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Whistling in Brooklyn (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime, Mystery | December 1943 (USA)
Radio crime show host "The Fox" finds himself on the trail of a serial killer while a suspect himself.



(screenplay), (additional dialogue) (as Wilkie Mahoney)

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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Red Skelton, Conrad Veidt, Ann Rutherford
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Radio sleuth Wally "The Fox" Benton forgoes his honeymoon to help his wife's old friend solve a murder and hunt for Civil War gold inside a spooky mansion and fort.

Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Stars: Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, George Bancroft
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A night club's coatroom attendant who's in-love with the club's singer accidentally sips a drugged drink that makes him dream he's French King Louis XV courting the infamous Madame Du Barry.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the Gay Nineties, a seductive nightclub singer contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member.

Director: Lowell Sherman
Stars: Mae West, Cary Grant, Owen Moore
The Red House (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Nick and Nora are at their wise-cracking best as they investigate murder and racketeering at a local race-track.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Barry Nelson
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a rich but cantankerous dowager on an isolated estates hires an engaging handyman, her niece/companion becomes suspicious of his motives.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Merle Tottenham, Kathleen Harrison, Dame May Whitty
Tension (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A meek pharmacist creates an alternate identity under which he plans to murder the bullying liquor salesman who has become his wife's lover.

Director: John Berry
Stars: Richard Basehart, Audrey Totter, Cyd Charisse
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nick and Nora visit Nick's hometown, and end up involved in a murder.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Lucile Watson
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Nick investigates the case of a missing man and later a murder that is connected to Nora's family.

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, James Stewart
Kid Galahad (1937)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Fight promoter Nick Donati grooms a bellhop as a future champ, but has second thoughts when the 'kid' falls for his sister.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer


Complete credited cast:
Jean Pringle
Chester Conway (as 'Rags' Ragland)
Grover Kendall
Inspector Holcomb
Detective Ramsey
Detective MacKenzie
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Detective Leo Finnigan (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Whitey (as Steve Geray)
Steve Conlon
Tom Dillon ...
Manager of the Beavers
The Brooklyn Dodgers ...


Wally Benton, "The Fox," master detective on radio, is about to go with his sweetheart to Niagara Falls in order to get married. Unknown to him, his valet has told a newspaper reporter that Benton is "Constant Reader," someone who has sent information to newspapers about murdered people and where to find their bodies, thus making the police look bad. The police are sure that "Constant Reader" is the murderer himself, since no one else could know all of the details. And so they begin a chase after Benton, a chase which leads to old abandoned warehouses and old abandoned mansions. Wally is being chased not only by the police but also by the real "Constant Reader." Can he save his girl, his assistant, and the reporter and solve the crime before either the villain or the police, who have been told to shoot on sight, kill them all? Written by Jim Knoppow <jknoppow@sttl.uswest.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


HIS NEWEST and FUNNIEST! RED SKELTON whistled in the dark, than he dood it in Dixie. He's whistling again in a roaring NEW screenful of merriment and murder! (original print ad) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

December 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El zorro  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Last movie Ann Rutherford made with MGM studios. See more »


Wally 'The Fox' Benton: Do you know who I am?
Leo Durocher - Brooklyn Dodgers Manager: [Annoyed] I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception!
See more »


Follows Whistling in the Dark (1941) See more »


Auld Lang Syne
(1788) (uncredited)
Traditional Scottish 17th century music
Lyrics by Robert Burns
In the score with sounds produced by the saw Wally uses to deflect objects thrown at him
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If Bob Hope and Jack Benny Could Only See Me Now!
3 July 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

The man of many talents, Red Skelton, has some of his funniest moments on screen in this third and final installment of his amateur radio detective, Wally 'The Fox' Benton, series. Keeping up with him most of the way are the marvelous Rags Ragland as Chester the chauffeur, aka press agent, and the vivaciously funny dippy blonde, Jean Rogers, as a dumber than Rags (would you believe?) reporter. Two "dolls" are better than one in a comedy gangster flick. So the viewer is treated to the curvaceous Ann Rutherford as Wally's bride-to-be, Carol Lambert, who has fewer funny lines than the others, but is still delicious icing on the cake.

There are several scenes that are as fresh today as they were sixty-three years ago. One displays the comedic ability of Rags Ragland, who left us way too soon, to illustrate what perfect timing he could bring to a humorous sketch. He is attempting to use the telephone to assist his new client, Wally, when he is driven to anger by an aloof operator. Ma Bell would not receive such a lampooning again until the equally brilliant Lily Tomlin appeared as Ernestine, the telephone operator, nearly thirty years later. Watch too when the comic quartet is trapped in an elevator shaft. All four are dangling in the air, holding on to a precarious cable. Rags exclaims, "I didn't know I weighed so much." It's also a pleasure to see the Brooklyn Dodgers participating in all the shenanigans at the ball park, with Leo Durocher in the limelight. Then there's the final slapstick-filled sequence that ties the loose ends together.

There may be a few clinkers here and there, such as Wally's jibe,"You'll live the life of Riley...that is, if Riley don't come home," a joke that was already stale in 1943. But when a comic is on a roll, there are bound to be a few stale puns. Even Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy fall flat sometimes.

Enjoying the antics of these four clowns may cause the viewer to forget what the plot is about. Which is OK since it's nothing new. The story deals with the mob getting even, police corruption, and a popular radio personality, Wally "The Fox," being mistaken for a hit-man, The Constant Reader. All poor Wally wants to do is get married, honeymoon at Niagra Falls, and take a break from his job. Before he can do that, he must clear himself of the murders he is accused of committing.

Red Skelton's many fans will love this film. Those unfamiliar with Red's humor may miss many of the inside jokes, such as "I dood it," but should enjoy the rest, especially if fans of old-time radio and lovers of slapstick.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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