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The Whip and the Body (1963)
"La frusta e il corpo" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,681 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 60 critic

In the 19th century, a sadistic nobleman terrorizes the members of his family. He is found dead, but his ghost soon returns to haunt the residents of his castle.

Director:

(as John M. Old)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Nevenka Menliff
...
Kurt Menliff
Tony Kendall ...
Christian Menliff
Ida Galli ...
Katia (as Isli Oberon)
Harriet Medin ...
Giorgia (as Harriet White)
Gustavo De Nardo ...
Count Menliff (as Dean Ardow)
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Losat (as Alan Collins)
Jacques Herlin ...
Priest
Edit

Storyline

Kurt Menliff is a ruthless and sadistic 19th Century nobleman who returns to his seafront castle home after years of wondering. He finds himself immediately at odds with his invalid father, a Count, as well as Kurt's spineless younger brother Christian, whom is married to Kurt's cousin and former lover Nevenka. When Kurt is found in his room on the next night, murdered, suspicion falls on everyone which gets more complicated when Nevenka begins seeing his ghost (real or imaginary?) haunting the castle supposedly wanting revenge against his killers. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most deliriously romantic horror picture ever made! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

10 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Whip and the Body  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$66,500 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Lee's voice was dubbed by another actor even though the film was shot in English. See more »

Quotes

Kurt Menliff: [to Nevenka] You haven't changed, I see. You've always loved violence.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blood Fiend (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Christopher Lee raises hell in Bava's baroque horror romance!
6 June 2005 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Mario Bava is often hailed as one of the true gods of horror cinema, and for good reason. His influence extends his filmography, and many Mario Bava films have gone on to have a big effect on the horror genre on the whole. Films such as Bay of Blood and Black Sunday are well known and have been seen by many serious film fanatics, but when you delve deeper into the man's list of directorial credits, his lesser known films tend to be just as good as his major hits. The Whip and the Body is one such film, and after viewing it; I rate it among the very top of the man's movies. This Gothic horror romance features many of Mario Bava's trademarks, which are the things that have won him such high praise from a number of well-informed sources. The story follows Nevenka, a young woman who is married to Christian, son of the lord of the castle in which the film takes place. However, things aren't so simple as Christian's brother, Kurt, a sadistic nobleman is still in love with his brother's bride and has returned to the castle to reclaim his girl. Things really get interesting when he is found dead, only for his ghost to reappear inside the castle walls.

One of things that Mario Bava is often highly praised for is his use of lighting, and this film features what is probably the best use of lighting ever seen in a Bava film. The lights give flair to the scenery, and help to give the film that picturesque cinematography that the former cinematographer creates so well. Despite being excellent, however, it's not the lighting that is the main standout in this movie; it's the soundtrack. Giving the film a tragic love story atmosphere, the powerful theme bodes with the lighting to help create a tense and powerful atmosphere, in which Bava allows his actors to inhabit. This film represents the only pairing of Bava with British horror icon Christopher Lee, and as usual Lee lights up the screen with his persona and screen presence. The whipping scenes are what made this film notorious in the first place, and seeing Lee enjoying delivering the lashing is haunting and even quite frightening! The romance element of the story is wonderfully done, and it offsets the horror of the story well, which ultimately brings the film into balance. I rate this Bava film as one of the best the great Italian ever made and it therefore comes with a soaring recommendation.


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