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The Bat (1926)


A Silent film based upon the Broadway play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, this Silent Gem was directed by Roland West in 1926, later being Remade as the Bat Whispers in 1930 (by Roland West) and again in 1958 in the Bat starring Vincent Price, also available at the Archive. Oh, and when I say silent, I mean silent - this was transferred from a 16mm print and was probably meant to be played with live musical accompaniment. SYNOPSIS: The Bat, a masked criminal, terrorises a mansion filled with the guests of a mystery writer, a mansion in which a robber has hidden $20,000 of Stolen money. The House guests along with a detective search for Clues - them being the location of the money and the identity of the Bat. N.B - As many Batfans will know, this film is where Bob Kane got the Inspiration for the comic book superhero "Batman" - if you look, you'll notice the Bat-signal, here used to frighten the guests before the Bat attacks. Sound: Silent - No Music, No Vocal Track - Live Accompaniment preffered Colour: B&W Genre: Horror/Mystery Release Date: 1926 Director: Roland West

The Bat (1926 in film) is a silent film based on the 1920 hit Broadway theatre The Bat (play) by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, directed by Roland West and starring Jack Pickford and Louise Fazenda.


  • George Beranger - Gideon Bell (billed as Andre de Beranger)
  • Charles Herzinger - Courleigh Fleming
  • Emily Fitzroy - Miss Cornelia Van Gorder
  • Louise Fazenda - Lizzie Allen
  • Arthur Housman - Richard Fleming (billed as Arthur Houseman)
  • Robert McKim (actor) - Dr. Wells
  • Jack Pickford - Brooks Bailey
  • Jewel Carmen - Miss Dale Ogden
  • Sojin Kamiyama - Billy, the Butler
  • Tullio Carminati - Detective Moletti
  • Eddie Gribbon - Detective Anderson
  • Lee Shumway - The Unknown


Writer Cornelia Van Gorder (Fitzroy) rents a house for the summer. In the house, people search for hidden loot while a caped killer (nicknamed "The Bat") murders them one by one.


Film remakes:
  • Director Roland West remade his film four years later as The Bat Whispers (1930), with Chester Morris and Una Merkel, and also released by United Artists.
  • A 1959 remake, The Bat (1959 film), starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead, was released by Allied Artists.
TV adaptations include:
  • Broadway Television Theatre (1953) 60-minute TV series (WOR-TV, syndicated), with Estelle Winwood, Alice Pearce, and Jay Joslyn
  • Dow Hour of Great Mysteries (1960) 60-minute NBC-TV series, with Helen Hayes, Margaret Hamilton, and Jason Robards.
  • Der Spinnenmörder (1978) 88-minute German TV movie

Connection to Bob Kane's "Batman"

Comic-book creator Bob Kane said in his 1989 autobiography Batman and Me that the villain of the 1930 film The Bat Whispers was an inspiration for his character Batman.

Category:1926 films
Category:American silent feature films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films based on plays
Category:American mystery films
Category:Films directed by Roland West
Category:American comedy horror films
Category:American films
Category:Haunted house films
Category:1920s thriller films

Roland West

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