Whispering City

Whispering City (also known as Crime City) is a 1947 black-and-white film noir directed by Fedor Ozep and starring Paul Lukas, Mary Anderson, and Helmut Dantine. It was filmed on location in Quebec City and Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada in both English and French.[3] A French language version entitled La Forteresse, with different actors, was made simultaneously.[4]

Whispering City
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFedor Ozep
Produced byGeorge Marton
Screenplay byRian James
Leonard Lee
Story byMichael Lennox
StarringPaul Lukas
Mary Anderson
Helmut Dantine
Music byMorris Davis
CinematographyGuy Roe
William O. Steiner
Edited byW.L. Bagier
Richard J. Jarvis
Distributed byEagle-Lion Films
Release date
  • November 20, 1947 (1947-11-20) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
Budget750,000 (estimated) CAD[1]


Taking place in Quebec City, the film tells the story of a lawyer and a patron of the arts, Albert Frédéric, who, earlier in life, caused a murder and made it look like an accident for financial gain.

Later in life, a dying woman tells a reporter the tale of how she thinks the accident was actually murder. The young American reporter, Mary Roberts, begins investigating the case, unaware that the charming lawyer may be behind it all. Meanwhile, Michel Lacoste, a classical composer, who is supported by Frédéric, is having marriage troubles. Finally his wife kills herself and leaves the husband a note. Frédéric sneaks into the apartment, takes the note and convinces the man that he killed her in a drunken rage.

Michel, whose night was indeed blacked out by drink, can't remember anything. The lawyer then offers the composer a deal: kill reporter Mary Roberts in exchange for legal representation that will guarantee to get the younger man off the hook. The man, seeing no other choice, agrees reluctantly. The man and woman meet but he does not have the heart to kill her. The two begin to fall in love, gradually figure out that the lawyer is the real killer and set about a scheme to drive the lawyer into confessing to the crime.



The film was known as Stronghold.[2]


Film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review, writing, "Watchable minor film noir, that is competently directed by Fyodor Otsep from a story by George Zuckerman and Michael Lennox. The acting by Paul Lukas and Helmut Dantine is far beyond what you would expect in such a cheapie film. But the narrative has too many coincidental plot points to be believable, though the crisply told story is for the most part entertaining. The film is told in flashback by a tourist guide sleigh driver to two riders in Quebec City."[5]

See also


  1. Variety (22 August 2018). "Variety (September 1947)". New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. Retrieved 22 August 2018 via Internet Archive.
  2. Whispering City on IMDb
  3. La Forteresse on IMDb
  4. Schwartz, Dennis. Ozus' World Movie Reviews. film review, May 1, 2005. Accessed: July 8, 2013.
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