Whipsaw (film)

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Whipsaw 1935 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sam Wood
Produced by
Screenplay by Howard Emmett Rogers
Story by James Edward Grant
Music by William Axt
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Basil Wrangell
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • December 18, 1935 (1935-12-18) (USA)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $238,000[1][2]
Box office $965,000[1][2]

Whipsaw is a 1935 American crime drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. Written by Howard Emmett Rogers based on a story by James Edward Grant, the film is about a government agent working undercover as a thief who travels across country with an unsuspecting woman thief hoping to arrest a gang of jewel thieves. The film was produced by Harry Rapf for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was released on December 18, 1935 in the United States.


A group of thieves, one being a woman named Vivian Palmer and the others being two men named Ed and Harry, break into various jewelry stores throughout Paris. Ross McBride, a U.S. government official, meets Vivian in a chance encounter as she and her cohorts attempt to flee the country with the stolen merchandise. Ross and Vivian fall in love with each other, but Ross soon learns of her misdeeds. Following his legal obligations, he arrests her.



Initially the film was designed for the duo William Powell and Myrna Loy. Spencer Tracy was called due to unavailability of the actor.[3]

Originally, the title of this movie was Unexpected Bride.[4]

Shooting dates: October 22 to November 20, 1935.

In one scene, Myrna Loy had appeared without makeup, her hair unkempt. A matter of some people, due to a conflict that had opposed the actress and MGM for a salary history. Finally the scene was cut.[5]

It was noted that Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy had an affair during the shooting, in the greatest secrecy. It was the first film of the two actors together. In her autobiography, Myrna Loy stated that Spencer Tracy, who had fallen in love with her, had harassed her during the filming.[6] Rumors says that they had been romantically linked to the end of the filming before to resume a year later in Libeled Lady. Loy and Tracy would hide their affair.[7][8]

Box Office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $574,000 in the US and Canada and $391,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $404,000.[2]


  1. ^ a b James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography. London: Hutchinson, 2011. p272
  2. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library Center for Motion Picture Study .
  3. ^ Christopher Andersen, An affair to remember - The remarkable love story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, 1997, p. 85.
  4. ^ http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=95588&atid=7075
  5. ^ http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/95588/Whipsaw/notes.htm
  6. ^ Myrna Loy Being and Becoming, James Kotsilibas-Davis et Myrna Loy, éditions Knopf 1987, page 122
  7. ^ Wayne, Jane Ellen. The Leading Men of MGM. New York: Carrol and Graf, 2005. ISBN 978-0-7867-1768-2, page 209
  8. ^ An affair to Remember-the remarkable love story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Christopher Andersen, éditions William Morrow and Co 1997, page 85-86

External links[edit]