6.4/10
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11 user 6 critic

Whispering City (1947)

When a nagging wife commits suicide, her husband is threatened with a murder frame by his lawyer, unless he kills a certain female reporter for him.

Director:

Fyodor Otsep (as Fedor Ozep)

Writers:

Rian James (screenplay), Leonard Lee (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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A young man is wrongly convicted and sentenced to be executed. Reporters covering the execution relate the story, each from his own perspective.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helmut Dantine ... Michel Lacoste
Mary Anderson ... Mary Roberts
Paul Lukas ... Albert Frédéric
John Pratt John Pratt ... Mr. Durant
Joy Lafleur Joy Lafleur ... Blanche Lacoste
George Alexander George Alexander ... Police Inspector
Arthur Lefebvre Arthur Lefebvre ... Sleigh Driver
Mimi D'Estée Mimi D'Estée ... Renée Brancourt
Henri Poitras Henri Poitras ... Assistant Police Inspector
R.J. Jarvis R.J. Jarvis ... John
Louis-Philippe Hébert Louis-Philippe Hébert ... Hotel Clerk
Albert Cloutier Albert Cloutier ... Waiter
Palmieri Palmieri ... Archivist
Ovila Légaré ... Detective
Neil O'Keefe Neil O'Keefe ... Messenger
Edit

Storyline

A reporter hears that a famous actress is dying in a hospital after being hit by a car. She goes to the hospital to interview the actress, who tells the reporter that her wealthy fiance, who was killed in an accident several years before, was actually murdered. Before long the reporter finds herself in a web of corruption, mental illness and murder. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CORRUPTION... EVIL... MURDER See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime City See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Québec Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hotel Clerk: [after Mary asks the desk clerk to ring for M. Lacoste, he shouts up the stairs for him, turns to Mary and says, sarcastically] "No - it's not the Ritz".
See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of The Fortress (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Quebec Concerto
Composed by André Mathieu
Performed by Neil Chotem
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent Canadian Film Noir
9 June 2009 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This was the last film directed by the Russian director Fedor Ozep (i.e., Fyodor Otsep), who had been the husband of Anna Sten. (He had directed THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV in 1931, Stefan Zweig's AMOK in 1934, etc.) As a Quebec production set in Quebec City and at the spectacular Montmorency Falls, this film has a strange history, because it was first shot in French in the same year under the title of LA FORTERESSE, and then re-shot in English with a different cast. The English version is 98 minutes long and the French version 99 minutes long (perhaps because the French speak less fast?) Two French Canadian actresses carried over to the new cast, though in minor roles. In this second version, Paul Lukas does an excellent job of portraying a suave art-lover, music-lover, and cultural philanthropist who is secretly a psychopathic killer. Pert young girl reporter Mary Roberts (Marie Roberts in the French version), played by the charming Mary Anderson, who had been discovered previously by Hitchcock and appeared in LIFEBOAT, does an excellent job of beguiling us and everyone else with her girlish smile as she tries to expose Lukas as a murderer. Lukas's musical protégé of the moment is a handsome young pianist and composer played by Helmut Dantine, who is a creative but tortured soul married to a hysterical wife, who is played by Joy Lafleur. (In LA FORTERESSE, this part had been played by Mimi D'Estee, who in the English language film is given a small part of a dying woman, which, however, she brings off with style.) All of these people do a very good job, and the direction and atmosphere are excellent. The film is notable for the use of a modern piano concerto by the Canadian composer Morris C. David, and with the piano played by Neil Chotem. So classical music and orchestras figure largely in the story. Canada was not known for its feature films at this time, and Canada in American minds was then thought of as a thin strip of land separating the northern border of the United States from the Arctic Circle, populated largely by polar bears and Esquimaux. So this was an early attempt by an infant Canadian film industry to assert itself, to prove that Canadians actually existed and even had their own cities, even though it was all done with a borrowed Russian exile as a director, a Hungarian exile as the bad guy, a Viennese exile as the good guy, etc. But it works. The Canadians can and should be proud of it. I wonder what the original French language version was like, with largely home talent speaking Quebec dialect. The film has a great deal of intensity and is a genuine film noir, which proves, I suppose that whatever that mysterious substance known as 'noir' really is, it does not freeze at the higher latitudes and can survive the northern climes with its vitality intact.


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