Whispering Smith (1948)

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    • Whispering Smith (1948)

      WHISPERING SMITH

      DIRECTED BY LESLIE FENTON
      PARAMOUNT PICTURES

      Whispering-Smith-2.jpg

      INFORMATION FROM IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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

      Cast
      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 ... Barton
      Frank Faylen ... Whitey Du Sang
      John Eldredge ... George McCloud
      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 ... Train Brakeman
      Jimmie Dundee ... Karg
      Ray Teal ... Seagrue
      Bob Kortman ... Gabby Barton
      Danny Borzage ... Accordianist (uncredited)
      Hank Worden ... Murray's Ranchhand (uncredited)
      and many more...

      Directed
      Leslie Fenton

      Writing Credits
      Frank Butler ... (screenplay) and
      Karl Kamb ... (screenplay)
      Frank H. Spearman ... (novel)

      Produced
      Mel Epstein ... associate producer

      Music
      Adolph Deutsch

      Cinematography
      Ray Rennahan

      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.

      "Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 16, 1949 with Alan Ladd reprising his film role.

      One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. It was first telecast in Philadelphia Saturday 3 October 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), in Chicago 20 November 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), and in Johnstown 9 December 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so most vintage film showings were still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. It was released on DVD 12 March 2013 as part of Universal's Classic Westerns Collection, and since that time, has also enjoyed airings on both Turner Classic Movies and the Western Channel.

      Goofs
      Continuity
      Just after 23 minutes into the film, Whispering Smith is given a harmonica, the box of which he drops to the ground, only to have it immediately reappear in his hand.

      When Murray punches Luke, he falls sideways off the chair. However, in the shot of Luke landing on the floor, he lands on his back.

      When Luke gets punched in the face and begins to fall, the chair starts to tip to the side. However, it is standing upright in the next shot.

      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.

      About 7 or 8 minutes into the movie Alan Ladd is reading a telegram that had been crumpled. Then it cuts to a slightly farther shot and everything is still in about the same position but now the telegram has not been crumpled.

      Crew or equipment visible
      When Smith shoots his horse, the shadow of the dollying camera can be seen crossing his arm.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA
      Paramount Ranch - 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA
      Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
      California, USA
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 17 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Whispering Smith (1948)

      Whispering Smith (1948) is a Western film starring Alan Ladd
      as a railroad detective assigned to stop a gang of train robbers.
      The supporting cast includes Robert Preston and Brenda Marshall.

      The picture is based on a novel by Frank H. Spearman and a previous 1926 film adaptation
      starring H.B. Warner in the title role, with Lillian Rich, Lilyan Tashman,
      John Bowers, and Eugene Pallette as supporting cast.

      In 1961, Whispering Smith became a 26-episode NBC series of the same name,
      with Audie Murphy, film star and World War II hero, in the title role.

      Please see:-
      Classic TV Westerns- Whispering Smith

      whispering-smith-movie-poster-1948-1020530309_1024x1024.jpg

      Production
      Film versions of the novel had been made in 1906 and 1926.
      Paramount had silent rights to the novel from the 1926 film, made by an associated company,
      and acquired sound rights.
      The film was announced in early 1947 as a vehicle for Alan Ladd. It was Ladd's first Western and his first movie in colour

      The script made a number of changes to the original novel including changing the double love story to one.

      Brenda Marshall was given her first screen role in four years. Filming began on 14 April 1947.

      The role of Whispering Smith was partly based on Jake Lefors. The part of Murray Sinclair, Smith's friend who turns to crime, was supposedly inspired by Butch Cassidy.

      The filmmakers built a Western town on five acres of the backlot at a cost of $70,000.
      It included 2000 feet of railroad track on which authentic 1870 locomotives owned by Paramount were operated.
      The trains were converted from their original wood-burning fuel system to oil. The set was later re-used in many later TV shows and films, including Bonanza.

      Reception
      The film was not released until 1949, by which time Paramount had made and released another Ladd film, Beyond Glory.

      The film was a popular with audiences.
      According to Variety it was the 20th most popular film in the US and Canada in 1949.

      Possible follow up
      Sol Lesser, who had rights to ten Whispering Smith stories, wanted to film some of them with Robert Mitchum.
      These films were not made.

      However, Audie Murphy later starred in a Whispering Smith TV series.

      whispering-smith-movie-poster-1948-1020530306_grande.jpg

      User Review

      WHISPERING SMITH (Leslie Fenton, 1948)
      Author: MARIO GAUCI from Naxxar, Malta
      26 January 2009

      mario wrote:

      Alan Ladd's first film in color was also his first Western, a genre with which he would become associated after making 11 of them in all (having previously excelled in noirs during the 1940s and early 50s). Here he plays a character dating back to the Silent era: a soft-spoken (hence the title) but sharp-shooting investigator for a railroad company which also employs his best friends – rugged foreman Robert Preston (who married Ladd's girl Brenda Marshall) and old-timer William Demarest. With Ladd away on company business i.e. chasing a notorious trio of sibling train robbers, Preston falls in with a bad crowd headed by cattle rustler Donald Crisp and his albino henchman Frank Faylen and, on whose account, he has been pilfering 'damaged' goods transported by the railroad. Ladd is ordered back home to look into this wave of train wrecks which have been occurring on a regular basis. Suspecting Crisp and his crew, he pleads with Preston to pull out in time but the latter is too deeply involved by now to listen and an eventual shootout between the two childhood friends is inevitable. An ordinary, unpretentious Western to be sure but one that is well acted, competently staged and provides consistent entertainment for the undiscriminating viewer and Western film buffs in particular.
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 17 times, last by ethanedwards ().