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Blu-ray Review International A Few Words About A few words about...™ - Columbia Noir #6 - The Whistler -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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Indicator has released the Whistler series via Columbia as Region B discs, and while they've always been considered a part of the noir genre, they come off - especially today - as rather B productions. All have their inspiration in the CBS radio drama.

The eight films - The Whistler and Mark of the Whistler (both 1944), Power and Voice of the Whistler (both 1945), Mysterious Intruder and Secret of the Whistler (both 1946) and finally The Thirteenth Hour (1947), and the only film in the group not starring Richard Dix, are minor productions with the exception of the fact that four are directed by William Castle, who had directed his first project the year before...

And the fact that legendary actor Richard Dix starred in seven of them, with the final Secret of the Whistler, being his final performance on film.

Mr. Dix, who might be considered to be a "man's man" of an actor at over 6 feet and almost 200 pounds, was a major star in the silent era, making his first appearance in One of Many (1917.)

In all he appeared in 45 silent films, but remains today somewhat of an enigma.

Much akin to other silent productions, 32 of his films are lost, and the other 13 survive in some form - sometimes missing a reel, sometimes abridged, sometimes only on 16mm. A handful survive in 35mm.

In two of his later silent major roles, he played a Native American.

Moving into the sound era, he appeared in about 50 films, with probably ten or so that might be considered to stand the test of time, or be the near classic territory.

It also doesn't help a re-appraisal of his work, that he passed away in 1949 at the age of 56. He had retired from film after his final Whistler.

So...

Indicator's Whistler series gives us a record of his final appearances, which are unfortunately far from his best.

The set does however come with a wonderful set of extras, and a well-written monograph on the subject.

Image

The Whistler - 8.25

Mark of the Whistler - 5

The Power of the Whistler - 8

Voice of the Whistler - 7

Mysterious Intruder - 8

The Secret of the Whistler - 8

The Thirteenth Hour – 8

The Return of the Whistler - 8.5

Audio – 6.5 - 8

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Worth your attention - 6.5

Slipcover rating - n/a

RAH
 

ahollis

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i have this on order, so with your observation, I looking forward to receiving this set. Thank you.
 

Douglas R

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I was very impressed with this set of The Whistler films. I'd never seen any of them before and prior to watching them had assumed that Richard Dix played the same character in each film. In fact he plays a different character in every case and it's interesting to see him play such wide-ranging disparate characters who are often flawed and sometimes downright villainous. The running time of about 60 minutes for each film help keep them moving along fast and hold interest with frequent twists and turns in the plot. Indicator provide an excellent book and their usual high standard of extras.
 

TheSteig

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I watched the first 4 last night and had a blast, they are give or take an hour long.
The packaging is a bit smaller so it doesnt align as well as the previous Noir sets if you stand it with the other Indicator ones. Not a really big deal but just an observation.
 

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