powered by AFI
The working title of this film was The Man He Found. The film's release title, The Whip Hand is derived from horse-racing terminology, meaning someone who has the upper hand, or is in control. RKO production files, contained at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, and Hollywood Reporter, New York Times and Los Angeles Times news items add the following information about the production: RKO purchased Roy Hamilton's original screen story in July 1949. Curt Siodmak worked on a draft of the screenplay in 1949, but the extent of his contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. In January 1950, Stanley Rubin was assigned to write and produce the picture. Although Rubin was replaced as producer by Lewis J. Rachmil, his contribution to the final script has not been determined. Some scenes were filmed in Big Bear Lake in Southern California's San Bernadino Mountains, and at the RKO ranch in Encino.
The picture, which was shot in great secrecy, was first set in postwar New England. The original story line featured a plot to hide the still-alive Adolf Hitler. In November 1950, after viewing a rough cut of the film, RKO head Howard Hughes ordered extensive retakes. Hughes demanded that the Hitler plot line be replaced with the Communist germ warfare story. The following actors were listed in the CBCS, but were cut from the final film: Jamesson Shade, Brick Sullivan, Bob Thom, Art Dupuis, Bill Yetter, Jr., Bill Yetter, Sr. and Bobby Watson, who played Hitler. Modern sources also add Stanley Blystone and Douglas Evans to the cast. The Whip Hand marked the first time that actress Sally Bliss appeared under the name Carla Balenda. According to modern sources, the film cost $376,000 to make and lost $225,000 at the box office.