In Brooklyn, New York a poison pen letter writer that calls himself “Constant Reader” has been sending letters to the local paper telling them where to find the bodies of people that have been murdered.  The police have no clues, but Inspector Holcomb (Henry O’Neill) believes that Constant Reader is not just an amateur detective, but the killer himself.   So far, four people have been murdered.  The Inspector is starting to get criticism from political areas, in particular Grover Kendall (Ray Collins), the head of the “Better Government League”.     

Wally Benton (Red Skelton) is a radio personality that hosts a detective show called "The Fox".  On his show he solves crimes.  Wally’s co-star is Carol Lambert (Ann Rutherford).  Wally and Carol are engaged and plan on honeymooning in Niagara Falls.  Wally’s assistant, Chester Conway (Rags Ragland), not knowing that the police believe the letter writer is also the killer, tells a cub reporter, Jean Pringle (Jean Rogers) that Wally is “Constant Reader”.  Jean tells the police.   

Now police are on an all-out manhunt for Wally and are instructed to “shoot to kill”.  Wally, Carol, Chester and Jean are on the run from, not only the police, but the real “Constant Reader” and his thugs.  The cat and mouse game starts at a waterfront warehouse and ends up at Ebbets Field where Wally poses as a baseball player while trying to save the next victim and expose a killer.

“Whistling in Brooklyn” was released in 1943 and was directed by S. Sylvan Simon.  It is a comedy crime thriller and is the third and final film in the ‘Whistling’ series that starred Red Skelton as the radio personality Wally Benton AKA The Fox.  The other two films in the series were “Whistling in the Dark” 1941 and “Whistling in Dixie” 1942.

Rags Ragland reprises his role as good twin Chester Conway in the film.  Ann Rutherford also reprises her role as the peppy much forgiving fiancé Carol Lambert.  Ray Collins, best known as Lt. Tragg in the television show “Perry Mason” plays Grover Kendall, the head of the Better Government League.  The manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, Leo Durocher, has a cameo as himself, as do the Brooklyn Dodger players themselves.

As with the previous two films, there is a lot of slapstick and one-liners.  This time it’s toned down a little but there is still plenty of silliness.  It’s a fun little film, a bit longer than it needed to be, but still enjoyable.

Ebbets Field was a major league baseball stadium located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York.  The stadium was built in 1912 by Charles Ebbets and was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The ballclub remained in Brooklyn until 1957 when it moved to Los Angeles, California.  The stadium was demolished in 1960.  Ebbets Field Apartments were erected on the site in 1962.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User