Mark of the Whistler


The Mark of the Whistler

Wiliam Castle
USA, 1944
60min, OF

Bild: Filmarchiv Austria

The Mark of the Whistler

Wiliam Castle
USA, 1944
, 60min, OF

Richard Dix
Janis Carter
Porter Hall
Paul Guilfoyle
John Calvert
Matt Willis
George Bricker
Cornell Woolrich
George Meehan

Columbia Pictures
16 mm

Not long after the debut of the popular radio mystery series The Whistler, Columbia launched a series of adaptations, seven starring veteran actor Richard Dix as a disoriented every-man caught in a self-destructive spiral and mysteriously accompanied by the sardonic, almost sinister, commentary by the unseen whistling host taking obvious pleasure in the inevitable downfall and punishment of Dix’s sad-sack antiheroes. Co-scripted by the great Cornell Woolrich, THE MARK OF THE WHISTLER follows Dix as a fallen man reaching for a fallen star, a park bench derelict who happens upon an improbable scheme to impersonate the owner of an unclaimed bank account advertised in a local paper. The film was the second in the schadenfreude series directed by William Castle whose trademark stylistic gusto and vaudevillian flair is wonderfully evident in the boldly homoerotic close-up showdowns that give almost comic tension to Dix’s dangerous game, not to mention the over-the-top Cossack-themed night club complete with giant flaming shish-kebabs and knife wielding dancers. (Haden Guest)