The Whip Hand

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The Whip Hand
original US half-sheet film poster
Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Stuart Gilmore (fill-in)[1]
Produced by Lewis Rachmil
Written by George Bricker
Frank L. Moss
Curt Siodmak (uncredited)[1]
Story by Roy Hamilton
Starring Carla Balenda
Elliott Reid
Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca
Edited by Robert Golden
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • October 24, 1951 (1951-10-24) (US)[1]
Running time
82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $376,000[2]

The Whip Hand is a 1951 American film directed by William Cameron Menzies. It stars Carla Balenda and Elliott Reid.[3]



In July 1949, RKO purchased the screen story written by Roy Hamilton. The film was originally set in New England, and was titled The Man He Found; the term "the whip hand" comes from horse racing, and is a metaphor for having the advantage or upper hand.[1] In the original story the villains were escaped German Nazis involved in a plot to hide Adolf Hitler, portrayed by Bobby Watson. When Howard Hughes viewed the completed film in November 1950, he announced that Nazis were no longer villains, Communists were, and ordered portions of the film reshot.[4][1]

Location shooting took place in Big Bear Lake as well as at RKO's ranch in Encino.


The film lost an estimated $225,000.[2][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f The Whip Hand at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ a b Jewell, Richard and Marton, Vernon (1982) The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House. p.260
  3. ^ "The Whip Hand (1951) - William Cameron Menzies - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Weaver, Tom {July 30, 2005) "Elliot Reid Interview" in Earth Vs. The Sci-Fi Filmmakers: 20 Interviews McFarland, p.325

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