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What if Batman was done as an A-movie back in the 40's?


LiamCasey
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Since this message board didn't reject my Superman thread, it seems only natural to go back to this well a second time and ask the obvious follow-on question.

 

If there had been a major Batman movie in the 40's, who would you have wanted to see as Batman/Bruce Wayne? Robin/Dick Grayson? Commissioner Gordon? Alfred the Butler? Julie Madison (Batman's original love interest back in the day as the better known Vicki Vale did not appear until the 50's. And Hollywood always needs a love interest!)? And, of course, the supervillian of your choice?

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We'll lets go for broke and propose Mickey Rooney as Robin, (actually he was considered as the Penguin for the 1966 series.) Clark Gable as Batman, (he was a list and his ears could fit the cowl.) Peter Lorre could be The Joker, (if they used the Joker as the villian.)

 

 

 

Ah screw it, Adam West Nailed it.

 

Edited by: sfpcc1 on Jun 30, 2013 3:10 PM

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I just reviewed the Superman thread (so I wouldn't be repeating someone else's votes). It would seem very improbable that a big name star would have played "Batman" , but some relatively unknown actor (early 1940's) may have jumped at the chance. My first thought went to George Reeves (yeah the guy who later did tv's Superman). But then a more inspired choice, Jack Carson. Think of it, the guy had a great athletic build and he could have used his comedic persona to be Bruce Wayne. Nobody would have thought the rathereasy going , dim witted, clumsy millionaire could also be the dynamic Caped Crusader. Robin; I really come up blank on that one. Edward Arnold, definitely the Commish. My main man William Powell as Alfred the butler for sure. Batman/Bruce's girl could be just about anyone, I'll go with Rita Hayworth. Now the villains. Without question, my favorite bad guy, Richard Widmark, could be either the Joker or the Riddler (he was Frank Gorshin's inspiration for the TV character). For some reason I think Barbara Stanwyck would be an interesting Catwoman.

 

Edited by: mrroberts on Jun 30, 2013 4:11 PM

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Nah, I'm thinkin' Victor Mature who often played the "sullen" type, one of the trademarks of this particular superhero, would've made a better Batman back then. He also had the physique to pull it off, and thus would've have needed the padding that Adam West used.

 

(...like the Peter Lorre idea, though)

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The Riddler character I don't think showed up until the 1950's. Even then he was a minor villian with I think just one comic book appearence. He is who is is because of Frank Gorshins's performance.

 

 

I kind of like the idea of Barbara Stanwyck as Catwoman. How about Freddie Bartholemew as Robin.

 

 

Alot actors from the 40's made it on to the 1966 campy series: Cesar Romero, Van Johnson, Edward G Robinson, (in a window cameo) Talulah Bankhead, (in her last performance), Milton Berle, and many more. In Van Johnson Minstrel episode some refered to Van Johnson as that nice young man. He was either 49 or 50 at the time.

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I could see either Kane Richmond or Clayton Moore as Batman in the mid '40s.Maybe Johnny Sheffield as Robin. But I like Batman without Robin. Yes. Richard Widmark as the Joker. But I can see Gene Kelly as the Joker, too. He could ham it up.

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Actually Clark Gable as Batman is kind of silly. The other suggestions are better, (even though I'm not fully aware of Jack Carson.) It's just that I watched that 1976 Gable And Lombard movie this morning, and his ears kind of reminded me of Batman's cowl. My feelings on that film are a another story, (it needed a better script.)

 

I have a book called 14 Miles to Gotham City which is a series of essays on Batman and the 1966 show. I recommend it, (I think you can find it on Amazon.)

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> {quote:title=joefilmone wrote:}{quote}Tyrone Power as Bruce Wayne/Batman ( we know he looks good in and out of a mask)

 

I like that idea. I'll add Frankie Darro, of *Wild Boys of the Road* as Robin, Regis Toomey as Commissioner Gordon, and Roland Young as Alfred. I'd say maybe Joan Bennet, or Hedy Lamarr as Cat Woman.

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I have this vague recollection of a post indicating that Barbara Stanwyck modeled her walk after some big cat. If both my memory and that post are accurate (and, hopefully, the right person will read this post and verify that one way or the other), maybe that is what triggers the thought of her as Catwoman.

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This is too difficult to do for a whole decade; I haven't seen the Superman thread yet, but here goes...

 

Well if it was the early 1940s, I'd say either Tyrone Power as Batman, Elisha Cook Jr. as Robin, Basil Rathbone as Alfred, and Rita Hayworth as Catwoman.

 

If it's in the mid 40s, Dennis Morgan as Batman, Lon MacAllister as Robin, Alan Napier (as a younger Alfred), and María Móntez as Catwoman.

 

If it's in the later 40s, Mark Stevens as Batman, Johnny Sheffield was a good suggestion for Robin, Richard Haydn as Alfred, and Ava Gardner as Catwoman.

 

There are a plethora of great character actors to fill in the parts of the various villains.

 

PS - I had to restrain myself (along with the restraint of being at work), and not try to do the cast as per each studio's contract roster.

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