Whispering Smith

1948

Western

49
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1,051

Synopsis


Downloaded times
November 27, 2020

Director

Cast

Alan Ladd as Beast
Hank Worden as Loafer at Train Station
Robert Preston as Murray Sinclair
William Demarest as 'Smiles' Benson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
818.51 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.48 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 9 / 10 / 10

Playing the Cards that are Dealt

Alan Ladd's first starring western and first film in technicolor is Whispering Smith. I have a funny feeling that someone at Paramount figured out that in boots with a couple of inches of heels on them, Mr. Ladd could get some additional height unnoticed. He certainly did do a lot of westerns after Whispering Smith. According to the films of Alan Ladd and the biography by Beverly Linet, Ladd had purchased a ranch for his family and enjoyed his time out there and became an expert rider. For someone who arrived late to the western genre, Alan Ladd does sit the saddle well and looks right at home on the range. The story based on a novel by Frank Spearman had been filmed two times previously as a silent film. Ladd is a railroad detective and we first meet him going after Murvyn Vye and his two outlaw brothers. Ladd's best friend is Robert Preston and his wife Brenda Marshall almost married Ladd back in the day. Preston is a happy go lucky sort, but a lout none the less. The green eyed monster gets him though as Ladd is hanging around. Preston falls for the line that chief villain Donald Crisp gives him. Especially after he gets fired from the railroad after tangling with new superintendent John Eldredge. With his knowledge about the railroad, Preston becomes invaluable to Crisp. Whispering Smith is directed by Leslie Fenton, former actor who was gradually getting into A films, but he retired after directing only a few more films after this one. The character he creates for Ladd is a harbinger of the one that George Stevens did for Ladd in Shane. I have no doubt that Stevens cast Ladd in Shane after viewing Whispering Smith. And Whispering Smith probably would be considered a classic western if someone like George Stevens or John Ford or Anthony Mann had directed it. It's that good. Donald Crisp is a garrulous, but crafty outlaw leader. William Demarest is fine in the sidekick role. But the portrayal among the supporting cast to watch is Frank Faylen's as the albino killer in Crisp's gang. I also think that George Stevens was influenced in his direction of Jack Palance in Shane from Faylen's portrayal. Faylen has even less dialog than Palance did in Shane, but he will absolutely chill you when you watch the film. Whispering Smith is an absolute must for western fans and fans of Alan Ladd. It's a turning point film in his career and I'm glad it is finally out on DVD. Only wish a VHS version had been made of it.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 6 / 10 / 10

WHISPERING SMITH (Leslie Fenton, 1948) ***

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.

Reviewed by bsmith5552 6 / 10 / 10

Good Railroad Yarn!

"Whispering Smith" is a pretty good railroad yarn in which Alan Ladd plays the title role. Luke "Whispering" Smith (Ladd) is a two-gun railway detective who is sent to investigate why an unusual number of train wrecks are happening. As he rides towards town he is ambushed by the Barton Brothers and loses his horse. Smith flags down a train and climbs aboard where he finds his old friend Murray Sinclair (Robert Preston) who also works for the railroad. Meanwhile at the next telegraph stop, the Bartons murder the agent and bust up the telegraph. Just then the train arrives and Smith guns Leroy and Gabby Barton (Robert Wood, Bob Kortman) while Blake Barton (Murvyn Vye) escapes. Smith catches up with him later when Barton again tries to ambush him, this time in town under the watchful eyes of Rebstock and his gunsel Whitey DuSang (Frank Faylen). Sinclair takes Smith to his ranch where he meets Sinclair's wife Marion (Brenda Marshall) with whom he had been involved some years earlier. Smith learns that his friend is tied in with local big rancher Rebstock (Donald Crisp) and begins to suspect Sinclair's involvement in the train wrecks. Railway boss McCloud (John Eldredge) fires Sinclair for stealing freight from the latest wreckage and Sinclair then becomes an active member of Rebstock's gang. This leads to several confrontations between between the two old friends. Finally, Smith rounds up a posse and stages a final showdown with the gang and...... Ladd is a little hard to believe as a tough two-gun railroad cop, largely because of his short stature and slight build, although he did much better in "Shane" (1953). Preston on the other hand, steals the film as the tragic Sinclair. Crisp has little to do as the chief bad guy but nevertheless adds his usual class to the role. Marshall does her best as the girl torn between her past and present. Faylen is chilling as the gunfighter Whitey. This film has the advantage of beautiful technicolor photography and the fast moving action directed by Leslie Fenton. The digital DVD remastered film has been restored to its original beauty and brilliance. Check out the differences between the feature (digitally remastered) and the trailer which is not. Also an advantage is the cast of familiar faces in the supporting cast. In addition to those already mentioned, William Demarest and Fay Holden play Bill and Emmy Dansing, Smith's pals, Will Wright as the lazy sheriff, J. Farrell MacDonald as Bill Daggs, a railway official, Eddy Waller as a conductor and Ray Teal as Sinclair's foreman. Bob Kortman who plays one of the Bartons, had a career that dated back to 1915 where he appeared in several William S. Hart westerns. He was a familiar face in many "B" westerns and serials throughout the 30s and 40s. If you like railroad westerns, then this one is for you.

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