Havelock Vetinari's Comments

From Amazon.com, where a used DVD of the film is available for about 60 bucks:

One of the truly oddball artifacts of the early talkie era, either a cockeyed fluke or a surrealist masterpiece. Producer-director Roland West had already done a silent film version of The Bat (1926), Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood's creaky stage melodrama about a fiendish criminal haunting a lonely Long Island mansion. The coming of sound cued a remake--now The Bat could whisper as well as skulk. And in a stroke of genius worthy of his mad mastermind, West added yet another dimension: The Bat Whispers would be one of a handful of 1930 features shot in widescreen, with a compositional emphasis on forced perspective and inky shadow play.

The plot is lunacy, but there are images here that seem to have escaped from the collective unconscious. Some of the miniature work, like a plunge down a skyscraper that then tilts and cuts "subliminally" into a real-life street scene, is easy to spot, yet chances are you'll find yourself enchanted all the same. And there's a chase during which the widescreen angles suddenly drop the floor right out from under one character, and you feel it in the pit of your stomach.

Like 1930's other pre-CinemaScope experiments , The Bat Whispers was shot in two versions--the 65mm Magnifilm production and one in the conventional "square" 35mm format. Deprived of the widescreen's radically unsettling asymmetry, West's movie became just another old-dark-house picture. You can see both on the DVD, and compare the standard version against the lustrous widescreen restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive (different cameramen, different setups, and occasionally different rhythm and action). On the other hand, why not just click on the real movie and prepare to go batty? --Richard T. Jameson
Product Description
The Bat, a master criminal who dares the police to catch him, has been terrifying the city. A bank is robbed, and the home of the bank president becomes the center of mysterious happenings. Amidst thrills, chills and laughs, the stolen money is discovered, and the Bat's secret identity is revealed!
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I was thrilled with it in 1968 (though somewhat befuddled by the "trippy" sequences - it was a few years before I discovered drugs) I was blown away by the "real" look of the spaceships and space scenes. Not like anything I had ever seen before. I saw it in glorious 70mm from the front balcony (loge) seats in the Uptown Cinema in Washington DC - a wonderful theater at that time.
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Don't decide until you see it. I saw high-frame-rate video in the 80s. I swear to God, it was in a Chuck E Cheese in the DC area. Nolan Bushnell and Douglas Trumbull had teamed up to build some demo theaters and show high frame rate footage from Brainstorm, as well as specially shot material, to try to promote the medium. The sense of reality was jaw-dropping - absolutely stunning. Much better than glasses-aided 3D, in my opinion. I can't wait to see it come true. Digital makes the technology switch more practical than with the old mechanical projectors.
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"You are wrong".

My, what a convincing argument. I may indeed be wrong about France, but in the USA if you are legally on public property you may take a picture of anything and anyone in view. You may not like it, but tough.
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Quel imb├ęcile! He was a local laughingstock - now he is a global one. There is no right not to be photographed - not even in France. It would make any public street photography pretty much impossible. Not Google's fault that he pees in view of passing cars.
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That is certainly a well known UL (no, really, it happened to a friend of a friend of mine) Sometimes the unwanted stolen item is the dead body of a pet, often it is bodily waste of some kind.

I think you would find it goes back way before the 1970s. Read Jan Harold Brunvand. He traces the similar "stolen specimen" story (urine in a bottle stolen by thieves) back to the 1930s and relates it to earlier stories.

of course, sometimes the events in ULs actually happen.
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"The agency wanted the astronauts to host a live broadcast from the shuttle on Christmas Eve. "

Shuttle?? The shuttle was 13 years in the future. it was a command module. Journalism. Sheesh.
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I thought the same - Chaplin probably helped lose the case for him. Poor Roscoe. I love the 2-reelers he did with Keaton. He was a very talented comic and unexpectedly graceful and athletic for his size.
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