GenreDrama, Film-Noir, Sport Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateDecember 24, 1948 (1948-12-24) (United States) WriterMaurice Geraghty (screenplay), Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay), Gordon Kahn (adaptation), Kenneth Earl (story) Music directorFranz Waxman, William Lava CastDane Clark (Michael Gordon, aka Mike Angelo), Alexis Smith (Laurie Durant), Zachary Scott (Rex Durant), Eve Arden (Chris Sherwood), Jeffrey Lynn (Dr. Arnold Vincent), S.Z. Sakall (Sam) Similar moviesRocky, Southpaw, The Transporter Refueled, Rocky II, Pulp Fiction, Rocky IV
TaglineSure I know you're a two timer!
Whiplash original theatrical trailer
Whiplash is a 1948 American film noir directed by Lewis Seiler and written by Kenneth Earl, Harriet Frank, Jr., Maurice Geraghty and Gordon Kahn. The film features Dane Clark, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott and Eve Arden.
A struggling painter, Mike Gordon, is unhappy that cafe owner Sam has let a customer, Laurie Durant, purchase one of his works. Mike considers his art worthless and goes to Laurie offering to buy it back. She insists on keeping it, so Mike invites her to dinner instead.
Mike falls for Laurie after a romantic night, then is caught off guard when she leaves town without a word. He learns that the painting was mailed to a Dr. Arnold Vincent, but can't get the doctor to explain why.
A woman he knows, Chris Sherwood, insists on Mike accompanying her to a nightclub. There, to his astonishment, Laurie is the featured singer. The club is owned by Rex Durant, a crippled ex-boxer, and Laurie is his wife.
Durant's looking for a new fighter to train. He likes the way Mike handles himself when a scuffle occurs. At the gym, it turns out Dr. Vincent works for Durant and is Laurie's brother as well. Durant has a hold on Vincent, blaming him for a botched operation that left him in a wheelchair for life. Laurie only stays with Durant so he won't sue her brother for malpractice.
Adopting the name "Mike Angelo" as a nod to his interest in art, Mike becomes a prizefighter. But he suffers a concussion in a personal disagreement with Costello, one of Durant's tough goons. Durant forces him to proceed with a scheduled bout, having discovered the painting and learning Laurie is in love with Mike.
Mike is beaten badly in the ring. He manages to rally and win, but collapses and requires brain surgery. Vincent is murdered by Costello, but when Durant's wheelchair rolls away into oncoming traffic, he is struck by a car and killed. Mike recovers and leaves boxing forever, Laurie by his side.
Dane Clark as Michael Gordon
Alexis Smith as Laurie Durant
Zachary Scott as Rex Durant
Eve Arden as Chris Sherwood
Jeffrey Lynn as Dr. Arnold Vincent
S. Z. Sakall as Sam
Alan Hale as Terrance O'Leary
Douglas Kennedy as Costello
Ransom M. Sherman as Tex Sanders
Freddie Steele as Duke Carney
Robert Lowell as Trask
Don McGuire as Markus
The New York Times film critic, Thomas M. Pryor, panned the film. He wrote, "Good sense and dramatic construction went by the wayside in the filming of Whiplash and what is left on the screen is a pointless exposition of brutality, nicely demonstrated, however, by Mr. Clark and Zachary Scott, with Miss Smith providing suitable decoration. If it's plain, old fashioned mayhem that you desire, Whiplash most likely will be to your liking. Otherwise proceed with caution."