6.9/10
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16 user 5 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.

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Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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'Fran' Post
...
Sylvester Conway (as 'Rags' Ragland)
...
Philip Post
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'Buzz' Baker
Paul Stanton ...
Jennings
...
Gordon Thomas (as Don Douglas)
...
'Noose' Green
William Tannen ...
Robert Graves
...
Beau Smith
Mariska Aldrich ...
...
Harvey Upshaw
...
Deputy Commissioner O'Neill (as George Carleton)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

with RED SKELTON, comic of "Lady Be Good" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herdeiro em Apuros  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Monday 25 March 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11) and in Philadelphia Thursday 28 November 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); its San Francisco television premiere took place 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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Buzz: Help yourself to some of your father's product.
Fran: Not me. That's what killed mama.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Time for Keeps (1942) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Sinister Plot with Ridiculous Overtones
1 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film was the second done by Vincent Minelli in his movie directing career. Like the first one I DOOD IT he was directing Red Skelton. The two films were assigned to Minelli as a test of his abilities, and he did so well that he was never assigned to B-Features again. Skelton was shown to good advantage (in most of his comedies Skelton usually gave good performances) as a radio personality, "THE FOX" who knows all you need to know about crime to solve cases. He is kidnapped with his girl friend by Conrad Veidt's gang. Veidt is a cult leader, who learns he is a prospective heir to one of his rich followers, provided her direct heir (Lloyd Corrigan)predeceases her. Veidt needs a perfect crime, and "The Fox" is just the man to give it to him.

It is a wonderful comedy. Besides Skelton's comic abilities, Veidt too shows a funny side rarely apparent in his dramatic (and villainous) roles - imagine Major Strasser telling Capt. Reynaud an off-colored joke in CASABLANCA. At the start of the film, having just given his stooge followers his typical guru speech on control and peace and love, Veidt learns about the existance of Corrigan as a threat to his plans for wealth. He starts acting like another notable German of the 1940s, screaming and ranting, and yelling at his followers how can he teach the world of love and peace when this impediment is in his way! Later, when part of the live audience listening to Skelton's "Fox" radio program, he learns that the villain in the program was an imposter that Skelton recognized, because he was wearing a turban the wrong way (it was tied on the left instead of the right, or something like that). A surprised Veidt (who could very well wear a turban among his followers) tells his side-kick, "I didn't know that!" as though anyone is interested.

The lines go fast and furious in this film, up to a surprise at the end of the film from Corrigan, that actually makes much of the frantic antics of the forced "perfect crime" plot seem hopeless from the start. Definitely worthwhile if you want some good laughs.


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