The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 19 January 1932 and closed in February 1933 after 265 performances. Ernest Truex and Edward Arnold originated their movie roles in the play. The opening night cast also included Claire Trevor in the role of Toby Van Buren. See more »
A dull, uninspired script that mixes comedy with suspense is the main reason why WHISTLING IN THE DARK gets stuck in a very dated '30s groove and stays there. Elliot Nugent's slow moving direction isn't light enough to keep the comedy aspects in focus.
MGM's later remake starring Red Skelton and Ann Rutherford was a much better variation on this tale told at a much faster pace.
Ernest Truex and Una Merkel are the hapless couple who happen to fall into the clutches of crooked mobsters headed by C. Henry Gordon, Edward Arnold and Nat Pendleton. Truex is a mystery writer forced to invent a perfect murder for Edward Arnold so they can rid themselves of a fellow gangster they want out of the way.
The plot involving a tube of poisoned toothpaste and turning a radio into a two-way connection is not only foolish but improbable, making the story incredible long before the finish.
For some, this will be a trifle easily forgiven and forgotten. Others may find it an uninspired B-film with little to offer in the way of real entertainment even though it began as a play that had a substantial Broadway run.
In any case, the remake with Skelton and Rutherford was far easier to take and was so successful that it became a "Whistling in the Dark" series for several years, to the delight of Red Skelton fans.
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