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Whispering Smith (1948)





Whispering Smith is a Technicolor Western film directed by Leslie Fenton and starring Alan Ladd as a railroad detective assigned to stop a gang of train robbers. The supporting cast includes Robert Preston and Brenda Marshall.

The picture is based on a novel by Frank H. Spearman and a previous 1926 film adaptation starring H.B. Warner.

The bad Barton boys—Blake, Leroy, and Gabby—rob a train and shoot a guard. Luke Smith, known as "Whispering" to some for his quiet ways, is a detective for the railroad sent to investigate.

Murray Sinclair, an old friend of Smith's, is in charge of the railroad's wrecking crew. He's glad to see Smith, who shoots Leroy and Gabby and is saved when a bullet is deflected by a harmonica in his pocket, given him long ago by his sweetheart Marian, who is now Sinclair's wife.

It saddens Smith to find out that Sinclair might be in cahoots with Barney Rebstock, a rancher with a bad reputation. Rebstock has been hiding the remaining Barton brother, Blake, who is tracked down by Smith.

Whitey DuSang is a hired gun for Rebstock, who wants to see Smith dead. When the railroad's boss gives Sinclair an order, Sinclair rebels and is fired. Rebstock hires him to pull off a string of daring train holdups.

Smith forms a posse. Whitey kills a guard and betrays Rebstock, shooting him. Sinclair is wounded. Smith does away with Whitey but gives his old friend Sinclair a last chance. When Sinclair rides home, he finds Marian packing and strikes her, accusing her of leaving him for Smith.

Smith shows up and Sinclair apologises for his actions. He seems sincere, but when Smith's back is turned, Sinclair pulls a hidden gun. Before he can fire, Sinclair falls over and dies. Smith leaves town, his work there done.


Alan Ladd as Luke "Whispering" Smith
Robert Preston as Murray Sinclair
Brenda Marshall as Marian Sinclair
Donald Crisp as Barney Rebstock
Fay Holden as Emmy Dansing
William Demarest as Bill Dansing
Murvyn Vye as Blake Barton
Frank Faylen as Whitey Du Sang
John Eldredge as George McCloud
Ward Wood as Leroy Barton
J. Farrell MacDonald as Bill Baggs
Will Wright as Sheriff McSwiggin




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