Today we are going to review the film “The Bat” both the 1926 and the 1959 versions. As the vintage film nerd that I am, I have to say that I recommend both versions to the horror or mystery fanatic. Let’s begin with the beloved 1926 version shall we?
The Bat (1926)
First off, you can’t exactly call this a horror or why it’s under “vampire” I do not know becuase it’s more of a comedy/mystery/thriller. The eccentric maid in the film is who gives us the comedic effect. The story line of the film is that a masked criminal dresses up as a gigantic bat figure and terrorizes guests of a house that is being rented out by a well-known mystery writer. The film is based off the play by Avery Hopwood. Miss Cornelia Van Gorder is the famous mystery writer who rents the house to continue working on a novel. She is accompanied by her faithful maid, Lizzie Allen who was played by Louise Fazenda – whose over reactions made the character all more eccentric and comical. The murderer is interested in the wealth that is hidden within the house and will get rid of anyone in their way. What I like most about the 1926 version is the effects. For back in the day, these effects are pretty kick ass and it’s always a marvelous thing to see old school films with such marvelous effects without the aid of computers and green screens. They are proof that we don’t need to make everything digital! The actors and actresses within the film expressed their roles accordingly. Meaning, there wasn’t too much of the over expressions that you saw in many silent films. (Silent films actors/actresses were so goddamn talented! 🙂 ) For me, this film pulled me into the story and I really enjoyed the shadiness of the film. Honestly, a film like this belongs in the silent film era. Could you imagine the people seeing it for the first time on the screen?! It would have been down right terrifying for them to see this considering it wasn’t a monster film at all!
If you’d like to check out the 1926 version, I found the full movie on YouTube:
The Bat (1959)
Well, you already know the story line with the paragraph above. I must say for this version they couldn’t have picked better actors and actresses to play within this version. They had the marvelous, Vincent Price as Doctor Malcolm Wells and the ever so classy, Agnes Moorehead as Cornelia Van Gorder. Their actor and actress choice was perfect because they fit the roles so well. You could pictures Agnes as Cornelia. It didn’t seem like she was acting at all, but being herself. Mr.Price of eerie nature plays the doctor who is suspected to be the bat. When I first saw this version, I was immediately hooked. Although, I had seen the silent film version first and knew the story line, this “talkie” version was as amazing as the original. The acting was perfect and when I watched it, I had a list of suspects in my head, checking them off as the film went along. It takes you for a lot of twists and turns until you reach the end. This is an instant thriller classic. The “who-done-it” theme song of this version is quite catchy! (It was stuck in my head for a few hours.)
If you’d like to see the 1959 version of The Bat, I found the Full movie on YouTube here:
Thank you for wasting time with my existence. I hope you enjoyed this short review. If you have any requests, leave them in the comments below.
-Mercy Desdemona of Unsuccessful Entertainment