6.0/10
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18 user 13 critic

The Whip Hand (1951)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 1 October 1951 (USA)
Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake in which all the fish have mysteriously died. The locals are tight-lipped about it,... See full summary »

Writers:

George Bricker (screen play), Frank L. Moss (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carla Balenda ... Janet Keller
Elliott Reid ... Matt Corbin
Edgar Barrier ... Dr. Edward Keller
Raymond Burr ... Steve Loomis
Otto Waldis ... Dr. Wilhelm Bucholtz
Michael Steele ... Chick
Lurene Tuttle ... Molly Loomis
Peter Brocco ... Nate Garr
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... Peterson
Frank Darien Frank Darien ... Luther Adams
Olive Carey ... Mabel Turner
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Storyline

Matt Corbin, a vacationing magazine writer, takes a fishing trip to Minnesota, and stumbles across a lake in which all the fish have mysteriously died. The locals are tight-lipped about it, but Corbin learns that a group of former-Nazis-turned-Communists 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 in whatever those nefarious Commie-Nazis are up to. What they are up to, with Soviet financing, is the development of diseases to use in bacteriological warfare against the United States, starting right there in Minnesota. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SCIENCE HARNESSED BY MADMEN TO WIPE OUT AMERICA'S MILLIONS! [all caps] See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Enemy Within See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

When the Soviet officer is delivering his lecture in the opening sequence in the Kremlin, the wall map showing North America is, of course, written in Russian. However, the map shows Mexico written (transliterated from Cyrillic) as 'MEKSIKO", when in fact, in Russian the country's name is rendered 'MEKSIKA", ending with an "a". 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

 
Down with the Left!
24 May 2014 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

THE WHIP HAND, an interesting curio of a film that's very much of its era, tells the story of a small rural town in the American South which finds itself at the mercy of a band of merciless Communists who'll do anything in their power to keep their plans for germ warfare a secret. Yes, welcome to the world of '50s paranoia and McCarthyist witch-hunts, where the ordinary-looking guy next door just might be a closet pinko.

The guy helming this little B-movie is William Camercon Menzies, responsible for the equally paranoia-laden INVADERS FROM MARS. And THE WHIP HAND turns out to be an entertaining little movie, one which thrives on building a sense of mistrust throughout as the crusading reporter hero gradually becomes aware of a sinister plot in darkest Minnesota. Cuddly bad guy Raymond Burr (REAR WINDOW), a go-to guy for '50s villainy, is inevitably one of the bad guys behind it all.

THE WHIP HAND is watchable and features an unfamiliar cast doing their best with the lines they're given. Sure, it's very much dated these days, but the same dating makes it interesting as a product of its era. The bad guys are far more interesting than the good, especially the well-defined characters like the pervy guy with the flat leather cap or the creepy gamekeeper. The decision to change said bad guys from Nazis to Communists at the last moment makes it all feel a little muddled, but it's certainly not a bad film and rewarding to those with an interest in film as a medium for social commentary.


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