Batman and Robin (1949, Spencer Gordon Bennet), Chapter 13: The Wizard's Challenge!

If the Wizard has any challenge in The Wizard’s Challenge!, it’s outsmarting Batman and Robin. It doesn’t take much as it turns out. Especially not with Robin (Johnny Duncan) playing with a toy truck when he’s supposed to be on guard duty.

See, the Wizard has stolen all the scientific equipment he needs to unleash his master plan–he’s going to turn himself invisible and steal things, which would’ve been a far more interesting turn of events in chapter two of Batman and Robin, not chapter thirteen. Sweet, sweet chapter thirteen… only two more after this one.

The chapter has, no surprise, a tepid cliffhanger resolution at the beginning and a weak cliffhanger at the end. Jane Adams gets her scene–with some dialogue–as she again tries to get photographs of reclusive scientist William Fawcett. Then she disappears. Still unclear if she knows her brother has died.

Duncan and Robert Lowery, in costume, get into a fistfight with three bad guys–including exceptionally bad actor Lee Roberts–getting things to a draw, which is better than usual for Batman and Robin. Usually they just get beat up.

Well, Duncan does get beat up. But anyway.

The best scene is the Wizard blathering on about his awesome invisibility invention. It’s at least a fun silly as opposed to a dumb silly. Even if Roberts is in the scene to drag it down.


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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