The disclaimer opening doth protest too much, methinks: "Since the days of Plato and Socrates there have been many men of wisdom, but none sage enough to solve the struggle eternal between Capitol (Business) and Labor. We do not do not seek to work out the problems of their issue but desire to show the story of the lives of two men as a story and nothing more." Of course, "The Whistle" unashamedly deals with workplace safety, despite its claim of "nothing more".
Laborer William S. Hart (as Robert Evans) lives in the New England town of Chappleville, which is owned and operated by his wealthy boss, Frank Brownlee (as Henry Chapple). Mr. Hart lives with his adolescent son, Will Jim Hatton (as Danny Evans); "Mrs. Evans" having died during childbirth. Mr. Brownlee lives with wife Myrtle Stedman (as Mrs. Chapple) and baby Richard Headrick; later, baby grows into boy Georgie Stone. Hart regular Bob Kortman (as Scardon) has a pivotal role.
Hart and company make a bold statement picture, which is also shamelessly emotional entertainment; and, the star is so effective in the "non-western" lead role, it's a shame he saddled up so much more than not. Hart and Hatton are so convincing as father and son, you can't help but sympathize with Hart. His face shows his son's soul being ripped from Hart, after his gut-wrenching workplace incident. Hart conscientiously carries the remainder of the film well; but, given the melodramatics, the ending is unnecessarily a downer for one cast member.
******* The Whistle (3/27/21) Lambert Hillyer ~ William S. Hart, Frank Brownlee, Myrtle Stedman
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