Whispering Smith (1948)

Passed  |   |  Western  |  9 December 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 696 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 6 critic

Legendary railroad detective Whispering Smith becomes convinced that old friend and colleague Murray Sinclair has joined a criminal band to loot the railroad.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Murray Sinclair
Marian Sinclair
Barney Rebstock
Bill Dansing
Fay Holden ...
Emmy Dansing
Murvyn Vye ...
Blake Barton
Whitey Du Sang
John Eldredge ...
George McCloud
Ward Wood ...
Leroy Barton (as Robert Wood)
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Bill Baggs
Sheriff McSwiggin
Don Barclay ...
Dr. Sawbuck
Conductor (as Eddy C. Waller)
Ashley Cowan ...
Train Brakeman


Smith as an iron-willed railroad detective. When his friend Murray is fired from the railroad and begins helping Rebstock wreck trains, Smith must go after him. He also seems to have an interest in Murray's wife (and vice versa). Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Por Um Fio  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Just after 23 minutes into the film, Whispering Smith is given a harmonica, the box of which he drops to the ground, only to have it immediately reappear in his hand. See more »


Murray Sinclair: What's the matter with you, Bill?
Bill Dansing: I don't like your friends, Murray... Rebstock... Du Sang. I know that Whitey. He's as cruel as a soft-nosed bullet. He'd shoot a dyin' man just to see him sqirm.
See more »


Auld Lang Syne
Traditional Scottish folk song
Lyrics written by Robert Burns in 1788
Sung by Demerast, Ladd, and Preston.
See more »

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User Reviews

WHISPERING SMITH (Leslie Fenton, 1948) ***
26 January 2009 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Alan Ladd's first film in color was also his first Western, a genre with which he would become associated after making 11 of them in all (having previously excelled in noirs during the 1940s and early 50s). Here he plays a character dating back to the Silent era: a soft-spoken (hence the title) but sharp-shooting investigator for a railroad company which also employs his best friends – rugged foreman Robert Preston (who married Ladd's girl Brenda Marshall) and old-timer William Demarest. With Ladd away on company business i.e. chasing a notorious trio of sibling train robbers, Preston falls in with a bad crowd headed by cattle rustler Donald Crisp and his albino henchman Frank Faylen and, on whose account, he has been pilfering 'damaged' goods transported by the railroad. Ladd is ordered back home to look into this wave of train wrecks which have been occurring on a regular basis. Suspecting Crisp and his crew, he pleads with Preston to pull out in time but the latter is too deeply involved by now to listen and an eventual shootout between the two childhood friends is inevitable. An ordinary, unpretentious Western to be sure but one that is well acted, competently staged and provides consistent entertainment for the undiscriminating viewer and Western film buffs in particular.

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