Batman and Robin (1949, Spencer Gordon Bennet), Chapter 11: Robin's Ruse

So when Robin (Johnny Duncan) is alone in the Batcave, he doesn’t use the changing room. He puts on his tights in the public area. Off-screen, sure, but Robin’s Ruse confirms it.

The titular Ruse isn’t particularly exciting. It’s fairly predictable, especially after the cliffhanger reveal at the beginning, with one adequate surprise. But for Batman and Robin, adequacy might as well be excellence.

And before the ruse, there’s even a scene with almost okay delivery from “lead” Robert Lowery–opposite William Fawcett. Once the scene’s over, Lowery’s back to his usual unbearable self.

Some good day-for-night photography from Ira H. Morgan.

Unfortunately, much of the episode is bad guy Lee Roberts barking orders at the other bad guys. Roberts is terrible. His character’s poorly written–bad ideas as expository fodder–but every one of Roberts’s deliveries is bad. The bad guy scenes, which are the serial’s main type of scene, suffer greatly.

It’s a strange sensation–Duncan and Lowery not giving the serial’s worst performances.


Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet; screenplay by George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, and Royal K. Cole, based on characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger; director of photography, Ira H. Morgan; edited by Dwight Caldwell and Earl Turner; produced by Sam Katzman; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Robert Lowery (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Johnny Duncan (Robin / Dick Grayson), Jane Adams (Vicki Vale), Lyle Talbot (Commissioner Jim Gordon), Don C. Harvey (Henchman Nolan), Lee Roberts (Henchman Neal), William Fawcett (Prof. Hammil), Leonard Penn (Carter), Rick Vallin (Barry Brown), Michael Whalen (Private Investigator Dunne), George Offerman Jr. (Henchman Jimmy), and Eric Wilton (Alfred Beagle).


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