Whistle Stop (1946) - Rotten Tomatoes

Whistle Stop (1946)

Whistle Stop





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this drama, Mary (Ava Gardner) returns to her small town after she becomes a success in the city. Meeting up with her old love, Kenny (George Raft), she discovers that he is still the unambitious, lazy man he was when she left, and she begins an affair with nightclub owner Lew Lentz (Tom Conway). When a jealous rivalry arises between Lew and Kenny, the results could be deadly.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Philip Yordan
In Theaters:
United Artists


Tom Conway
as Lew Lentz
Jane Nigh
as Josie
Florence Bates
as Molly Veech
Charles Judels
as Sam Veech
Carmel Myers
as Estelle
Jimmy Ames
as The Barker
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Whistle Stop

Critic Reviews for Whistle Stop

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The wannabe film noir is dumber than dumb.

Full Review… | July 21, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Melodramático e com uma trama repleta de furos, este pseudo-noir merece créditos apenas por ter oferecido a Ava Gardner seu primeiro grande papel.

July 31, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Whistle Stop


Intriguing, engrossing, lost love romance drama filled with suspense, crime, blood lust and plenty of misery to go all round. In a small town, things get pretty dicey as no one seems to get along. This is a love triangle film, filled with the usual hospital stays, train statons, meals with Ma, card games... its still good to watch it.

When beautiful Mary returns home to her "whistle stop" home town, long-standing feelings of animosity between two of her old boyfriends leads to robbery and murder.

This basically is a love triangle story. Old flame Ava Gardner (not a bad looking chic) comes back to her old small town to find her old flame (George Raft) sulking as usual in the bars round town.

[Gee, this sound again like a play on my "Casablanca". The old flame comes back into this guy's life (ie Raft's life). How many more films are they going to base on my Casablanca epic?]

The title, Monsieur Rick, .... what does it mean?:

Well, this is about trains, sort of. You DO know what trains are, don't you? Not really about trains literally so much, but they blow their damn whistles often enough to make everyone in the film think its an air raid siren. Trains come and go, and so do loves.

But the title generally refers to the loneliness of a one horse town that relies on the train.... people know what the whistles mean as the bar tender conveys in the film. Whistle Stop refers to one of millions of small towns, just a whistle stop away.

This is as much the bartender's film, Victor M. as Gitlo is superb, just as are the then famous George Raft and now famous Ava Gardener. All three play in a spinning, out of control love fest that show friendship can get you a bullit or two.

Kenny's (George Raft) friend Gitlo, a bartender in Lentz' club, enlists Kenny in an aborted plan to rob Lentz of $15,000 in profits from sponsoring a local carnival. Lentz retaliates by framing both men for murder.

See the entire film at:



George Raft ... Kenny Veech
Ava Gardner ... Mary
Victor McLaglen ... Gitlo
Tom Conway ... Lew Lentz
Jorja Curtright ... Fran
Jane Nigh ... Josie Veech
Florence Bates ... Molly Veech
Charles Drake ... Ernie
Charles Judels ... Sam Veech
Carmel Myers ... Estelle
Jimmy Conlin ... Al - the Barber
Jimmy Ames ... Mr. Barker
Mack Gray ... second Bartender

Director: Léonide Moguy
Writers: Maritta M. Wolff (novel), Philip Yordan (screenplay)

NOTES about the film:

1 The big bartender friend of George Raft was a rambunctious British leading man (contrary to popular belief, he wasn't Irish) and later character actor primarily in American films, Victor McLaglen was a vital presence in a number of great motion pictures, especially those of director John Ford. McLaglen (pronounced Muh-clog-len, not Mack-loff-len) was the son of the Right Reverend Andrew McLaglen...

Best Actor in a Leading Role
for: The Informer (1935).

Nominated Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
for: The Quiet Man (1952).

2 The villain character in all of this is Lew Lentz, played by a now unknown Tom Conway. But what we don't realize is that because he had a name really as Tom Conway, the comedian of TV's Carol Burnett Show could not use his real name and the very same name Tom Conway. He had to change his stage name to "Tim Conway".

REVIEWS of the film:

1 "Whistle Stop is no masterpiece, but it intermittently sparks into life, generally when Victor McLaghlin (the bartender) shows up, trying to lure Raft into a murderous scheme or taking revenge on his sneering boss."

2 "This film is all about Ava Gardner, you have to realize that in writing a review. MGM was about to launch her on her career and Whistle Stop was a low budget independently produced noir film that United Artists released. If it and she flopped it was no loss to MGM who saw their money up front in a loan out fee."

3 "Victor McLaghlin (the bartender) saves the show. His character is not only the only one that is interesting enough to care about but McLaghlin gives a really wonderful performance and one well worth watching. I wish the entire movie had been about him with Raft and Gardner as the peripheral characters. "

4 " Ava Gardner is amazing eye candy, a screen goddess, and steals every scene she is in. Frankly, she is so gorgeous that she is completely miscast in this little melodrama about small town hicks."

Runtime:85 min

Sound Mix:Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color:Black and White


Monsieur Rick
monsieur rick

This was a pretty good story . Usually, it's the guy who moves away,
and the girl who stays, and the guy comes back, a lot different, than when he left. Not this film . She's the one who left, became educated,
a little worldly , and was makeing it , in the buisness world .

Meanwhile , he stays back in the small town, and does his own
growing . I can't say much, because , I think it's a film worth watching.

Mark Vaughn

When Mary (Gardner) returns to her home town after two years away, she rekindles a rivalry between Kenny (Raft), a two-bit loser she's always loved, and Lew (Conway), the local hotel owner--and hood-- who has always been in love with [i]her[/i]. This time, the rivalry leads to more than just a few thrown punches... this time, it leads to robbery and murder!

"Whistle Stop" feels more like a summary of a story than the actual story. We learn learn next to nothing about the characters other than their most obvious traits (Why does Mary really come back to town? What was she really doing for those two years in Chicago? Why does Lew go to such extreme measures to get even with Kenny... is he really just a bastard?), we learn very little about the deep relationships that exist between them (Why does Gitlo--a resentment-filled employee of Lew, who is played by Victor McLaglan--have such a soft spot for Mary? Has Mary and her family always been the landlords of Kenny's family and is that how they met?). Perhaps if we knew a little more about the characters in the film, the ending would have felt a little less strange.

This is one of those films that's technically well made and features decent performances by all the actors, but which is ultimately undone by a bad script. The end result is okay but unremarkable.

Whistle Stop
Starring: George Raft, Ava Gardner, Victor McLaglan, Tom Conway, and Jorja Curtright
Director: Leonide Moguy

Steve Miller

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