Whispering Ghosts

Whispering Ghosts

Director: Alfred L. Werker

Cast: Alfred L. Werker, Milton Berle, Brenda Joyce, John Shelton

     
 
The Milton Berle starrer Whispering Ghosts was clearly inspired by the Red Skelton comedy-mystery Whistling in the Dark (itself inspired by Bob Hope's The Ghost Breakers). Uncle Miltie is cast as H. H. Van Buren, a radio sleuth who delights in solving real-life mysteries ahead of the official constabulary. At the behest of his sponsor, Van Buren

Overview

The Milton Berle starrer Whispering Ghosts was clearly inspired by the Red Skelton comedy-mystery Whistling in the Dark (itself inspired by Bob Hope's The Ghost Breakers). Uncle Miltie is cast as H. H. Van Buren, a radio sleuth who delights in solving real-life mysteries ahead of the official constabulary. At the behest of his sponsor, Van Buren tackles an unsolved case from ten years earlier: the death of an old sea captain. To this end, he visits the ship where the dirty deed took place, accompanied by his nervous valet Euclid (Willie Best, who played much the same role in Ghost Breakers). At first convinced that the ship is haunted, our hero deduces that the "ghosts" are actually a gang of crooks, in search of the treasure left behind by the murdered skipper. The arrival of Elizabeth Woods (Brenda Joyce), the lawful heir to the missing treasure, convinces Van Buren to stick around for a while to solve the decade-old murder and locate the captain's legacy. Why is it that none of Milton Berle's vehicles for 20th Century-Fox--Whispering Ghosts, Over My Dead Body, Margin for Error--have shown up on TV since the 1970s? Now there's a mystery worth solving!

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Whispering Ghosts is a Bob Hope movie in search of a Bob Hope and settling instead for Milton Berle. This statement does not mean to imply that Berle is an untalented comic; however, despite some surface similarities, Berle and Hope are very different types, and trying to slot Berle into a Hope role is not easy. In fact, despite his talent, Berle is difficult to cast in films; his special comic personality doesn't register as strongly and often feels a bit trapped. Such is the case here in Ghosts, with the result that Berle never really "connects" with his material or even with other members of the cast -- a strange fate for a star in a starring vehicle. He's not bad, mind you; just never really catches fire the way you want him to. Granted, Berle is not helped by a been-there-done-that screenplay that doesn't provide a great deal of inspiration. The supporting cast comes off better, even under Alfred L. Werker's ho-hum direction; Willie Best must, as usual, deal with some racially offensive humor. The most unusual -- and amusing -- moments belongs to John Carradine's out-of-nowhere frog imitation.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/16/2013
UPC:
0024543878223
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Mod
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:15:00
Sales rank:
34,449

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Milton Berle H.H. Van Buren
Brenda Joyce Elizabeth Woods
John Shelton David Courtland
Willie Best Euclid White
Edmund MacDonald Gilpin
Arthur Hohl Inspector Norris
Grady Sutton Jonathan Flack
Milton Parsons Dr. Bascomb
Abner Biberman Mack Wolf
Renie Riano Meg
Charles Halton Gruber
Harry Hayden Conroy
John Carradine Norbert/Long Jack

Technical Credits
Alfred L. Werker Director
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Lou Breslow Screenwriter
Lewis H. Creber Art Director
Richard Day Art Director
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
David Raksin Score Composer
Alex Troffey Editor
Sol Wurtzel Producer

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