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The Whisperers (1967) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • The title refers to the creatures a very poor addled old lady (Dame Edith Evans) imagines in her paranoid fantasies. They lurk behind every drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet. They listen all coiled up in a silent radio. The old lady is on to all their tricks, and she tells them so repeatedly. She reports them regularly to the police who scoff at her behind her back. The whisperers, however, are only part of her fantasy life. She imagines also that she is a daughter of aristocracy, an heiress waiting for her money to arrive so that she can pay back the nice gentleman at the Welfare Board. Her routine is shattered irrevocably by the return of her thieving son and vagrant husband, a brief fling with stolen money ending dismally in the gutter where the poor prey on the poor.

  • Beyond Mr. Conrad who attends to the allowance she receives through National Assistance, seventy-six year old Margaret Ross, who lives in a cluttered run down flat, is emotionally all alone in the world. Her husband Archie left her over twenty years ago, and her grown criminal son Charlie only uses her for whatever he can get out of her. Despite being a bright woman, she is not totally in mind. She has several continual delusions, the most common being that 'they' are listening to her through the apartment building's pipes and through her wireless radio. As such, she is constantly asking into thin air, "Are you there?" Following an extended hospitalization the result of an unfortunate incident involving an unscrupulous woman she met at the National Assistance office, Margaret is no longer able to take care of herself. Mr. Conrad, on behalf of the government, takes it upon himself to ensure that she is well taken care of, physically, emotionally and legally. As such, the authorities go looking for Archie Ross.

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