6.7/10
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Whispering Smith (1948)

Passed | | Western | 9 December 1948 (USA)
Legendary railroad detective Whispering Smith becomes convinced that old friend and colleague Murray Sinclair has joined a criminal band to loot the railroad.

Director:

Leslie Fenton

Writers:

Frank Butler (screenplay), Karl Kamb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Whispering Smith
Robert Preston ... Murray Sinclair
Brenda Marshall ... Marian Sinclair
Donald Crisp ... Barney Rebstock
William Demarest ... Bill Dansing
Fay Holden ... Emmy Dansing
Murvyn Vye ... Blake Barton
Frank Faylen ... Whitey Du Sang
John Eldredge ... George McCloud
Ward Wood Ward Wood ... Leroy Barton (as Robert Wood)
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Bill Baggs
Will Wright ... Sheriff McSwiggin
Don Barclay ... Dr. Sawbuck
Eddy Waller ... Conductor (as Eddy C. Waller)
Ashley Cowan Ashley Cowan ... Train Brakeman
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

A new Ladd thrills the Old West !

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Por Um Fio See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The railhead town site was constructed on the Paramount lot adjacent to the neighboring RKO Pictures studio. It became the basis for what would go on to become Paramount's famous western town set as seen in TV's Bonanza (1959) and numerous other TV shows and movies. Prior to 1948, Paramount didn't have a western set on its studio lot. A short line of track was laid down that allowed a working period locomotive to pull into town. See more »

Goofs

When Luke Smith is pouring coffee for Bill Dansing in front of the Boarding House, one instant he is pouring coffee into Bill's cup and the next he is pouring coffee into his own cup. See more »

Quotes

Murray Sinclair: Barney heard you'd been shot up. He asked after ya.
Bill Dansing: Yeah, he seemed mighty disappointed when he heard you wasn't buried yet.
See more »

Connections

Version of Whispering Smith (1916) See more »

Soundtracks

Billy Boy
(uncredited)
Tradtional folk and children's song first recorded in 1930.
William Demerast plays the tune on a harmonica and is joined in song with Fay Holden and Alan Ladd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Railroad western has fine work by Alan Ladd
10 July 2003 | by NewEnglandPatSee all my reviews

One of Alan Ladd's first starring films is this entertaining detective western as a railroad investigator assigned to solve the mystery of a rash of train robberies. The detective investigates an old friend whose fine ranch and well-to-do lifestyle are not in accord with his workman's salary, which is the main plot angle. The picture is more of a mystery than a typical western and Ladd's inclination to underplay his scenes gives his character credibility. Ladd's deceptively easygoing portrayals in westerns made him one of the most popular actors of his time. Robert Preston is also good in a role that he seemed to relish, an ethically-compromised man who knew right from wrong but did the devil's work because he thought he could get away with it. Brenda Marshall is lovely as a married woman who still carries a torch for her one-time suitor. The cast is good, as is Ray Rennahan's camera work and Adolph Deutch's music accompaniment.


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