton, discusses a fictitious "murder" letter. Because Wally's fictitious letter bears a striking resemblance to the latest Constant Reader note, Holcomb declares Wally the killer. Before the police find him, however, Wally and his bride-to-be and co-star, Carol Lambert, are accosted in Wally's dressing room by cub reporter Jean Pringle.

Jean, who was alerted to the performers' impending elopement by Chester, Wally's dim-witted assistant, begs to accompany them on their honeymoon, but Wally and Carol refuse. Chester, an aspiring publicist, then casually tells Jean that Wally is Constant Reader, making Jean all the more determined to follow the couple. Just as Wally is about to leave with Carol and Chester, the police show up to arrest him. What could possibly happen next?

Producer: George Haight
Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Screenplay: Nat Perrin; Wilkie Mahoney (additional dialogue); Stanley Roberts (uncredited, contributor to treatment and screenplay construction)
Cinematography: Lester White
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Music: George Bassman
Film Editing: Ben Lewis
Cast: Red Skelton (Wally 'The Fox' Benton), Ann Rutherford (Carol Lambert), Jean Rogers (Jean Pringle), 'Rags' Ragland (Chester), Ray Collins (Grover Kendall), Henry O'Neill (Inspector Holcomb), William Frawley (Detective Ramsey), Sam Levene (Creeper), Arthur Space (Detective MacKenzie), Robert Emmet O'Connor (Detective Leo Finnigan), Steve Geray (Whitey), Howard Freeman (Steve Conlon), Tom Dillon (Manager of the Beavers), The Brooklyn Dodgers (Themselves).
BW-88m. Closed Captioning.
Whistling In Brooklyn

Whistling in Brooklyn

After New York police inspector Holcomb discovers the slain body of Sergeant Malcolm in a Sheepshead Bay lighthouse, he concludes that the policeman was killed by the mysterious "Constant Reader," whose typed note led authorities to the spot. As with three previous murders about which Constant Reader has written, the note describes the crime scene in exact detail. Soon after, government reformer Grover Kendall criticizes Holcomb for his failure to solve the string of murders and gives him another Constant Reader note. This one directs the police to the body of a long-missing gangster. While dredging up the body from the Hudson River, Holcomb hears a broadcast of The Fox radio show, in which the crime-solving "Fox," played by Wally Benton, discusses a fictitious "murder" letter. Because Wally's fictitious letter bears a striking resemblance to the latest Constant Reader note, Holcomb declares Wally the killer. Before the police find him, however, Wally and his bride-to-be and co-star, Carol Lambert, are accosted in Wally's dressing room by cub reporter Jean Pringle. Jean, who was alerted to the performers' impending elopement by Chester, Wally's dim-witted assistant, begs to accompany them on their honeymoon, but Wally and Carol refuse. Chester, an aspiring publicist, then casually tells Jean that Wally is Constant Reader, making Jean all the more determined to follow the couple. Just as Wally is about to leave with Carol and Chester, the police show up to arrest him. What could possibly happen next? Producer: George Haight Director: S. Sylvan Simon Screenplay: Nat Perrin; Wilkie Mahoney (additional dialogue); Stanley Roberts (uncredited, contributor to treatment and screenplay construction) Cinematography: Lester White Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons Music: George Bassman Film Editing: Ben Lewis Cast: Red Skelton (Wally 'The Fox' Benton), Ann Rutherford (Carol Lambert), Jean Rogers (Jean Pringle), 'Rags' Ragland (Chester), Ray Collins (Grover Kendall), Henry O'Neill (Inspector Holcomb), William Frawley (Detective Ramsey), Sam Levene (Creeper), Arthur Space (Detective MacKenzie), Robert Emmet O'Connor (Detective Leo Finnigan), Steve Geray (Whitey), Howard Freeman (Steve Conlon), Tom Dillon (Manager of the Beavers), The Brooklyn Dodgers (Themselves). BW-88m. Closed Captioning.

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to contemporary news items, three weeks of location shooting took place in Brooklyn, NY, and featured landmarks such as Ebbets Field, Prospect Park, Flatbush Avenue, the Williamsburg Bank Building and Manhattan Bridge. On March 30, 1943, Hollywood Reporter announced that Bear Mountain, the Brooklyn Dodgers' training camp, also was to be used as a location, noting that the camp was available because of wartime restrictions that limited the amount of traveling that ball clubs could undertake. In addition to the Dodgers players listed in the CBCS, a September 12, 1943 New York Times article lists Max Macon, Alex Kampouris, Ray Hayworth, Pat Ankenman, Newt Kimball and Hal Peck as cast members. Some of these athletes were reportedly cast as "Beaver" players, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. The New York Times article noted that many of the Brooklyn ball players who appeared in the picture had left the team by the time the picture was released. Carrie Koshnik and Hilda Chester, two real-life Brooklyn fans, were extras in the film, according to New York Times. Garry Owen in listed in Hollywood Reporter as a cast member, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Although Hollywood Reporter announced that Vic Knight's song "I Love Coffee" had been purchased for the production, it was not performed in the film. According to a late July 1943 Hollywood Reporter news item, M-G-M had intended to rush the release of Whistling in Brooklyn on the chance that the Dodgers made the World Series, but the Dodgers did not play in the Series, and the picture did not open until December 1943. For more information on the "Whistling" series, see below for Whistling in the Dark and consult the Series Index.