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The Whip and the Body (1963)

La frusta e il corpo (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 10 December 1965 (USA)
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.


(as John M. Old)


(screenplay) (as Julian Berry), (screenplay) (as Robert Hugo) | 1 more credit »

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


After the announcement of the servant Losat, the nobleman Kurt Menliff returns to the castle of his family at the seaside to congratulate his brother Christian Menliff for his marriage with his former lover Nevenka. Kurt feels the hatred and the fear of his father Count Menliff and the servant Giorgia, who blames him for seducing and killing her daughter, and indifference from his cousin Katia. On the next afternoon, the sadistic Kurt meets Nevenka riding a horse alone on the beach and whips the masochistic woman and makes love with her. Late night, Nevenka is missing and everybody is seeking her while Kurt is stabbed in the neck with the same dagger that Giorgia's daughter was murdered. On the next days, the members of the family suspects of each other while Nevenka is haunted by the ghost of Kurt. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What is her terrifying secret?? Is she the victim of a madman???? Or a dead man? You must see "What?"! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 December 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Whip and the Body  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$66,500 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kurt Menliff: I have never had a warmer welcome.
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Referenced in Hellraiser (1987) 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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