Whew! Finished reimagining the Nolan Batman trilogy as silent films. Here is the movie that started it all.
John Gilbert is Batman, of course, and the director for all three films will be Paul Leni. Leni had a flair for dark material but he also knew how to please the crowds. An ideal combination for a Batman director.
I knew instantly that Jack Pickford must be Dr. Crane aka the Scarecrow. His debauched choirboy look would be ideal for the part. Norma Shearer works well for Rachel since she has a down-to-earth quality that contrasts well with the other eccentric characters in the film. Lewis Stone’s fatherly manner and noble bearing make him the perfect Alfred. Lionel Barrymore (who was not yet suffering from the health problems that kept him in a wheelchair later in his career) has both the intensity and the acting chops to make Ducard a truly frightening villain.
Oh, and the bat shape is from the 1926 thriller-comedy The Bat.
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