The Bat (1959 film)

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For other uses, see Bat (disambiguation).
The Bat
Thebat 2poster.jpg
Theatrical film poster for The Bat (1959)
Directed by Crane Wilbur
Produced by C. J. Tevlin
Written by Avery Hopwood
Mary Roberts Rinehart (play)
Crane Wilbur (screenplay)
Starring Vincent Price
Agnes Moorehead
Gavin Gordon
John Sutton
Lenita Lane
Elaine Edwards
Darla Hood
John Bryant[disambiguation needed]
Harvey Stephens
Music by Louis Forbes
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by William Austin
Distributed by Allied Artists
Release dates
  • August 9, 1959 (1959-08-09)
Running time
80 min
Country United States
Language English

The Bat is an American mystery film from 1959 directed by Crane Wilbur, and starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. The film's tagline was "When it flies, someone dies!"

Production background[edit]

The film was based on the 1920 Broadway play The Bat by Avery Hopwood and Mary Roberts Rinehart, which was previously filmed as The Bat (1926) and as The Bat Whispers (1930), both directed by Roland West. The 1959 version also features Darla Hood of The Little Rascals in her final film appearance.[1] The eerie title theme of Louis Forbes' final film score was played by Alvino Rey. Some prints show that this film was shown on ABC in the early '60s.


Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead) is a mystery author who lives in a town terrorized by a mysterious murderer known only as "The Bat". The Bat is said to be a man with no face who murders women at night by ripping out their throats with steel claws. Early in the film, The Bat enters Van Gorder's house and releases a bat, which bites van Gorder's maid Lizzy (Lenita Lane). With Lizzy in a panic, fearing she may now have contracted "the rabies", an outbreak of which local papers have reported, Van Gorder calls her doctor, Dr Malcolm Wells (Vincent Price), who is conducting research on bats.

Meanwhile, the whole town is searching for a million-dollar stash of looted bank securities that were recently stolen. Dr. Wells discovers the location of the treasure when the thief confides in him. Wells then murders the thief in cold blood, presumably so that he can take the treasure for himself, which he believes to be hidden in van Gorder's house.

A series of break-ins and murders by The Bat brings the local chief of detectives, Andy Anderson (Gavin Gordon) to the Van Gorder house. The Bat then murders two people in the Van Gorder house, Mark Fleming (John Bryant[disambiguation needed]) and Judy Hollander (Darla Hood). Anderson attempts to determine the identity of The Bat, suspecting both Wells and Van Gorder's new butler, Warner (John Sutton). Wells is removed from suspicion, however, when he is murdered by The Bat in his lab.

Miss Van Gorder cleverly manages to capture The Bat inside the secret room in her house. The Bat shoots a detective named Davenport (Robert Williams), he is then shot by Warner. Warner unmasks The Bat and he is revealed to be Lieutenant Anderson.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]