The Whisperers Reviews
Writes one critic:
"It's a pity this film isn't better known. It deserves a bigger audience. The superb work of photographer Gerry Turpin and Director Bryan Forbes made this bleak story all the better with just the right amount of closeups and odd-angle shots, and some striking film noir-like light and shadows. This would be a stunner in high-definition.
Then, of course, you have the wonderful acting by Edith Evans, who plays the central character, "Mrs. Ross." Some think she got robbed out of the Oscar the year this was eligible, and they may be right."
NOTES about the film:
1 Lead actress Dame Edith Evans was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and won the BAFTA Award, the Silver Bear for Best Actress award at the 17th Berlin International Film Festival, the National Board of Review award, the New York Film Critics Circle award, and the Golden Globe Award all for Best Actress.
2 The title refers to the creatures a very poor, old lady (Dame Edith Evans) imagines in her paranoid fantasies.
Directed by Bryan Forbes:
Whistle Down the Wind (1961) The L-Shaped Room (1962) Séance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) King Rat (1965) The Wrong Box (1966) The Whisperers (1967) Deadfall (1968) The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969)
1970s The Raging Moon (1971) The Stepford Wives (1975) The Slipper and the Rose (1976) International Velvet (1978)
1980s Better Late Than Never (1982) The Naked Face (1984)
Written by Robert Nicolson and Bryan Forbes
Edith Evans - Mrs. Ross
Nanette Newman - The Girl Upstairs
Harry Baird - The Man Upstairs
Jack Austin - Police Sergeant
Gerald Sim - Mr. Conrad
Lionel Gamlin - Mr. Conrad's Colleague
Glen Farmer - 1st Redeemer
Oliver MacGreevy - 2nd Redeemer
Ronald Fraser - Charlie Ross
Kenneth Griffith - Mr. Weaver
Avis Bunnage - Mrs. Noonan
John Orchard - Grogan
Peter Thompson - Publican
Sarah Forbes - Mrs. Ross When Young
Penny Spencer - Mavis Noonan
Cinematography Gerry Turpin
Editing by Anthony Harvey
Release date(s) 24 August 1967
Running time 105 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Shot on misty, overcast days, "The Whisperers" is all artful and bleak - as exteriors look like lonely places fit only for dying. Camera moves are minimal, though effective and the cutting and angles are chosen to emphasize the grotesque nature and dishonesty of characters.
A more bleak portrayal of a given society you'd be hard pressed to find, as the old woman is cruelly mistreated by her son, husband and strangers alike. The performances are all excellent - soaked with the stink of cruelty and well advanced heart rot.
A quiet, restrained character study which manages to convince us that losing touch with reality is not always such a bad thing.