The Bat (1959)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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This fourth film version of the Mary Roberts Rinehart-Avery Hopwood stage chestnut The Bat is so old-fashioned in its execution that one might suspect it was intended as "camp" (though that phrase wasn't in common usage in 1959). Agnes Moorehead plays mystery novelist Cornelia Van Gorder, whose remote mansion is the scene for all sorts of diabolical goings-on. The "maguffin" is a million dollars' worth of securities, hidden away somewhere in the huge and foreboding estate. Vincent Price is seen committing a murder early on-but he's not the film's principal villain. Others in the cast include Gavin Gordon as an overly diligent detective, and former Our Gang star Darla Hood as a murder victim. The Bat was adapted for the screen by its director Crane Wilbur, himself a prolific "old dark house" scenarist and playright. … More
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as Dr. Malcolm Wells
as Cornelia Van Gorder
as Lt. Andy Anderson
as Warner, the chauffeu...
as Lizzie Allen
as Dale Dailey
as Judy Hollender
as Mark Fleming
as Carter Fleming
as Jack Bailey
as Mrs. Patterson
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Critic Reviews for The Bat
The stars chew the scenery and the supporting cast give limited performances.
Botched version of the famous play. Stick with 1926 and 1930 versions.
Audience Reviews for The Bat
A mystery writer (Agnes Moorehead) moves into a mansion where an embezzled fortune may be hidden, and has to deal with evil small-town doctor Vincent Price and a claw-gloved serial killer known as "the bat." The solution to this oft-filmed mystery play is obvious, but a campy Moorehead and Price keep this version watchable.
Despite having top billing, Vincent Price is only in the movie for a few scenes. In a way, anybody could have played Price's part. Price is good in the few moments he is in the movie, but most of the film rests on Agnes Moorehead's shoulders. Unfortunately, Moorehead chews up the scenery and her performance tends to be as erratic as the film's tone. This campy dark mansion whodunit comes off as terribly un-even and uninspired. The comedic moments are too cheesy and forced to be funny. Plus the mystery is drawn out too much, especially considering how few suspects there were. The cinematography is also very static, giving a very bland TV movie feel to the production. This is a bland mystery movie that is only remembered for featuring Vincent Price.
Spooky old house chiller is blessed with having Agnes Moorehead and Vincent Price in the cast. Nothing special but compared to the gory junk that passes for mysteries today a welcome old fashioned treat. It helps that the whole thing moves at a nice clip logging in at just 80 minutes.
The Bat Quotes
|Cornelia Van Gorder:||It's rather a clever way to hide stolen money. In the open, at it were - and so respectable. But don't try it; no matter how clever you are, you can't hide murder. Well that's it Dale, that's the end.|
|Judy Hollender:||I thought that when people died, their eyes closed. Like in sleep.|
|Cornelia Van Gorder:||Oh Warner, where have you been?|
|Warner:||Well Madame, has there been an accident?|
|Cornelia Van Gorder:||There's been a murder.|
|Warner:||Well, into each life a little rain must fall and a careful man learns to keep himself dry.|
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