6.9/10
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17 user 6 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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(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
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Sylvester Conway (as 'Rags' Ragland)
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Philip Post
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'Buzz' Baker
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Jennings
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Gordon Thomas (as Don Douglas)
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'Noose' Green
...
Robert Graves
...
Beau Smith
Mariska Aldrich ...
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Harvey Upshaw
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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:

Surprise Comedy Hit of the Year! Don't Miss It! 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 and Fran enter a night club]
Waiter: How many?
Buzz Baker: Three.
Waiter: You said three?
Buzz Baker: I hope we're being followed.
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Skelton makes promising debut as star but flat one-liners don't help...
23 October 2005 | by (U.S.A.) – 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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