Whispering Smith Speaks (1935)

65 or 67 mins | Comedy-drama | 20 December 1935

Director:

David Howard

Producer:

Sol Lesser

Cinematographer:

Frank B. Good

Editor:

Robert Crandall

Production Designer:

John Ducasse Schulze

Production Company:

Atherton Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Var erroneously lists this film as Whispering Smith . Frank H. Spearman, who wrote the original story for the film, wrote the novel Whispering Smith in 1906. That book was not the basis for this film, but was the source of the 1916 Signal Film Corp. production Whispering Smith and its sequel, Medicine Bend , which were released by Mutual Film Corp., directed by J. P. McGowan, and starred McGowan and Helen Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4926 and F1.2893). Two other films have been based on the novel: a 1926 Producers Distributing Corp. release, directed by George Melford and starring H. B. Warner and Lilyan Tashman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6286) and a 1948 Paramount release, produced by Mel Epstein, directed by Leslie Fenton and starring Alan Ladd. Other films using the "Whispering Smith" character include Money Madness , produced in 1917 by Universal (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.3037); Whispering Smith Rides , a serial produced by Universal in 1927; Whispering Smith vs. Scotland Yard , filmed in England and released by RKO in Mar 1952, which was directed by Francis Searle and starred Richard Carle; and a 1961 NBC television series starring Audie ... More Less

Var erroneously lists this film as Whispering Smith . Frank H. Spearman, who wrote the original story for the film, wrote the novel Whispering Smith in 1906. That book was not the basis for this film, but was the source of the 1916 Signal Film Corp. production Whispering Smith and its sequel, Medicine Bend , which were released by Mutual Film Corp., directed by J. P. McGowan, and starred McGowan and Helen Holmes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4926 and F1.2893). Two other films have been based on the novel: a 1926 Producers Distributing Corp. release, directed by George Melford and starring H. B. Warner and Lilyan Tashman (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6286) and a 1948 Paramount release, produced by Mel Epstein, directed by Leslie Fenton and starring Alan Ladd. Other films using the "Whispering Smith" character include Money Madness , produced in 1917 by Universal (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.3037); Whispering Smith Rides , a serial produced by Universal in 1927; Whispering Smith vs. Scotland Yard , filmed in England and released by RKO in Mar 1952, which was directed by Francis Searle and starred Richard Carle; and a 1961 NBC television series starring Audie Murphy. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28-Dec-35
---
Daily Variety
13 Dec 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Dec 35
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 35
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Dec 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Dec 35
pp. 52-53.
New York Times
17 Feb 36
p. 21.
Variety
19 Feb 36
p. 12.
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 December 1935
Production Date:
28 October--mid November 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Atherton Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 December 1935
Copyright Number:
LP6159
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65 or 67
Length(in feet):
6,088
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1830
SYNOPSIS

Gordon D. Harrington, Jr., son of the owner of the great Transcontinental Railroad, complains to his father that he does nothing in the company but rubber-stamp decisions made by others. After a fierce argument, Gordon quits and leaves Chicago. Meanwhile, in the mountain town of Sleepy Car, Colorado, a geologist reports to Edward Rebstock, an agent for an undisclosed party, that there is an unlimited quantity of tungsten at Roberts Heights, which belongs to Nan Roberts and her mother. Rebstock plans to purchase the property and the Blake Railroad line, which runs by it, so that his client can transport the ore. After traveling in a freight car with hoboes, Gordon gets out at Sleepy Car and, learning that the Blake line runs only a distance of thirty-five miles, sees an opportunity to learn the railroad business from the bottom up. When he goes to get a job, he is surprised to find that Nan is the general manager. Although she at first refuses him, Gordon, calling himself Don Smith, persists, and Nan, to humble him, hires him as superintendent of maintenance, or trackwalker. J. Wesley Hunt, a local lawyer, wants to marry Nan, but she puts him off saying that she will not quit her job until she can repay the debts of her deceased father, who used to be Blake's general manager. Nan is quite pleased when Hunt reports Rebstock's offer of $15,000 for the land, but Blake stubbornly refuses Rebstock's offer of $40,000 for the railroad and demands $60,000. Rebstock's client turns out to be Gordon's father, who refuses to go up in price and threatens to ... +


Gordon D. Harrington, Jr., son of the owner of the great Transcontinental Railroad, complains to his father that he does nothing in the company but rubber-stamp decisions made by others. After a fierce argument, Gordon quits and leaves Chicago. Meanwhile, in the mountain town of Sleepy Car, Colorado, a geologist reports to Edward Rebstock, an agent for an undisclosed party, that there is an unlimited quantity of tungsten at Roberts Heights, which belongs to Nan Roberts and her mother. Rebstock plans to purchase the property and the Blake Railroad line, which runs by it, so that his client can transport the ore. After traveling in a freight car with hoboes, Gordon gets out at Sleepy Car and, learning that the Blake line runs only a distance of thirty-five miles, sees an opportunity to learn the railroad business from the bottom up. When he goes to get a job, he is surprised to find that Nan is the general manager. Although she at first refuses him, Gordon, calling himself Don Smith, persists, and Nan, to humble him, hires him as superintendent of maintenance, or trackwalker. J. Wesley Hunt, a local lawyer, wants to marry Nan, but she puts him off saying that she will not quit her job until she can repay the debts of her deceased father, who used to be Blake's general manager. Nan is quite pleased when Hunt reports Rebstock's offer of $15,000 for the land, but Blake stubbornly refuses Rebstock's offer of $40,000 for the railroad and demands $60,000. Rebstock's client turns out to be Gordon's father, who refuses to go up in price and threatens to come himself if Rebstock fails. After Gordon learns that Hunt is negotiating both deals, his suspicions are aroused. At a dinner dance, Gordon flirts with Nan, who is attracted to him, but provokes her ire by questioning the reason anyone would pay $15,000 for her property. After Gordon finds the geologist's glasses at Roberts Heights and learns that Rebstock plans to leave on the eight o'clock train after transacting the deal, Gordon apologizes to Nan and offers to take her home on his gas scooter. After he purposely runs out of gas so that she will miss the meeting with Rebstock, Nan fires him. The next day, Gordon brings a chunk of ore that he found on Nan's property to town, but learns that Nan and Hunt just left by train to meet Rebstock and his client in Denver. After Gordon purchases an option on the railroad from Blake and learns that Rebstock is acting for Transcontinental, he convinces Blake's engineers to steal a Transcontinental locomotive and speed to Denver. There Gordon learns that the ore is tungsten, and he reaches Rebstock's hotel in time to stop Nan from selling. He then offers his father the Blake line for $60,000, 50% of the profits and the management of the line, and urges Nan not to sell but to offer his father the tungsten for royalties. Gordon's father, impressed by his son, offers him a position in Chicago, and Nan agrees to go with him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.