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(aka "The Enemy Within" or "The Man He Found")


directed by William Cameron Menzies
USA 1951


The anti-communist film was a malignant undergrowth to the noir cycle [...] Some of them, nonetheless, have their moments. The Whip Hand, directed by William Cameron Menzies, is one of these (possibly because it started as an anti-Nazi intrigue piece before then-RKO boss Howard Hughes decreed that the Commies would make better box-office in 1951, the high noon of McCarthyism). Journalist Matt Corbin (Elliott Reid) is on a solo fishing trip somewhere in northern Minnesota (probably not far from Jefty's Road House), when he conks his head. Seeking medical attention, he stumbles into a strange town where he's told to fish elsewhere, as a virus, or something, has wiped out all the fish. It's kind of like Bad Day at Black Rock, where a loner insists on solving a terrible secret despite the fact that the whole town is in on the conspiracy. He can't even get a message out, or, if he does.... A bearded Raymond Burr is an outwardly jovial innkeeper and the best actor in this curious film, which manages to generate some tension and suspense along the way.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 1 October 1951 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:21:51

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: February 16th, 2016
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Chapters 12





The Whip Hand is a communist paranoia noir from the McCarthy era, would fit perfectly with such titles as The Red Menace, I Was a Communist for the F. B. I., My Son John or The Woman on Pier 13. The film was conceived as an anti-Nazi thriller, but quickly changed its tune to a more popular anti-Soviet rhetoric once Howard Hughes took over the production. William Cameron Menzies (Things to Come, Address Unknown) provides able direction and manages to get good performances from the film's no-big-names cast. Raymond Burr, a film noir heavy of too many classics to list, is the film's most recognizable name and provides its best performance. The female star is elusive Carla Balenda (born Sally Bliss) whose last uncredited film role was in John Frankenheimer's Seconds. Male lead Elliott Reid would play Victor Mature's role in Vicki, 1953 remake of I Wake Up Screaming. I was especially impressed by unsubtitled Russian monologue in the opening minutes by Gregory Gaye, who made a career of playing Russians and Europeans in Hollywood since late 1920's.

The Whip Hand was released in Spain two years before it was remastered for made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive. The progressive transfer of US DVD is fine, with occasional marks and scratches on the print, but the dark cinematography by the legendary Nicholas Musuraca (Out of the Past) comes off well, with good contrast and deep blacks. The single-layered platter features the standard serviceable mono soundtrack, with no hiss or distortion. There are no subtitles or any other extras. This is the best this film looked on home video and is an easy recommendation, especially for those interested in the history of McCarthyism and Red Scare.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:






Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC



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