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The Bat (1959)

Approved | | Horror, Mystery, Thriller | 9 August 1959 (USA)
A crazed killer known as "The Bat" is on the loose in a mansion full of people.


Crane Wilbur


Crane Wilbur (screen story), Crane Wilbur (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Vincent Price ... Dr. Malcolm Wells
Agnes Moorehead ... Cornelia van Gorder
Gavin Gordon ... Lt. Andy Anderson
John Sutton ... Warner - The Chauffeur
Lenita Lane ... Lizzie Allen
Elaine Edwards ... Dale Bailey
Darla Hood ... Judy Hollander
John Bryant ... Mark Fleming
Harvey Stephens ... John Fleming
Mike Steele Mike Steele ... Victor Bailey
Riza Royce ... Jane Patterson
Robert B. Williams ... Detective Davenport


Mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder has rented a country house called "The Oaks", which not long ago had been the scene of some murders committed by a strange and violent criminal known as "The Bat". Meanwhile, the house's owner, bank president John Fleming, has recently embezzled one million dollars in securities, and has hidden the proceeds in the house, but he is killed before he can retrieve the money. Thus the lonely country house soon becomes the site of many mysterious and dangerous activities. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When Someone SCREAMS ... It Will Be YOU! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In a 1987 interview on Sinister Image (1987), Vincent Price revealed that the stage version of "The Bat" had terrified him when he was a child and he accepted the role in this film because he thought the filmmakers "would revive it and bring it up to date," but he was disappointed with the final result because "it wasn't a good script." See more »


Warner explains that he fixed a leak by "packing the elbow." To fix a leak, you pack a faucet or a valve, not an elbow. See more »


Cornelia van Gorder: Can't you see that fire was set to get us out of the house?
Detective Davenport: Out of the hou... are you talking about the...
Cornelia van Gorder: Yes, yes, I'm talking about the Bat! Now that the lights are out, he'll think his trick has worked, and we've gone, here'll be here in a minute.
Detective Davenport: So will Lieutenant Anderson.
Cornelia van Gorder: I hope so but the Bat will be here first, and he'll KILL AGAIN if we get in his way... we've got to be as clever as he is!
See more »


Referenced in Ghostbusters (1984) See more »

User Reviews

Fun Little Mystery
7 October 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Bat (1959)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead) moves into a creepy old house with her chicken secretary and soon afterwards they realize the house was the setting for several murders by a mysterious figure known as The Bat. Pretty soon there's some missing money and the threat of more murders and a variety of suspects including a doctor (Vincent Price) and a banker's nephew (John Bryant).

Previously filmed in 1926 and 1930, THE BAT isn't a complete success but I think it's a somewhat charming mystery that has quite a few interesting things going for it but the rather weak direction by Crane Wilbur keeps it from being better. I think the biggest problem is the actual feel of the picture because it really does seem as if you're watching a television pilot from the era. There's just nothing here that really screams out as a theatrical feature and there's just a low-rent quality about the entire thing.

With that said, there's a lot to enjoy here including the comic timing. I'm sure some might object that the movie isn't a lot darker than it is but I thought the comedy aspect was rather good and there's just something charming about the two women and their back-and-forth talks about the various spooks and chills. It also doesn't hurt that we're given some very good performances with both Price and Moorehead really standing out.

The film has all the trappings that you'd expect from an "old dark house" picture including the mysterious figure in black, which was a terrific look for The Bat. I found his look to be quite effective and then there's the various plot twists throughout. THE BAT isn't a complete success but it's certainly a lot better than many films of its genre.

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Release Date:

9 August 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bat See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Liberty Pictures (IV) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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