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directed by William Castle
USA 1944

 

This movie is the first installment of The Whistler series from Columbia Pictures, all but one of which starred Richard Dix whose A-picture career was then on an alcoholic downgrade, but whose liquor-ravaged face was just right for the overall atmosphere. (For a complete list of series titles, consult "movie connections" on web page.) Of all the movie series to emerge from the 30's and 40's, this is easily one of the most fascinating and unusual. Each entry presents a different self-contained story, tied together only by the mysterious figure of The Whistler who comments briefly on plot developments, but appears only in shadow to whistle his trademark refrain. He seems to be a figure of fate since the hand of destiny emerges in most of the entries.

[...]

Though weaker in many ways (the script appears put together on the fly), this initial entry contains many features generic to the others. Dix, a prosperous manufacturer, arranges for his own death following the presumed death of his beloved wife, only to find out ironically that she is not dead. The problem is he can't undo the arrangement and is thus forced to escape through the labyrinthine venues of the city's skid row. The entire 60 minutes has something of a nightmarish quality since it starts off with Dix expecting death, though in what form, he can't be sure.

Excerpt of review from Doug Doepke for imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 March 1944 (USA)

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                          DVD Reviews

 

DVD Comparison:

Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

 Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for all the Screen Caps!

(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Distribution

Onesmedia

Region 0 - NTSC

Sony Pictures
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:00:02 1:00:04
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.82 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection)

 

Bitrate:

Sony Pictures (Choice Collection)

 

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)

Dolby Digital Mono (English)

Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Onesmedia

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� 8 movies on 4 discs

DVD Release Date:

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

 

DVD Release Date: May 5, 2015
Keep Case

Chapters 6

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The Whistler is conspicuously absent from Sony's William Castle Collection reviewed HERE.

The Whistler series of eight movies was probably the most requested film series from Columbia library to get a DVD release and it was missing from authorized digital media until now. There were many questionable releases from various companies, like from Onesmedia compared here, a company specializing on radio compilation CDs and DVDs that also releases some film series based in radio plays. Their early release of The Whistler series also includes a DVD of over 235 hours of The Whistler radio mystery plays, but it's no longer available on Amazon. While it was nice to see all eight films collected in one made-on-demand package, the quality of transfers is poor and new made-on-demand discs from Sony Pictures blows the transfers in all regards. The excellent contrast, grain structure and lack of any damage on the print, including annoying watermarks with a company logo seen on Onesmedia releases, makes releases from Sony easy to recommend. The progressive single-layered disc also provides better audio with no clicks or pops heard on earlier transfers. So far Sony skipped the second entry in the series, The Mark of the Whistler, which was based on Cornell Woolrich's story, Dormant Account, likely due to clearance. The Whistler and The Power of the Whistler were released in May 2015 and Voice of the Whistler and Mysterious Intruder are announced for June 2015 and watch this space for reviews, but it's safe to assume they will match the excellent presentation of the first 2 releases. Highly recommended to all film noir fans.

For more on The Whistler films we recommend a book on the series, The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus
Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC
 


 

Screen Captures

(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Onesmedia (The Whistler: The Film Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Sony Pictures (Choice Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Sony Pictures

Sound:

Sony Pictures

Extras: Onesmedia

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Distribution

Onesmedia

Region 0 - NTSC

Sony Pictures
Region 0 - NTSC

 




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