The Bat (1959)

April 15th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Crane Wilbur | Cast: Vincent Price , Agnes Moorhead | UK Thriller 72’

William Castle being otherwise engaged Crane Wilbur (who had previously worked on the script of ‘House of Wax’) took over the director’s chair to helm this updated remake of the long-running Broadway hit by Alice Roberts Reinhardt and Avery Hopwood.

This time around The Bat trades in his big silly ears for a stylish trilby. The set depicting the spooky old house doesn’t begin to compare to that in the 1926 version, but the presence of Vincent Price amply compensates.

Our Vince meets his match in Agnes Moorehead as Cornelia Van Gorder, the bestselling author of ‘The Private Morgue of Dr. X’ who shows her disrespect for bats by incredulously asking “that thing’s got a brain?”, boasts that “there are guns in everything I’ve ever written”, presides over a houseful of women with a live-in spinster maid sleeping on a sofa in the same room as her mistress and breeches the fourth wall with the film’s closing line; while the only rooster in that particular henhouse is John Sutton as her answer to Jeeves. @RichardChatten


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