Whispering Smith 1948 – with Alan Ladd

Just a little bit before the Fifties this one, but it had Alan Ladd at the peak of his career starring in his first Western and his first film in Technicolor. Of course his peak would last a few more years with ‘Shane’ released in 1953 as maybe, his most successful film

Rail company detective Luke “Whispering” Smith (Alan Ladd) reconnects with his old friend Murray Sinclair (Robert Preston) while on a mission to track down the Barton Brothers gang. When he finally catches up with the bandits at a telegraph office, Smith is wounded but kills two of the three outlaws.

Smith recovers at Murray’s house, reigniting his passion for his lost love Marian (Brenda Marshall), who is now Murray’s wife.

Smith doggedly goes after Blake Barton, the sole surviving brother, and finds him hiding under the protection of influential landowner Barney Rebstock (Donald Crisp) and his gunslinger henchman Whitey Du Sang (Frank Faylen). Smith starts to suspect that his friend Murray, who runs the rail company’s local wrecking crew, may be involved in sordid business with Rebstock. With his allies Bill Dansing (William Demarest) and George McCloud (John Eldredge), Smith starts investigating Murray and Rebstock, creating a deep rift in a lifelong friendship as well as romantic complications.


Paramount Pictures


Nebraska & Pacific 4-4-0 #19 belches black smoke during a scene from Whispering Smith.  This engine was most likely purchased by Paramount from the Virginia & Truckee railroad in Nevada and filmed on the Paramount Ranch back lot.

Based on the novel by Frank H. Spearman, Whispering Smith is a superior western.

Directed in Glorious Technicolor by Leslie Fenton. Paramount constructed a large western town complete with an active railway for Whispering Smith, and the set became a much-used stage for many later productions.

Here is created a town nestled against mountains and nature, with several highlight scenes featuring 1870s-era trains

For anyone interested in ‘train; films, this is on to look out for It uch in keeping with a previous, famous film Union Pacific  of 1939. 

Co-incidentally both films featured Robert Preston as the hero’s friend who turns out to be rather unpleasant  

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