BrianRxm Coins in Movies 88/118
The Return of the Whistler (1948)
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The 1948 Columbia Pictures film "The Return of the Whistler" is the last of "The Whistler" films
made during the 1940's. "The Whistler" was a popular mystery radio program and the films were based
on the character who would whistle and then introduce and sometimes comment on the story.
 
The story here is about a young man and woman who plan to get married.
The woman disappears just before the wedding and the man searches for her.
 
At one point while the couple are courting, they share his apartment and every night he flips a coin to decide
who sleeps on the couch and who gets the bed, every night he wins the couch by calling "heads".
 
The coin shown in the film is a dollar-sized President James Monroe two-headed token.
The Return of the Whistler
1. Title
 
The Whistler appears in the night as a black shadow.
 
The Return of the Whistler
2. The Whistler
 
I am The Whistler.
I know many things, for I walk by night.
 
I know many strange tales, many secrets, hidden in the hearts of men and women who have
stepped into the shadows.
 
Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak.
 
Here tonight are two young people about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives.
Whether for better or for worse only time will tell.
 
Ted Nichols and Alice Dupres are driving to a wedding office to get married.
Ted is an American and probably an ex-serviceman.
Alice is a French immigrant who was briefly married to a US soldier in France.
 
The Return of the Whistler
3. Marriage attempt number one
 
The wife at the wedding office tells the pair that her husband can not marry them until the next morning.
They go to a hotel where their car breaks down.
 
The sleazy hotel clerk charges an excessive rate for the room and will not let Ted sleep there as
they are not married. Ted goes to sleep in the car, has the car fixed, and returns to the hotel to
find the room empty and Alice gone.
 
A private detective, Gaylord Traynor, introduces himself and suggests that Alice is trying some
kind of confidence game on Ted.
 
Ted tells Gaylord about their courtship trying to convince him that they were really in love.
Ted met Alice when she tripped near his cabin and he gave her first aid.
 
She told him that she was briefly married in France to an American serviceman named Barkley
who was from a wealthy family, and that he later died in action.
 
She had recently arrived from France, visited her late husband's relatives the Barkleys,
didn't get along with them, and left.
 
Alice moved into Ted's apartment where each night he flipped a coin to decide who slept
in the bed and who got the couch.
 
The Return of the Whistler
4. Ted flips coin for couch
 
Ted always "won", calling the coin "heads", and getting the couch.
When Ted puts the coin away, both sides are shown, and both have heads.
 
The Return of the Whistler
5. The two-headed coin
 
The coin is a common President James Monroe dollar-sized token, and this one was manufactured
with the obverse appearing on both sides.
 
An example of the prop coin obverse:
 
President Monroe Bird Paradise
6. President James Monroe Token - Bird of Paradise
 
White metal, 35mm, 9.28gm
 
Obverse: President James Monroe facing half left, no text
 
Reverse: Bird of Paradise and man kneeling in temple surrounded by eight-pointed rounded star, no text
 
Ted and Gaylord drive to his apartment where he shows the detective photographs of Alice and
her wedding certificate from her first marriage.
 
Gaylord punches Ted.
 
The Return of the Whistler
7. Detective Gaylord punches Ted
 
Gaylord runs away with the papers and takes them to the Barkleys, who he was actually working for.
Ted goes to the police and is told to forget Alice.
 
At the large Barkley house, what is really going on is shown next.
 
The Return of the Whistler
8. The Barkley crooks and Alice
 
Various Barkleys do not want Alice to inherit her husband's estate and are keeping her locked up.
 
Back at Ted's apartment, the Whistler advises Ted:
 
The Return of the Whistler
9. The Whistler advises Ted
 
"You walked right into that one".
 
Ted goes to the Barkley house and talks to a Charlie Barkley who tells Ted that he is Alice's husband,
that Alice has lived in the United States for several years, is mentally ill, and has spells where she
runs away from the house.
 
Ted finds Alice's French passport in his car's glove compartment which indicates that Charlie
is lying and that Alice came to America recently.
 
The Barkleys take Alice to a private medical institution where she is locked up.
 
Gaylord has become suspicious of the Barkley family and manages to get a photograph of Alice and
her husband who looks nothing like Charlie.
 
Ted finds out the name of the institution and heads there to rescue Alice.
He runs into Charlie Barkley there.
 
The Return of the Whistler
10. Ted punches Charlie Barkley
 
He manages to get Alice downstairs.
 
The Return of the Whistler
11. Alice rescued
 
Ted and Alice encounter the Barkley family, Gaylord, and the police.
 
A policeman tells Ted that Gaylord called them and that all will be taken to the District Attorney's office
where things will be sorted out.
 
The film ends back at the marriage office.
 
The Return of the Whistler
12. Marriage attempt number two
 
Ted and Alice are really going to get married this time.
 
The Return of the Whistler
13. The Whistler
 
You certainly were lucky, Ted.
It might have ended differently with you and Alice worlds apart.
But fate this time was on your side.
Notes:
 
Cast:
Michael Duane as Theodore 'Ted' Nichols
Lenore Aubert as Alice Dupres Barkley
Richard Lane as Gaylord Traynor
James Cardwell as Charlie Barkley
 
Director: D. Ross Lederman
Writers: Maurice Tombragel, Edward Bock, Cornell Woolrich (story)
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