Thursday, April 12, 2012

Batman And Me

I was only a boy when the "Batman" tv show with Adam West began. When I was a young man, I was about the same height and weight as Adam West, and I appeared as Batman in a couple of local parades. Here I am at a parade in Beech Grove. I was on the library's float. The other guy in the picture is supposed to be Huck Finn, who could have been Robin's replacement that day.

Bob Kane, who was the creator of Batman, wrote in BATMAN AND ME that Batman was partly inspired by the character of  "The Bat" in the 1931 movie THE BAT WHISPERS. Actually the picture he has to illustrate the Bat is from the original 1926 silent version, THE BAT. Both these movies were made by Roland West, who would later become involved with Thelma Todd.  Jewel Carmen was one of the stars of the silent version, and she was later involved in Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe along with Thelma Todd and Roland West.

 You see a number of elements repeated in the comics from the movies, including the bat-signal.

The Bat (1926 film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Bat

Theatrical poster
Directed byRoland West
Produced byRoland West
Written byRoland West
Julien Josephson
StarringTullio Carminatti
Charles Herzinger
Jewel Carmen
Louise Fazenda
Emily Fitzroy
George Beranger
Arthur Housman
Robert McKim
CinematographyArthur Edeson
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date(s)14 March 1926
The Bat (1926) is a silent film based on the 1920 hit Broadway play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, directed by Roland West and starring Jack Pickford and Louise Fazenda. The story takes place in an old mansion, where people look for hidden loot while a caped killer (nicknamed "The Bat") murders them one by one.

 Preservation status

The film was rediscovered[when?] after being thought to have been a lost film for many years.[1][citation needed]


Director Roland West remade his film four years later as The Bat Whispers (1930), with Chester Morris and Una Merkel. A 1959 remake, The Bat, starred Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead.
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.[2]


  1. ^ The Bat at
  2. ^ The Haunting of Robert Kane!,, September 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2011.

 See also

 External links

Advertising for the first movie.


The bat-signal. In the movie, this turned out to be a moth on a headlight.

"The Bat" in the first movie wore a sort of bat costume that is vaugely similar to the later "Batman" costume. It was supposed to look frightening.

Jewel Carmen was supposed to think it was.

Herald advertising THE BAT.

Herald for THE BAT, inside.


Universal wanted Chester Morris for DRACULA, too, but Roland West had him under contract and didn't want him to do it. West went on to make the movie CORSAIR with Chester Morris, but it wasn't the hit that DRACULA was, and Chester Morris missed out on a chance to be a part of one of the most famous movies of all time.

Bob Kane said that DRACULA was another influence. He said he wanted everything to have a sort of dark, spooky look. There was even a Dracula-type villian in the early comics.

The "Batman" logo on the covers of the comics was similar to what had been done with the publicity material for the "Bat" movies and DRACULA.

This logo would be used again for the serials

And later television.

    Looking at pictures from the "Bat" movies, it's easy to see the resemblances to what they later had in the comics with Batman. It's not hard to believe that "The Bat" was one of the inspirations of "Batman", even though there has been some controversy over Bob Kane's story and there were other influences, such as "The Shadow".

      The Joker was also at least partially inspired by another character from a silent movie, THE MAN WHO LAUGHS, who was portrayed by Conreid Veidt.

    Watch THE BAT online

    Roland West and THE BAT:

    Roland West: The Great Experimenter:

    Roland West - Discusses THE BAT And THE BAT WHISPERS:


    My club for Batman:

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