Roland West

Sc.: Roland West, da una pièce di Avery Hopwood, Mary Roberts Rinehart. F.: Robet H. Planck. M.: Hal C. Kern, James Smith. Scgf.: Paul Crawley. Op.: Ray June. S.: Oscar Lagerstrom, J. T. Reed. Cast: Chester Morris (Detective Anderson, alias The Bat), Una Merkel (Dale Van Gorder), Grayce Hampton (Miss Cornelia Van Gorder), Richard Tucker (Mr. Bell), Maude Eburne (Lizzie Allen), Wilson Benge (il maggiordomo), DeWitt Jennings (capitano di polizia), William Bakewell (Brooks Bayley), Sidney D’Albrook (sergente), S. E. Jannings (l’uomo con la maschera nera), Spencer Charter (il custode), Gustav von Seyffertitz (Dr. Venner), Hugh Huntley (Richard Fleming), Charles Dow Clark (Detective Jones), Ben Bard (lo sconosciuto). Prod.: Roland West per Art Cinema Corporation; 35mm. D.: 83’ a 24 f/s. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Above all West determined that The Bat Whispers would be a motion picture that really moved, a manifesto of the power of visual storytelling that had all but disappeared in Hollywood with the coming of sound. With production preceded by three weeks of tests, he pushed his staff to distraction to enact his vision. […] «There where cameras on wheels, on elevator rigs, on catapults, cables, rails, trucks and perambulators. One of the cameras rode a huge tricycle, electrically controlled… it was designed by Robert Plank» (The Bat Whispers, pressbook). […] West has synthesized several ideas from Alibi into a new style: his moving camera has gained speed and purpose, and the jump-cut technique was combined with miniatures and forced perspective. The result is a deific camera tour through places and spaces inaccessible to the human eye.

Scott MacQueen, in Frank Thompson – edited by – Between Action and Cut: Five American Directors, Metuchen, Scarecrow Press, 1985.

Copy From

Preserved by UCLA in widescreen from an original 65mm camera negative