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MYSTERIES: D. W. Griffith vs. Mary Roberts Rinehart

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MYSTERIES: D. W. Griffith vs. Mary Roberts Rinehart
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D.W. Griffith vs. Mary Roberts Rinehart - The Master of Movies versus the Mistress of Mysteries meet on the silent screen: His One Exciting Night (1922) and her The Bat (1926) . . . both supposedly based on Rinehart's Broadway play of The Bat (from her 1908 novel The Circular Staircase).  Can you say spooks, and ghosts and murders all over the place - and Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead thrown in?! 

D.W. Griffith vs. Mary Roberts Rinehart

"THE BAT"
battitlecard.jpg
From the 1959 Movie
       And then . . . there is
 
Vincent Price
 
       He made at least two movies that had literary beginnings:  The Bat (1950) and The Invisible Man Returns.*
      The Bat (1940) traces it's beginnings in Mary Roberts Rinehart's The Circular Staircase (1908).
      She and Avery Hopwood simplified . . . Staircase into a Broadway play called The Bat in 1920, which became a silent film in 1926 as well as a book.
      Not to mention that D.W. Griffith, the movie pioneer, wasn't above bootlegging the story in his own One Exciting Night (1922).
      Rolwnd West remade his silent film into the talkie, The Bat Whispers, in 1930.
      (The copy of the book, The Bat, that Maven has is the Grosset & Dunlap edition with stills from that version.)
      So we finally come to 1959 when Wilbur Crane directed Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehad in a modernized version.
      Good news was that The Bat's look was more in keeping with the book.
      The bad news?
      We were left with few suspects, with Price being (deliciously) one of them.
      Want more fun?
      Check out The Invisible Man Returns.
      Vincent Price begins The Invisible Man Returns (1940) as Geoffrey Radcliffe, who has been convicted and about to be put to death unless something is done by his friend, Doctor Frank Griffin (played by John Sutton).
      Griffin just happens to be related to the original Invisible Man, played by Claude Rains in the 1933 movie based on H.G. Wells' original book.
      Griffin arranges to visit him before Radcliffe's execution.
      The next thing the guards know . . . Radcliffe has disappeared.  (Surprise, surprise, surprise!)
      This is where it diifers from other mad scientist movies. 
      Didn't think that was possible, did you?!?!
      Doctor Griffin injected Radcliffe with a similar solution to what was originally used.
      What's the difference?
      The Invisible Man used the drug monocain and our movie had Radcliffe shot up with duocane.
      You know what happens.
      We are treated to Vincent Price, as Radcliffe, going nuts and actually helping in finding out who was at fault in the murder of his brother, The Invisible One.
      +Price actually ends up with the meatier role as the the Invisible One - The Redux - than he does in The Bat (1959), even if you do see more of him in the later . . . if you'll forgive Maven the pun.
      Maven has always enjoyed watching the movies made from Rinehart's book but, in the case of the 1959 version, she feels it's the weakest version. 
      That's going some since Maven adores Agnes Moorehead and Price . . . .  The whole cast is great, including Darla Hood from the Our Gang series all grown up.
      The DVD copy of The Bat that Maven has is on the other side of The House on Haunted Hill, made the same year.
      Now Maven gets to toss a DVD to see which one to watch!
 
*For the whole issue of February 2, 2008, go to ARCHIVES: The Old Movie Maven - VOLUME 1 and click on Issue 3.
 
+Maven has added to the original article.