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Monday Movie Madness: Whispering Smith

Photo: If you like vintage movie posters, be sure to check them out!

Hello, Posse!

I hope you are having a great day and have come into Monday feeling relaxed and happy after a great weekend. I spent the weekend updating my website. I found I had automated messages that were being sent out that had not been updated since I built the site. The graphics in these messages only showed that I had the first two books in publication. Oops.

I really look forward to the day I make enough money from my books that I can afford to pay someone to take care of the basic updating and general maintenance of my website. Ah, to dream! I did just apply for a job recently. If I get it, I would end up with less time to actually write, but I might be able to afford to pay for someone to take care of the general upkeep and maybe even start some real advertising. Then I could spend my time actually writing the books and not ding all of the "extras". No matter what, this site and the books will continue. I can't imagine ever giving this up. I love it too much.

Another thing I seriously love is watching movies!

Today's Western movie is Whispering Smith. It was released in 1948 by Paramount Pictures and was directed by Leslie Fenton. This was the first Western film for its star Alan Ladd and, like with many great Western movies, Whispering Smith was based on a novel. The book Whispering Smith was written by Frank H. Spearman and had a previous movie adaptation starring H. B. Warner which was released in 1926.

Ladd was joined on the cast by Robert Preston, Brenda Marshall, Donald Crisp, Fay Holden, William Demarest, Murvyn Vye, Frank Faylen, John Eldredge, Ward Wood, J. Farrell MacDonald, Bob Kortman, and Will Wright. The movie was filmed on a $2 million dollar budget and managed to bring in $2.8 million at the box office. The storyline also later spawned a TV series which aired on NBC in 1961 staring Audie Murphy.

The studio spent $70,000 to build a Western town on their backlot for this movie, including 2000 feet of railroad track on which they ran authentic 1870 locomotives. The set did not go to waste after the filming of Whispering Smith was complete. It was used again for many subsequent movies and TV shows including one of my personal favorites, Bonanza.

Today's movie follows Luke "Whispering" Smith (Ladd), a railroad detective sent to investigate a recent train robbery during which a guard was shot. The Barton boys, Blake (Vye), Leroy (Wood), and Gabby (Kortman) are the suspected culprits.

During his investigation, Smith meets up with an old friend, Murray Sinclair (Preston), who works for the railroad. When Smith catches up to the Barton boys, he shoots Leroy and Gabby, but is shot in the process. He is saved when the harmonica in his pocket takes the bullet for him. The harmonica had been a gift from his former love interest, Marian, who just happens to currently be married to his friend, Sinclair.

Things take a dramatic turn when Smith learns that Sinclair may be involved in some shady dealings with a local rancher, Barney Rebstock (Crisp). Rebstock has a bad reputation and has been hiding Blake Barton. He even hires a gunslinger, Whitey DuSang (Faylen) to deal with Smith and hopefully stop his investigation. When Sinclair is fired by the railroad, Redstock hires him to rob trains instead. As the conflicts come to a head, allies turn on each other and friendships are tested. does have a full movie listing for Whispering Smith on their site. If you can access that website where you live, be sure to give this movie a try.

Movie Snack Recipe

Today's movie snack recipe is so good you will not want to whisper about it, you will shout from the rooftops how good this is. I'm talking about Bite Size Blooming Onions by (<--- click to go to recipe).

I am a serious onion ring fan and this recipe blows onion rings right out of the water! I like to pair mine with a little Sriracha Mayo (if your read my blogs often, you know I love this) or a Bourdon BBQ sauce. I keep thinking I need to try a nice Queso dip too, it just seems like a good idea. The possibilities for sauce combinations are virtually endless! If you give this movie snack recipe a try, be sure to share your favorite dip choices with us.

Tip: Other blooming onion recipes I have tried have you soak the onions in an ice water bath for at least 30 minutes or more to help the petals open up so you can get the coating down in the onion. I forgot to try that with this recipe and just thought about that as I posted this. I plan to try it next time. No matter what, it never hurts to try.

Great Westerns

Remember, like with today's movie pick, many great Western movies start out as great Western books. If you haven't already, why not read my Into the West Saga Serial Collection (click to view books ---^). Parts one through five are available now on and I'm currently writing part six for a planned September release and part seven, the final book in this serial, is slated for a Christmas release (cross your fingers).

If you join my mailing list, you can read the first chapter of part one, Into the West: The Orphan Train for free! It's free to join, quit anytime, no strings attached! My mailing plan only allows for three mass emails a month, so there is no chance I will ever bombard you with tons of emails. What have you got to lose? Join us today, just click here and fill out the form.

But you know what time it is now, posse! It's time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie!




Whispering Smith Trailer - 1948

This is the only trailer I can find online for this movie. Yes, I know it is just a black screen, but if you click "Watch on YouTube" below, you should be able to view it on their site.

Radio Show

Screen Director's Playhouse

Whispering Smith with Alan Ladd

(September 16, 1949)


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