Legendary film director Robert Wise called The Whistler features, "examples of budget filmmaking at its very best." Noted B movie historian Don Miller cited them as, "the best B pics of the period from Columbia." Famed film critic/historian Leonard Maltin referred to the series as "one of the most unusual - and one of the best mystery series of the 30's and 40's. . ."
Based on J. Donald Wilson's hit radio suspense program, featuring ironic tales of terror spun by a mysterious host, The Whistler film series consisted of eight motion pictures produced by Columbia Pictures between 1944 and 1948 starring legendary, Academy Award-nominated actor Richard Dix. Although manufactured quickly and cheaply to fill the bottom half of a mandatory double bill, The Whistler films were suspenseful and well made, engendering wide popularity and surprising critical acclaim.
Today historians and movie aficionados frequently cite them for their innovation and style-and as early examples of film noir. This is the story of the making of this landmark Columbia series, and the many extraordinary individuals who pooled their singular talents to make eight low budget movies into film classics.
Included are rare profiles of 50 Whistler filmmakers: actors, directors, writers, and technicians.