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The Whisperers (1967)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 July 1967 (West Germany)
Elderly Mrs. Ross lives alone in her meager flat, scraping by on government assistance even as she claims to have great wealth. After finding stolen money she is victimized, making it necessary to find her support in her declining years.


Bryan Forbes


Robert Nicolson (novel), Bryan Forbes (written for the screen by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Edith Evans ... Mrs. Ross
Nanette Newman ... The Girl Upstairs
Harry Baird ... The Man Upstairs
Jack Austin Jack Austin ... Police Sergeant
Gerald Sim ... Mr. Conrad
Lionel Gamlin Lionel Gamlin ... Mr. Conrad's Colleague
Glen Farmer Glen Farmer ... 1st Redeemer
Oliver MacGreevy Oliver MacGreevy ... 2nd Redeemer
Ronald Fraser ... Charlie Ross
Kenneth Griffith ... Mr. Weaver
Avis Bunnage Avis Bunnage ... Mrs. Noonan
John Orchard ... Grogan
Peter Thompson Peter Thompson ... Publican
Sarah Forbes Sarah Forbes ... Mrs. Ross When Young
Penny Spencer Penny Spencer ... Mavis Noonan


76 year old Margaret Ross lives in a run-down flat, is all alone in the world. Despite being a bright, she's not totally right in mind. She has delusions, the most common is her neighbours are listening to her through the building's pipes. Following a being hospitalised, Margaret isn't capable of managing herself, lMr. Conrad, who has taken a liking to her, takes it upon himself to ensure she's taken care of. As such, the authorities go looking for her husband, Archie, but as she's been alone - with the whispers - will it bring her happiness? Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Whisperers, who are they?




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The first filmed version was "ITV Play of the Week (1955)"'s , which had produced "ITV Play of the Week: The Whisperers (1961)" in 1961, with Nora Nicholson playing Mrs Ross. See more »


The old kitchen curtain is shown in scene after Archie leaves, while Margaret is moping around the apartment. The new curtains are shown again after she returns from seeing Mr. Conrad at the National Assistance Board. See more »


Mrs. Ross: Are you there?
See more »


Version of ITV Play of the Week: The Whisperers (1961) See more »


Shall We Gather at the River?
Written by Robert Lowry
Performed by Edith Evans and mission attendees
See more »

User Reviews

The bleakest of kitchen sink dramas
13 August 2007 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

This may be the bleakest of all the 'kitchen sink' movies, (it is unremittingly gloomy) and Bryan Forbes' picture of the British Welfare State in the 1960's has an almost Dickensian feel to it. But then Forbes always seemed to work better with subjects which didn't lend themselves to levity.

It's the story of Mrs Ross, a pensioner living on her own and beset by the voices one hears when one is so lonely and in the part Edith Evans is quite magnificent. If you think Evans too patrician for the part of an old woman living in a working class district of an industrial, mostly derelict and rain-sodden city, she does point out that 'she married beneath her' and since she is hardly ever off the screen this is a real tour-de-force, (and she was nominated for the Oscar for it as well as winning a whole slew of other awards). There are also first-rate supporting performances from the wonderful Avis Bunnage and the always consistently reliable Gerald Sim and Eric Portman, terrific as her errand husband). Unfortunately the film's sub-plots involving stolen money and some gangsters seems superfluous and gives the film a somewhat melodramatic air and its down-beat mood meant it was never a popular success and it is hardly ever revived. But seek it out, all the same; it is certainly worth seeing.

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Release Date:

18 July 1967 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Bisbigli See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Seven Pines See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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