Batman (1943, Lambert Hillyer), Chapter 8: Lured by Radium

Lured by Radium actually does refer to the content of the chapter. It’s almost getting to be a habit for Batman. Unfortunately, all the serial’s other bad habits are in play here.

The recap and resolution of the previous chapter takes a fifth of the runtime. Once again, boring resolution, but at least then Charles Middleton and Shirley Patterson show up. Middleton’s showing the bad guys his radium mine, Patterson drags Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft out there to look for him. It’s in the mountains, which is a nice change from the backlot.

Director Hillyer doesn’t exactly excel on outdoor location, but he certainly does a little better.

Middleton has some nice moments, Patterson and William Austin almost have some nice moments. Everything else is about the same… down to how Wilson and Croft’s Batman and Robin fight goes. It’s particularly noticeable since the recap has their entire previous fight with the same choreography and plotting.

And then the cliffhanger’s kind of dangerous?

The one weird thing is how there’s a Native American character, who isn’t well-portrayed, but he’s still better portrayed than the gangsters. Batman’s racism apparently has layers.

CREDITS

Directed by Lambert Hillyer; screenplay by Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker, and Harry L. Fraser, based on characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger; director of photography, James S. Brown Jr.; edited by Dwight Caldwell and Earl Turner; music by Lee Zahler; produced by Rudolph C. Flothow; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Lewis Wilson (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Douglas Croft (Robin / Dick Grayson), Shirley Patterson (Linda Page), William Austin (Alfred Pennyworth), Charles Middleton (Ken Colton), and J. Carrol Naish (Dr. Daka).


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