So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

Moderators: Scott Sebring, Ben Bentley

User avatar
Riddlersgurl
Posts: 0
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:16 pm

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Riddlersgurl »

Not to mention she was better looking even in her late middle age than Bankhead.
gothos
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:41 pm

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by gothos »

I think the Archer and the Sandman were weak concepts that would have been poor no matter who played them.

Shame and Chandell carry a different vibe for me. I didn't like them back in The Day, but now I think they have a satirical edge, with Shame satirizing the ethos of the Western and Chandell the idea of the professional pianist as a seductive roue' (seen in many old Hollywood melodramas). Cliff Robertson did a fine spoof of a Western type, and while Liberace was not an accomplished actor, it would have been impossible to substitute another actor who had the same popular associations. No other performer could worn a sequined prison-uniform and conveyed the same in-joke.

FWIW, the Chandell ep is very nearly the only one on which poor Madge Bellamy gets the chance to do something more than just dithering about about Bruce and Dick's pecularities.

I like Zsa Zsa as Minerva, even though it's said the concept was intended for Mae West. At least Zsa Zsa was still pretty good looking in 1968; West would've been-- a mistake. I still don't like Clavicle, Black Widow, or Cassandra. Olga I can stand just for Baxter's comic brio.
User avatar
Catfan
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:42 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Catfan »

Quillpen Quirch wrote:I find Milton Berle hard to watch in just about everything, but I also agree with Andy's "Big Miss" assessment on Louie as a character. A "normal" Gotham crime lord would have been a good addition to the villain mix, but to be a worthy bat-adversary, he'd need some kind of edge. (Ma Parker and her brood -- which I consider a decent take on "civilian" villains -- more or less acknowledged as much, when they relocated to Gotham in order to get caught.) These advantages might include insider protection (via blackmail of Mayor Linseed or Commissioner Gordon?), a hostage (a la Zelda the Great), or some kind of pillar of the community cover ID (a criminal counterpart to Bruce Wayne's). Sorry, Louie, but a gardenia fixation just doesn't cut it.

The whole thing seemed like a bend-over-backwards excuse to mock/exploit "flower children" -- and to find an excuse for employing Uncle Miltie after his '67 variety show bombed.

QQ
Frank Sinatra, who wanted badly to be on the show, might have made a more effective Louie the Lilac, as might have George Raft or Robert Mitchum. The same is true of John Vernon, who was just starting to break into the American television scene in 1967-68 (he had an appearance as a baddie on The FBI on 3 March 1968, 11 days before the end of the Batman series).

And, in general, a menacing plainclothes crime boss would have been an interesting change from the usual costumed villains. Not that there is anything wrong with them, but it would have been an interesting change nonetheless.
User avatar
Scott Sebring
Site Admin
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:50 pm

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Scott Sebring »

I see what you were trying to ask here and I also see many of the posters kind of missed the point of your initial intention. But these threads can often go south and turn into "who didn't you like", "Season 3 suffered the most" and "If they casted so and so." Add that with the fact it's more often the case of folks chiming in on thread without reading all of the previous posts or at the very least the first one.

Personally, being posed with the question of a villain destined to be "awful" no matter the script, casting, budget and so on it's hard to shake first impressions of what you ended up getting. On paper and basic concept alone, Nora Clavicle would be one who's motive, premise and general dated anti-feminist treatment of the storyline would have had me deeming it a zero from the get go. It would probably have to be so revised that villain would only resemble Nora Clavicle by name only.

Beyond that one, I think any of the villains could have been interesting if a good enough story was presented, some character tweaking possibly and excellent script execution was really up to snuff. So if I didn't have a hindsight 20/20 bias towards certain characters, I couldn't deem any of them as really doomed.

The question I'd like to pose (and maybe this should go on another thread) is the following:
Without relying on existing or changed casting of a villain (in other words, don't name WHO should or shouldn't play it) or budgets constraints or Season Three limitations, how would you make your least favorite Bat-villain a real contender among the top ones. What would be their main crime focus or ultimate caper? What would be their death trap? What would make them genuinely interesting and engaging? And don't say "left in the trash bin" kind of stuff.
Image
User avatar
dell
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by dell »

Good idea for a thread Scott. I say we make it a different one as this one is already a little worn out.

I realized before I posted my original question that there was a possibilty that people would turn it into a complaint about season 3, but I decided it was worth the risk. I tried to make it clear that it wasn't about WHO played the character or the story, but the underlying character.

I think this horse has had its day and its time to put her in the barn.

One suggestion for Scott's idea is that we limit it to one episode at a time. We pick an episode and see what people think needed to be done to improve it. I'll let someone else take the reins on that one.
dell
User avatar
Lee Kirkham
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:45 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Lee Kirkham »

Quick answer for this thread's original question: Nora Clavicle.

Worst villain concept ever...

Image


which is a shame because Barbara Rush was gorgeous. Oh well, can't win them all.

Image
I find you to be odious, abhorrent and insegrevious.
User avatar
Batfan 66
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:13 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Batfan 66 »

I don't think Sandman could have worked no matter who played it, it was just a villain that never should have been. And I think Catwoman was severely underused in those 2 episodes.
Has the whole world gone batty!?!?
BatmanFan102
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:51 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by BatmanFan102 »

Sandman put me to sleep (pun intended)...

Archer, Minstrel were boresville too. Much as I adore Art Carney, it was impossible for me to see Ed Norton as a menacing villain.

Nora Clavicle was an awful episode too, and an awful villain. Likewise for Dr. Cassandra, Minerva, Clock King.
User avatar
K.G. Bird
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:45 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by K.G. Bird »

Barbara Rush-Nora Clavicle--she is beautiful, the episode was hilarious in a ridiculous way but maybe one of the worse villains.
Anne Baxter- she is very good but I am okay with Zelda but Olga was annoying.
John Astin- great actor in his way but who can follow Frank as the Riddler. If he was giving a different role he would be much better.
"Really Dick! I fear some recent romantic interlude has fevered your imagination. Aunt Harriet is..utterly..beyond..reproach".
noman
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:34 pm

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by noman »

John Astin and Maurice Evans--bad case of miscastings-John Astin should have been a more Gomez Adams crazy villian instead of being a subsitute for Frank Gorshin as The Riddler; Maurice Evans should have cast as a crazy Shakesperian actor who quotes the Great Bard in his crimes...
User avatar
zippgun
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 2:09 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by zippgun »

Evans as the Puzzler does do some Shakespeare quoting - "these caterpillars of the commonwealth.. "etc is one I remember.
User avatar
Frenchy1939
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:29 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Frenchy1939 »

Greetings! I am resurrecting this zombie thread from 2015 because I am rewatching episodes and “The Puzzler” guy was basically unwatchable. What was he supposed to be? Wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. I just wasn’t digging watching some old man with lipstick and eye shadow. The plane at the beginning was cool. That looked like an Estes model rocket kit which was an interesting prop.

“The Puzzler”.....sheesh, that was pretty bad.
User avatar
Dr. Shimel
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:14 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by Dr. Shimel »

Frenchy1939 wrote: Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:12 pm Greetings! I am resurrecting this zombie thread from 2015 because I am rewatching episodes and “The Puzzler” guy was basically unwatchable. What was he supposed to be? Wait, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. I just wasn’t digging watching some old man with lipstick and eye shadow. The plane at the beginning was cool. That looked like an Estes model rocket kit which was an interesting prop.

“The Puzzler”.....sheesh, that was pretty bad.
I believe this was a re-worked Riddler script, since Dozier wouldn't cough up more money to pay Frank Gorshin. The whole Shakespearean aspect was because that was Maurice Evans' area of expertise, but it's still a boring episode.
User avatar
clavierankh
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by clavierankh »

I've read the original A Penny For Your Riddles and it doesn't work well as a riddler script.
User avatar
AndyFish
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 am

Re: So were any of the 66 villians destined to be awful?

Post by AndyFish »

I like Scott's proposed redirect-- how would you have made a villain work? I think a lot of them could have really been "saved"-- Sandman could have been wild if we had a Frank Zappa like actor both visually and in terms of behavior and added some crazy dream sequences for our main characters.

Puzzler needed something to make him more than a Riddler fill in. Makeup could have worked-- his face could have been scarred in a jigsaw pattern-- giving him an edge and scaring the kids.

Louie The Lilac recasting with a gangster like actor would have been better-- I second Frank Sinatra as a choice.

Interesting idea here-- bring 'em on!
Post Reply