Stars: 3.5 / 5
The Thirteenth Hour is a 1947 American mystery film noir based on the radio drama of the same name. Directed by William Clemens this is the seventh of the eight film noir series adapted from the radio drama produced in the 1940s. Richard Dix reprises as the main character in the film with Otto Forrest as The Whistler narrating in the background. This is the second movie in the series where the title that doesn’t have the word "Whistler" in it. This is also the last film in which Richard Dix had acted in The Whistler series of movies. He had stopped acting after he had suffered a heart attack during the making of this film. Sadly enough, two years after the release of this movie, he had suffered a severe heart attack and had passed away at a very young age of 56.
Steve Reynolds, a truck driver, after a night of celebration, goes on his route. He picks up a hitchhiker, but as he was driving to the nearest gas station, a white car comes speedily opposite his truck on the same lane. To avoid it he turns sideways and crashes into the gas station. When the cops come, he fails to produce the hitchhiker who had been with him and seen the incident. Also no one in the gas station remembers the white car. Thus starts the downfall of Steve Reynolds, the good truck driver. Who was the hitchhiker? Why did he escape the scene? Was the speeding car really there? What is the fate of Steve Reynolds is what we see in the rest of the plot as it unfolds.
This is also a better ones in the series, and Richard Dix has given his utmost performance in his last film. The plot, the characters, the situations and even the climax are set superb. For a B-movie series, this one is one up the notch with all the elements of murder, mystery, revenge and romance. And the twists are so sudden and unimaginable that you will not guess until the very end who is the puppeteer for all these casts.
Thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to end. It's on youtube if you want to watch it, although the print is grainy. And still you can watch it with glee.
1) Tommy the kid in the film, is shown reading a book in one scene titled "Studies in Necrophobia" which is the same book that the killer is shown reading in the first movie in this series, The Whistler.