The Whistler was adapted into a film noir series of eight films by Columbia Pictures.The "Voice of the Whistler" was provided by an uncredited Otto Forrest. In the first seven films, veteran actor Richard Dix played the main character in the story—a different character in each film. In the eighth film, made after Dix's retirement, Michael Duane played the main character.
The stories followed an effective formula in which a person's criminal acts were typically undone by either an overlooked but important detail or their own stupidity, except on some rare occasions when a curious twist of fate caused the story to end happily for the episode's protagonist. Ironic twist endings were a key feature of each episode of the series. The Whistler himself narrated, often commenting directly upon the action in the manner of a Greek chorus, taunting the criminal from an omniscient perspective.