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Whistling in Brooklyn

Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) starring Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland

Movie review of Red Skelton’s third, and final, appearance as Wally Benton, aka. The Fox. He’s a radio personality and amateur detective. In this installment, The Fox is still trying to marry his fiancee. But he’s on the run from the police after being blamed for multiple murders. Murders committed by the mysterious “Constant Reader”! Danger and comedy in equal parts, with an appearance by the Brooklyn Dodgers as well!

Photo of Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Rags Ragland, Jean Rogers in Whistling in Brooklyn

Buy from Whistling in Brooklyn is the third and final installment of Red Skelton‘s “Whistling” series, and that’s a crying shame; all three movies are comedy gems, and Whistling in Brooklyn is no exception.   At the beginning of Whistling in Brooklyn, Wally Benton (Red Skelton), aka. “The Fox”, is finishing broadcasting his weekly radio murder mystery program. He’s trying to dash off to get married to his long-suffering fiancee, Carol Lambert (Ann Rutherford).   As they try to pack up and get out, it’s a very funny scene with their chauffeur, Sylvester. Played by Rags Ragland reprising his role from the previous two films. One of the highlights of the film is the verbal jousting between Rags and Red Skelton.   At the same time, there’s a series of murders occurring in the city. The mysterious “Constant Reader” sending letters to a newspaper taunting the police.

On the run

Whistling in Brooklyn poster, with Red Skelton and Ann Rutherford

One of the investigating police officers, in fact, is William Frawley (best known for his role as Fred Mertz in the I Love Lucy TV series).   Rags Ragland, trying to be promoted to Red’s press agent, has planted the story that Red Skelton is Constant Reader. A would-be reporter, Jean Pringle (played by Jean Rogers, best known for her role of Dale Arden in the Flash Gordon serials) is trying to interview the couple. Only to get mixed up in the murder mystery.  

The foursome is soon on the run from both the police and the gangsters. They get into and out of various troubles. It ends with a baseball outing with the Brooklyn Dodgers versus the “Battling Beavers”. A very funny bit, where Red Skelton cuts the beard off one of the players. In order to impersonate him and pitch for the “Beavers”. All in order to warn the next murder victim. It culminates with a final fight on board a boat that’s both funny and dangerous.

In Whistling in Brooklyn, the laughs come fast and often. I enjoyed it very much, and hope that you do, too. Be sure to read the funny movie quotes from Whistling in Brooklyn as well!

Trivia for Whistling in Brooklyn

  • Brooklyn Dodger players Max Macon, Alex Kampouris, Ray Hayworth, Pat Ankenman, Newt Kimball and Hal Peck were reported (by the New York Times) to be cast in the movie as baseball players, with some of them as “Beaver” players. A few of them had left the Brooklyn Dodgers by the time this film was released.
  • Last movie Ann Rutherford made with MGM studios