An artist married to a wealthy but ill woman begins an affair with one of his models, who is after him solely for his money. His wife discovers the affair and threatens to cut him out of ... See full summary »
An artist married to a wealthy but ill woman begins an affair with one of his models, who is after him solely for his money. His wife discovers the affair and threatens to cut him out of her will. In order to be able to keep both the wife's money and his girlfriend, he begins to secretly poison his wife - but events take a surprising turn after she eventually dies. Written by
One of the better entries in this fascinating series
I was eager to see the "Whistler" movies because of William Castle's involvement in some. He was a fine director ion the forties. (He was OK later, too. But in the forties his films were very elegant and subtle. His later horror outings were anything but subtle.) This one is not directed by Castle but it works really well. It was near the end of Richard Dix's run in the series. He was not a great actor, at least not at this point. But he had a very solid presence. And he is plausible as good guys and not so hot ones as well.
Here he plays a less than admirable character. He is a painter. Amazingly, the painting of his that we first see is pretty decent. So often, even in the toniest of A-pictures, paintings by supposedly great artists looked like the work of quick-sketch artists or Sunday painters.
The film opens with a stylishly noirish woman buying her own tombstone. Everything bout this film has the marvelous dark look of a film noir. Or of an Edward Hopper paintings. The scenes look especially like book jackets from the time.
And the female lead looks right off the cover of some true-crime book. Wow, she looks both right and beautiful! And she -- Leslie Brooks -- is a fine actress too. (Intriguingly, she looks like the same studio's biggest star ten years hence: Kim Novak.)
The whole series is entertaining, even the final film, which does not have Dix in it.
One problem I encountered and others may as well: Clearly the movies were based on a radio program of their time. I have never heard that program, though. I get the idea that the Whistler is an omniscient criminologist who either has no bodily image or, like Lamont Cranston of "The Shadow," can make himself invisible.
Guess I will try to track some tapes of the series down. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and search out these films. They're all good. A couple, like this one, are very good.
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