17 user 7 critic

Whistling in the Dark (1941)

Passed | | Comedy, Mystery | 8 August 1941 (USA)
Radio crime show host 'The Fox' along with his fiancée and ex-girlfriend are kidnapped by a larcenous cult who demand that he help them plan a perfect murder.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester Conway (as 'Rags' Ragland)
Philip Post
Gordon Thomas (as Don Douglas)
Robert Graves
Beau Smith
Mariska Aldrich ...
Deputy Commissioner O'Neill (as George Carleton)


The operators of 'Silver Haven', a cultish group bilking gullible rich people out of money, is set to inherit a large sum after the deceased woman's heir also dies. Leader Joesph Jones decides to hurry the process along and kidnaps Wally Benton, his fiance and a friend to further this goal. Wally is "The Fox", a radio sleuth who solves murders on the air. Jones wants him to devise a perfect murder and isn't above killing others sloppily along the way to get his foolproof murder plot. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gals, gags and gunmen...in a grand uproarious fun show! See more »


Comedy | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herdeiro em Apuros  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Chicago Saturday 2 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2); in Philadelphia it first aired 17 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Los Angeles 25 March 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Altoona PA 12 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Minneapolis 19 June 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Norfolk VA 30 July 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Akron 24 September 1957 on WAKR (Channel 49), in Phoenix 30 November 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in San Antonio 2 December 1957 on WOAI (Channel 4), in New Haven CT 12 December 1957 on WNHC (Channel 18), in Honolulu 10 May 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), and in San Francisco 28 June 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); in New York City its earliest documented airing took place 7 February 1960 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


The murder plan calls for Gordon Thomas to go to Kansas City to catch the same plane that intended victim Harvey Upshaw is taking to New York. But when the plane to New York is shown taking off, the airport sign on the terminal is reversed (mirror image) AND it says "Chicago Municipal Airport." See more »


Fran: What are you? A man or a mouse?
Wally 'The Fox' Benton: I'm a man, but tell me if you see a cat coming.
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Remake of Whistling in the Dark (1933) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Skelton makes promising debut as star but flat one-liners don't help...
23 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

You have to be awfully patient to sit through a film with one-liners so flat and unfunny that you wonder what all the fuss was about when WHISTLING IN THE DARK opened to such an enthusiastic greeting from audiences in the 1940s.

On top of some weak one-liners and ordinary sight gags, the plot is as far-fetched as the tales The Fox (Red Skelton) tells his radio audience. You have to wonder why anyone would think he could come up with a real-life solution on how to commit the perfect crime and get away with it. But then, that's how unrealistic the comedy is.

But--if you're a true Red Skelton fan and enjoy a look back at how comedies were made in the '40s--you can at least enjoy the amiable cast supporting him. Ann Rutherford and Virginia Grey do nicely as his love interest and Conrad Veidt, as always, makes an interesting villain. One of his more amusing moments is his reaction to Skelton explaining the mysteries of wearing turbans. "I never knew that," he muses, impressed by a minor point that is cleverly introduced.

All in all, typical nonsense that requires you to accept the lack of credibility and just accept the gags as they are. Not always easy for a discriminating viewer as many of them simply fall flat, the way many comedies of this era do because the novelty of the sight gags and one-liners has simply worn off.

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