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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
The powerful play of Vincent Price needs no special effects, not even a good script. He can fascinate the audience only by being himself.
Published on 14 Oct 2011 by walker

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great memories... poor transfer
The Bat [1959] [DVD]

Now, as a huge fan of B&W horror, I was convinced that I had seen this outing - luckily for me, I was wrong. Let's make one thing clear from the start here. The Bat isn't going to blow your mind, but to be honest you probably already knew that.

The good news is that it stars Vincent Price, who as ever does a sterling job in...
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by Brubaker


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great memories... poor transfer, 29 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Bat [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
The Bat [1959] [DVD]

Now, as a huge fan of B&W horror, I was convinced that I had seen this outing - luckily for me, I was wrong. Let's make one thing clear from the start here. The Bat isn't going to blow your mind, but to be honest you probably already knew that.

The good news is that it stars Vincent Price, who as ever does a sterling job in making you wonder 'Is it him?' while at the same time stealing every scene he appears in. It's standard fayre in storytelling and direction, but as previously pointed out in one of the other reviews, it would make great viewing on a cold, winter's evening with a hot cup of cocoa and a couple of hours to spare.

The bad news is more of a technical issue that I wont bore you with - but let's just say that the transfer is not good. In fact I think I've seen better VHS playbacks. Oh, and the DVD extras are a little... sparse, to say the least - actually it's fair to say that there aren't any.

Nevertheless, don't let that put you off. I picked up a brand new copy of this here at Amazon for 1 of your English pounds including free delivery - so if you can get it for the same price or thereabouts, you can overlook the issues with transfer, etc - and have yourself a hour and a bit with the legend that is Vincent Price.

*** 3/5
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars El cheapo, 21 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Bat [DVD] (DVD)
Regardless of the content of the movie poor transfers must always receive poor ratings, otherwise distributors will never improve their quality. This is a typically hammy 50s crime picture with the usual points of comment for all the wrong reasons. At one point there's a storm at night with lightning and howling winds. A full length window at the top of the stairs is open, (they're ALWAYS open aren't they?)the wind is so fierce that it is rocking a mounted suit of armour back and forth. It is eventually blown over and falls crashing down the stairs. The women in the house go rushing to the scene saying, "It must have been the wind. Oh, yes, there's a window open." Like they didn't feel a draught!
Then there's the dead body in the cupboard without a mark on him. Cause of death, a severe blow to the neck and lacerations to the jugular causing extreme hemorrhaging.
Then there's the bat, (he's the burglar,) with a hammer and chisel banging away at a wall for some minutes. When someone comes in and finds him in the act he has made a hole about seven inches in diameter in a plasterboard wall! He could have broken that with his fingers - and there's no mess!
Well, you get the idea.
It's very predictable and dated old hokey but not a bad 80 minutes. The one star is, as I said, for the poor transfer. It's a black and white movie and the contrast is so high that in many places faces appear as white blobs. You can't even see the eyes! I know that insignificant movies like this are not going to get a full makeover, and sometimes one or two crackles and pops, a few speckles on the picture here and there add to the nostalgia, - but they could have done better than this. At one point what looks like a tracking line appears, was this taken off a video tape? Nah, this isn't good enough. There's no extras at all not even chapter stops. El cheapo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not just a Price vehicle..., 23 Aug 2012
By 
David Renfrew (Argyle, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Bat [DVD] (DVD)
As others have stated; this is a murder mystery but at times is more akin to a black comedy...I was quite surprised at how enjoyable the entire movie was in an "Old Dark House" theme. Although promoted as a Price starring vehicle it is Agnes Moorehead that appears to be the main lead; yet another surprise as I had never rated her as anything more than a whining / shrewish character - even in "Bewitched" she was annoying; but here actually put in a good performance.

Ignore the puns and that parts of the script are so bad you imagine a 6 year old kid could do better...I suggest that you place your inquisitive mind into relaxed mode and just go along for the pleasurable ride...even better my copy came with two other movies from the same period and all for a 1!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 14 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: The Bat [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
The powerful play of Vincent Price needs no special effects, not even a good script. He can fascinate the audience only by being himself.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Film review only., 6 Aug 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Bat [1959] [DVD] (DVD)
Some of them bats is rabid.

The Bat is directed by Crane Wilbur, who co-writes with Avery Hopwood and Mary Roberts Rinehart. It is based on the Wagenhals and Kemper play and is the fourth screen production of the story after two silents in 1915 (as The Circular Staircase), 1926 and a talkie called The Bat Whispers in 1930. It stars Agnes Moorehead, Vincent Price, Gavin Gordon, John Sutton and Lenita Lane. Music is by Louis Forbes and photography by Joseph F. Biroc.

Famous mystery writer Cornelia Van Gorder (Moorehead) rents "The Oaks" mansion for the summer, just at the time a murderer known as "The Bat" is back terrorising the town. During this particular night, a number of characters have a vested reason for being at "The Oaks", not least "The Bat" himself....

Given the films title and the presence of Vincent Price, one is automatically drawn into thinking this is a horror film. It's not. In fact Price, in spite of being the main face on many DVD covers, isn't actually the main character in the film. This is a dark house mystery-who done it?-type movie, set in one of those creaky houses with an eerie stair case, secret rooms and things that go bump in the night. The emphasis is on B movie fun with some twists and cheap shocks dotted throughout, while the cast, wonderfully led by a correctly over the top Moorehead, deliver the requisite performances to make such a production more entertaining than not. Clocking in at just 80 minutes, film doesn't have time to get bogged down with pointless filler, and director Wilbur neatly keeps the audience guessing as to the identity of the steel clawed killer.

No great shakes in the pantheon of old dark house thrillers, it is however a film worthy of that once only viewing. 6/10
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