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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 1,713 users  
Reviews: 42 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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Title: The Whip and the Body (1963)

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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)
Jacques Herlin ...
Priest
Luciano Pigozzi ...
Losat (as Alan Collins)
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?

Quotes

Kurt Menliff: I have never had a warmer welcome.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bones (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Christopher Lee returns to a sea-front castle and tangles with Daliah Lavi
17 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film has many merits, although the story leans to the lurid (shocking and sensational) at times. The credit has to go to the director, Mario Bava, for the results. The acting of the two main leads, Christopher Lee and Daliah Lavi, is among their best. But the real star of the show is the lighting, sets, production design, cinematography and the location, which is a castle set on a bluff overlooking the ocean.

I see this film as an extension of film noir, both in theme and photography, but it goes further. The noir "Slightly Scarlet", done in 1956, is a precursor and there are other such noirs done in color that also qualify. This film, coming in 1963, is close in time to have been following in those footsteps. For example, the film opens with a magnificent sequence in which Lee returns on horseback to the castle at night. It ends with a long shot in which we see him in silhouette next to the castle's silhouette and deep shadows.

As the film proceeds, we are inside the castle, whose corridors and crypt are heavily shadowed, but also lit in extraordinary ways in hues of green, red, and blue. The faces of Lee and Lavi at times receive similar treatment. It is the resulting look of the film that merits such a high rating.

The story revolves around the antagonisms and attractions among Lee and the family members and their servants. Lee is stabbed, and a mystery is set in motion as to who did it. Lee and Lavi have formerly been lovers. He still wants her and believes they belong together. She has married his brother, plus she is aroused sexually by being whipped, and Lee accommodates her. Feelings run deep and high as do obsessions, and there is a crime, so that we are again in noir territory.

The musical theme is haunting and fits the film perfectly.


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