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The Whisperers


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Editorial Reviews

Dame Edith Evans won the Best Actress Award from the New York Film Critics Circle for her performance as a lonely old woman, alone in a slum apartment, whose "voices" tell her that she is plotted against. The "voices" are right - and no one will believe her.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dame Edith Evans, Eric Portman, Nanette Newman, Ronald Fraser
  • Directors: Bryan Forbes
  • Writers: Bryan Forbes
  • Producers: Produced by MICHAEL S. LAUGHLIN & RONALD SHEDLO
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2010
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003B3O5JU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,569 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

A stunning performance from Edith Evans.
New books
I love this movie because it is bittersweet it is something that makes you appreciate the things that you have as in comparison to the things that you wish you had..
MUFFINPAN
It covers despair, loneliness, and life in such a realistic way that it makes you think, may be, of your own; your values as a person.
Count Dracula

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John Ellis on July 27, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Known for her flamboyant Restoration comedy stage (and occasional screen) performances, Edith Evans in this film gives a small, detailed performance of social realism, completely unsentimental and without vanity, that is one of the best 60s 'kitchen sink' dramas on film. It is not a movie about a woman sitting in a room hearing voices all day, as the title and description will usually lead you to believe. It is a moving, lively and sad depiction of old age without money, and the fumbling ineffectiveness of the social welfare system to help; an English equivalent of Gorky's 'The Lower Depths'. It could use a touch of Chechov's compassionate humor. Evans was nominated for an Oscar and lost to Katherine Hepburn for her rather smug performance in 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'. Pity. Evans, who could be quite glamorous, is entirely without vanity here. If she were an American, you would hear this performance talked about in hushed tones at the Actor's Studio.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By BMG on April 16, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dame Edith is astonishing here. How the Oscar went to Hepburn is one of the greatest travesties in the Academy's history. Never has there been a more heartbreaking, realistic yet unsentimental portrayal of a lonely elderly person. The performance rightly won Best Actress from: The New York Film Critics, The National Board of Review, The Venice Film Festival, The Hollywood Foreign Press (Best Actress, Drama), and the BAFTA. This Bryan Forbes directed film deserves far better than the DVD-R release it gets here, but it is better than nothing. Also notable is the haunting score and bleak b&w cinematography. 4 stars.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birch on October 27, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
In the late 1960s, I was in the U.S. Navy stationed onboard a submarine tender in Holy Loch, Scotland. One weekend I went down to London and saw "The Whisperers". I was completely engrossed and captivated by Edith Evans' performance. Half way through the film, however, I had to leave the theatre due to a oncoming cold. It was not until more than 40 years later that I was able to see the complete film, and I still consider it to be the best British movie of that era. London may then have been the center of the "Swinging 60s," but it was also drab and cold and at times depressing. "The Whisperers" perfectly captures the "other" side of Mod London. See it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James A. Butler on November 22, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is a distinct difference between performing and acting. Edith Evans shows us what a real actress can do! "The Whisperers" gives us a voyeuristic look into the world of a borderline dementia affected elerly woman dependent upon government assistance to meet her day to day needs and dealing with imaginary voices emanating for various corners of her dreary flat. She also copes with abandonment,lonliness, and predators who take advantage of her naivety. Evans' performance is nuanced and with minimal dialog, she is able to draw you into the world of Margaret Ross. You will wind yourself worried about Margaret Ross long after the credits roll. If subtlety is not your cup of tea, you are not likely to enjoy "The Whisperers." However, if a haunting and riveting performance is what you're after, this gem definitely should be in your collection!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Edward L. Blank on August 3, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"The Whisperers" deserves an astute audio commentary, something that is becoming increasingly rare on the DVDs of bonafide classic films.

Edith Evans' against-type portrayal of the desperately lonely and demented old woman in "The Whisperers" is arguably the single greatest performance by any woman in any movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Count Dracula on January 26, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you love old black and white "kitchen sink" mystery drama's you will love this. It covers despair, loneliness, and life in such a realistic way that it makes you think, may be, of your own; your values as a person.
Superb all around acting, especially from Dame Edith herself. Definitely worth a place in any classic collection.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on January 1, 2009
Format: VHS Tape
Dame Edith Evans has perhaps her best movie role as Maggie Ross, a 76-year-old British woman who lives in a small flat and collects assistance. Maggie has paranoid delusions -- she thinks that there are people communicating with her through her water pipes, that the woman living upstairs is a slave being held captive, and that people are watching her. She also believes that she is an heiress whose inheritance has been delayed. When her ne'er do well son stops by for a rare visit and hides some ill-gotten money in her flat, Maggie finds it and thinks that it's her inheritance, which triggers a series of unfortunate events.

"The Whisperers" is all Dame Evan's show. Her performance perfectly captures the confusion, fear, and loneliness of her character. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, losing to Katharine Hepburn, and she won the same award at the Golden Globes. I also think the movie pretty accurately portrays dementia, although that word is never explicitly used. Unfortunately, that's the highlight of "The Whisperers." It's a depressing movie without any humor, and the other characters are largely without redeeming qualities, making the movie rather slow going and unpleasant. I can't say that I enjoyed the movie. Nevertheless, the film is worth a look for Evan's performance; I can also imagine the movie being used in classes dealing with dementia. "The Whisperers" isn't available yet on DVD; a situation I hope the movie studio will remedy soon.
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