Stars: 3.5 / 5
The Return of the Whistler is a 1948 American mystery film noir based on the radio drama of the same name. Directed by D. Ross Lederman this is the last of the eight film noir series adapted from the radio drama produced in the 1940s. This is the only movie in which Michael Duane as the main character in the film as opposed to Richard Dix, as Richard had retired from films by then. Otto Forrest reprises his role as The Whistler narrating in the background.
Theodore Anthony 'Ted' Nichols (portrayed by Michael Duane) and Alice Dupres Barkley (portrayed by Lenore Aubert are enroute to getting married when their car breaks down. He leaves his fiancée in a hotel room and goes to get his car fixed. By the time he is back, his fiancée goes missing. His altercation with the hotel manager brings in the police but he is unable to prove that Alice was there and how she had disappeared. Thus follows the story on how Ted works to find where Alice is, what happened to her and why. But will he get her back? Will he like her at all when he finds her? What happened to her for real? Watch the film to know the rest.
Michael Duane is very dashing and much more handsome to look at than Richard Dix. But in acting he paled. The plot is a strong one that shows the abuse in a family and how one coped with it. But yet it had so many pieces unfinished and at places breezy. Perhaps it would have been a better success if it was longer than 1 hr. Yet, it had been an entertaining one like the rest.
1) James Cardwell who plays the role of Mr. Barkley - husband to Alice - had also appeared in an earlier movie in the Whistler series. He portrayed the role of Dr. Fred Graham in the fourth film in the series, Voice of the Whistler (Post link to my review here). He had, sadly, a very short life and even very short career. He had committed suicide due to his failing career and financial difficulties.