A master criminal terrorizes the occupants of an isolated country mansion.

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(based upon a stage play by), (based upon a stage play by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chance Ward ...
Richard Tucker ...
Wilson Benge ...
DeWitt Jennings ...
Police Captain
Sidney D'Albrook ...
Police Sergeant
S.E. Jennings ...
Grayce Hampton ...
Maude Eburne ...
Spencer Charters ...
The Caretaker
Una Merkel ...
...
Brook
Gustav von Seyffertitz ...
Dr. Venrees
...
Hugh Huntley ...
Charles Dow Clark ...
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Storyline

Despite advance warning to the police, who seal off the area, The Bat, a master criminal, steals a necklace from the safe in the house of a rich socialite. He leaves a note saying he is going to the country to give the police a rest. Pausing only to rob a bank at Oakdale, he proceeds to terrorise the occupants of a lonely country mansion, in a mixture of thrills, chills and laughs. At the end, an actor steps forward through a proscenium arch and asks the viewers not to reveal the Bat's identity to their friends. A film noir shot in black and white, mainly at night in dimly lit scenes. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Look out! The arch criminal is here!


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Details

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Release Date:

13 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roland West's The Bat Whispers  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of only a handful of films to be shot in the widescreen Magnifilm 65mm format. (Other studios were also experimenting with other wide formats at the time.) The expense of upgrading theaters with new screens and projectors - after just having to install sound equipment - coupled with the Depression and the December, 1930 edict from the MPPDA that the film industry not cause "the public's curiosity to be aroused about any new innovations for at least two years" effectively killed the new format. Widescreen formats did not return until the middle of the 1950's out of the necessity to compete with television. See more »

Goofs

After the bank robbery, there is a obvious slot in the "road" where the miniature car travels. See more »

Quotes

Detective Jones: Hey, what type of joint is this?
Detective Anderson: Who are you?
Detective Jones: Who am I? Who do you think I am? W.T. Jones. Super-sleuth of Oakdale County.
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Crazy Credits

After the film an actor comes onto a movie house stage and implores the audience to withhold the identity of the bat from family and friends so they can also enjoy the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: The Monster (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Silly, Hokey, and Wonderful
3 August 2000 | by (Northridge, Ca) – See all my reviews

Yes, this film is dated. The acting is beyond hammy; only in the early talkies did movies contain this kind of unabashedly theatrical performing. Just when you think Chester Morris couldn't possibly twist his mouth--or curl his eyebrow--or twirl his finger--in a new way, he surprises you and offers a wholly different mugging expression he hadn't pulled out before. Along with the acting, the genre (the creepy old house with hidden panels etc.) became old hat by 1950. So, all right, this movie is stilted and creaks. However, for a film antiquarian, this motion picture is a joy. Its sets and lighting are breathtaking, and one gathers from it why the play was one of the longest running on Broadway at the time. I'll take it over the Vincent Price remake, THE BAT, anyday and I love Vincent Price.


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