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The Whispering Chorus (1918)

Not Rated | | Drama | 28 March 1918 (USA)
John Trimble has embezzled and obtains another identity by having a mutilated body buried in his place. He is later arrested for murdering himself. During the trial his mother, before dying... See full summary »

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Raymond Hatton ... John Tremble
Kathlyn Williams ... Jane Tremble
Edythe Chapman ... John Tremble's mother
Elliott Dexter ... George Coggeswell
Noah Beery ... Longshoreman
Guy Oliver ... Chief McFarland
John Burton John Burton ... Charles Barden
Tully Marshall ... F.P. Clumley
William H. Brown William H. Brown ... Stauberry
James Neill ... Channing
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Mocking Face
Walter Lynch Walter Lynch ... Evil Face
Edna Mae Cooper Edna Mae Cooper ... Good Face
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Storyline

John Trimble has embezzled and obtains another identity by having a mutilated body buried in his place. He is later arrested for murdering himself. During the trial his mother, before dying from shock, asks him to keep his identity secret since his wife is now married to the Governor and expecting a child. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1918 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A suttogó kórus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$72,500 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$242,109
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wedding sequence in which George Coggeswell (Elliott Dexter) marries Jane Trimble (Kathlyn Williams) was staged at Christ Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. The best man was played by Paramount executive Charles F. Eyton, who was married to Kathlyn Williams in real life. According to Dexter, Eyton had to be persuaded to allow the use of the couple's actual wedding rings for the scene. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Slow Acid of Discontent (Do You Hear Voices?)
11 October 2007 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Raymond Hatton is "John Tremble - 2nd Assistant Cashier of the Clumley Contracting Company." He hears voices from the Hall of Echoes. Kathlyn Williams is "Jane Tremble - his wife." Eventually, she will hear voices of her own. Elliott Dexter is "'Fighting' George Coggeswell - A far-seeing young legislator who heads a commission with extraordinary powers to investigate the muddy waters of the state's politics." He tilts the scale of justice with pipe ashes.

Mr. Hatton is stuck in a $25 a week dead end job, with no hope for the future; living with his mother (Edythe Chapman) he is unable to even buy a cheap little dress for Ms. Williams, for Christmas. To make ends meet, Mr. Hatton embezzles $10.000 from his company. Plagued by guilt (and an investigation), Hatton drops out of sight, for a couple of days. Whilst fishing, he reels in a dead man, and decides to exchange identity with the deceased Edgar Smith. He becomes Smith, and very unwisely (as it turns out) frames him for both the Tremble embezzlement, and the murder of Tremble - so that he may achieve martyrdom. Then, he becomes a fugitive…

This is an epic psychological drama; always interesting, it slowly becomes more and more unnerving, even horrific. The crescendo of images and plot build wildly, to an INTENSE ending. The film sometimes appears to be off-track, but winds up a tightly woven nightmare. There are SO MANY images to praise - but, just watch... Also, look for the cross-cutting as Hatton fishes for a dead body while Dexter fishes for Tremble - then, later, Tremble hooks up with a Chinatown prostitute while his wife marries Dexter.

Director Cecil B. DeMille and the production team are in peak condition. Hatton, remembered mainly as a "supporting" or "character" actor, performs supremely in the lead role; he effectively portrays the "slow acid of discontent steadily consuming" the soul of John Tremble. Williams shows some psychological problems of her own. Noah Berry has an important role as a longshoreman who guiltily houses Hatton, after unintentionally crippling him.

It's difficult to believe this film was released in 1918, and has received relatively little acclaim. It's a NOT TO BE MISSED silent classic.

********** The Whispering Chorus (3/28/18) Cecil B. DeMille ~ Raymond Hatton, Kathlyn Williams, Elliott Dexter, Noah Berry


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