Man with the Steel Whip

Man with the Steel Whip is a 1954 Republic Movie serial. It uses considerable stock footage from previous Republic serials "Zorro's Black Whip", "The Painted Stallion" and "Daredevils of the West". As with any serial from the 1950s, it is not considered to be one of the best examples of the format. It uses the standard plot of an illicit "land grab" coupled with a new spin on the Zorro story (as Republic wished to use old stock footage from their Zorro serials but had since lost the license for that property).

Man with the Steel Whip
Directed byFranklin Adreon
Produced byFranklin Adreon
Written byRonald Davidson
StarringDick Simmons
Barbara Bestar
Dale Van Sickel
Mauritz Hugo
Lane Bradford
CinematographyBud Thackery
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • July 19, 1954 (1954-07-19) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
12 chapters (167 minutes)[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$172,794 (negative cost: $174,718)[1]


In a version of a standard western plot, the saloon owner Barnett wants the land under the local Indian Reservation for its gold deposits. In order to drive off the people living on the reservation, he forms a gang to attack the local ranchers and frame the Indians. Rancher Jerry Randall opposes him using the legendary masked identity of "El Latigo", friend to the Indians.



Man with the Steel Whip was budgeted at $172,794 although the final negative cost was $174,718 (a $1,924, or 1.1%, overspend). It was the most expensive Republic serial of 1954.[1]

It was filmed between 2 March and 22 March 1954 under the working title Man with a Whip.[1] The serial's production number was 1938.[1]

Man with the Steel Whip used stock footage from all of the previous Zorro serials produced by Republic Pictures. The result of this is that the costume and body shape of the hero, El Latigo, keeps changing between scenes, even becoming female in scenes taken from Zorro's Black Whip (1944).[2][3]

The serial contains many mistakes, such as Nancy (Barbara Bester) occasionally referring to the character Jerry Randall as "Dick" (Richard Simmons' real name), which were either not noticed or not considered worth correcting before release.[2]


  • Tom Steele as Jerry Randall/Henchman Tom/Henchman Gage (doubling Dick Simmons)
  • Babe De Freest as El Latigo (doubling Dick Simmons via stock footage)
  • Guy Teague as Price
  • Chuck Hayward as Barn Henchman
  • Robert 'Buzz' Henry as Orco
  • Walt La Rue as a townsman
  • Eddie Parker (via stock footage)
  • Bill Yrigoyen (via stock footage)
  • Joe Yrigoyen (via stock footage)

Special effects

Special effects by the Lydecker brothers.



Man with the Steel Whip's official release date is 19 July 1954, although this is actually the date the sixth chapter was made available to film exchanges.[1]

This was followed by a re-release of The Phantom Rider, re-titled as Ghost Riders of the West, instead of a new serial. The next new serial, Panther Girl of the Kongo, followed in 1955.[1]

Chapter titles

  1. The Spirit Rider (20min)
  2. Savage Fury (13min 20s)
  3. Mask of El Latiago (13min 20s)
  4. The Murder Cave (13min 20s)
  5. The Stone Guillotine (13min 20s)
  6. Flame and Battle (13min 20s)
  7. Double Ambush (13min 20s)
  8. The Blazing Barrier (13min 20s)
  9. The Silent Informer (13min 20s)
  10. Window of Death (13min 20s) - a re-cap chapter
  11. The Fatal Masquerade (13min 20s)
  12. Redskin Raiders (13min 20s)


See also


  1. Mathis, Jack (1995). Valley of the Cliffhangers Supplement. Jack Mathis Advertising. pp. 3, 10, 138–139. ISBN 0-9632878-1-8.
  2. Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "12. The Westerns "Who Was That Masked Man!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 300. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  3. Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "5. Shazam and Good-by". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.
  4. Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 256. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded by
Trader Tom of the China Seas (1953)
Republic Serial
Man with the Steel Whip (1954)
Succeeded by
Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955)
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