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Whistling Smith

Whistling Smith

| 27 min
1974 8 films

What makes British Columbia different from the rest of the country is a fascinating subject no matter what form it takes. When explored on film it makes for vivid contrasts and not a few surprises. The films in this series capture a colorful spectrum of life on the west side of the Great Divide, reflecting not only the physical magnitude of the land, vertically and horizontally, but the character of the people who meet its challenge.


This film is a revealing portrait of a tough cop with a big heart. Sergeant Bernie "Whistling" Smith walks the beat on Vancouver's Eastside, the hangout of petty criminals, down-and-outs and a variety of characters. His policing is unorthodox. To many drug users, petty thieves and prostitutes in this economically depressed area he is more than the iron hand of the law, he is also a counsellor and a friend.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

  • director
    Michael Scott
    Marrin Canell
  • editing
    Michael Scott
    Marrin Canell
  • producer
    Barrie Howells
    Michael Scott
  • executive producer
    Ian McLaren
  • script
    Donald Brittain
  • photography
    Henry Fiks
  • sound
    Fraser McAninch
  • sound editing
    John Knight
  • music
    Larry Crosley


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Ages 16 to 17

Health/Personal Development - Substance Use and Abuse/Addiction
Social Studies - Contemporary Issues
Social Studies - Law

Topics for class discussion: Smith’s style of policing, the effectiveness of his style of policing, the response of his clientele to his policing style, the response of his superiors to his style, his passion for cleaning up the neighbourhood where he works. Discuss how Smith’s policing style differs from that of any police officers you have encountered.

Whistling Smith
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