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The Whip Hand (1951)

5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 241 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 7 critic

Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake, near a ghost-town, where all the fish have mysteriously died. None of the locals ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Whip Hand (1951)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carla Balenda ...
Janet Keller
...
Matt Corbin
Edgar Barrier ...
Dr. Edward Keller
...
Steve Loomis
Otto Waldis ...
Dr. Wilhelm Bucholtz
Michael Steele ...
Chick
...
Molly Loomis
Peter Brocco ...
Nate Garr
Lewis Martin ...
Peterson
Frank Darien ...
Luther Adams
Olive Carey ...
Mabel Turner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bobby Watson ...
Adolf Hitler (scenes deleted)
William Yetter Jr. ...
German Sergeant (scenes deleted)
William Yetter Sr. ...
German Llieutenant (scenes deleted)
Edit

Storyline

Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake, near a ghost-town, where all the fish have mysteriously died. None of the locals care to talk about it but he learns that a group of former-Nazi's-turned-communist have purchased a lodge on an island, in the middle of the fish-killing lake, and have built some kind of laboratory. Never one to pass up a chance to sell a story to a magazine, Matt decides to investigate. His only ally is Janet Keller, the sister of the local doctor who has been caught up into whatever those Commie-Nazis are up to out there in their laboratory on an island lake. What they are up to, with Soviet financing, is the development of diseases to use in bacteriological warfare against the United States of America, starting in Minnesota. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DEATH-GERM PLOT MENACES MILLIONS! [all caps] See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 October 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Enemy Within  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally shot with the bad guys conducting the germ warfare experiments as Nazis (which is why many of the characters have German names). However, producer Howard Hughes had a change of heart and decided that Communists were more of a menace than crazed Nazi scientists (it was also the height of the McCarthy "Red Scare" era) and ordered extensive re-shooting, with the villains now becoming former Nazis but current Communists. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Matt Corbin: Guess I'm a little lost. I thought this was the road to Winnoga.
Guard: Back a mile and take the other fork.
See more »

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User Reviews

An rarely shown film from William Cameron Menzies is not void of interest.
29 September 2001 | by See all my reviews

I was 12 years old when I first learned of this film from reading John Baxters chapter on William Cameron Menzies in his ground breaking book "Science Fiction in The Cinema.' The plot concerning germ warfare and Baxters praise of the film made me want to see it. I later learned from other sources that this film was made from a finished film called THE MAN HE FOUND, about Adolph Hitler being alive and well and living the USA. RKO studio heads did not like the film and ordered a new story written and new footage shot that would use as much footage from THE MAN HE FOUND as possible. This made me want to see it even more. But for years this film eluded me. It never showed up on TV, never shown as part of a Menzies retrospective and never turned up officially on video. It then turned up in the early 1990's late one night on TNT, where I taped it and have watched several times since.

While I found the film of some interest, I can certainly say Baxter over praised this film. Its not a bad cold war era espionage thriller, but other than the plot, its nothing special either. It is no doubt the least interesting of Menzies fantastic films that he both designed and directed. The court yard where infected guinea pigs wander around like zombies and Otto Waldis's lab are of some visual interest, but over all there isn't much of Menzies design genius evident. To comment on his direction is pointless, because Menzies was never a good director of actors. The reshooting and incorporating old scenes with the new scenes is done fairly well. I noticed where new scenes were inserted, but only because I was looking for them. Note that this film uses a lot of close ups. Otto Waldis as the former Nazi scientist, now working for Russian Communists is a bit hard to take. He praises his new adopted ideology. While its true Nazism and Communism have more in common then with western style democracy, most of the Nazi scientists who went to work for the Commies after the war did so more out of pragmatic and mercenary reasons than ideological ones.


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