Whistling Smith

Whistling Smith


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The NFB's 31st Oscar®-nominated film.

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

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Whistling Smith, Michael Scott & Marrin Canell, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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  • 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

  • None

    I found this film doing research on representations of the dtes but just subjectively: I adore Wilma. I keep rewatching it just for her.

    None, 13 Nov 2018
  • frasermca

    I was the sound recordist on this film so I heard the entire interview with Wilma -- afterwards the entire crew was in tears

    frasermca, 13 Apr 2016
  • sixam

    I shudder to think of what happened to Wilma and her children.

    sixam, 5 Apr 2015
  • apettit7

    As a youth growing up in east Van in the 1980's I am grateful for the tough-love cops like Sgt. Smith who kept me in the right direction.

    apettit7, 15 Nov 2012

    As recently as 2004 there were still some cops like that in East Van. In fact I found the police in Vancouver much kinder then police here in Toronto. 14 div should watch this film

    JAYS_JUNK, 14 Feb 2012
  • tiger2338

    This the way policing used to be.

    tiger2338, 12 Feb 2012
  • tsea512

    As a police officer for 24 years , that is real police qqwork, it does not exist anymore! now the criminels have more power , WHAT A SHAME!!!

    tsea512, 14 Jan 2012
  • tsea512

    As a police officer for 24 years , that is real police qqwork, it does not exist anymore! now the criminels have more power , WHAT A SHAME!!!

    tsea512, 14 Jan 2012
  • roberto

    Great presentation of what we once had, that is now gone forever. I am sure there are many Sgt. Smiths out there...but they ride the beat Are they really in touch with the people and the streets? Do they really want to be????????

    roberto, 31 Jan 2011
  • roberto

    I can remember this type of police patrol as a young person, the force seemed to be more in touch with the public and the problems of the times. Now days kids hang in gangs and feed off one another, in my city we see less and less cops on foot patrol. I believe the camera encouraged Sgt. Smith to be a bit dramatic but all said I think we could use more Sgt. Smiths good N.F.B presentation also loved The Waterwalker Cheers, Roberto

    roberto, 31 Jan 2011

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