"Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Kamdan
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Kamdan »

And probably got more and more outlandish with each telling!
Definitely how tall tales come to be, including the infamous tiger pit story. In the last interview I heard with Ward, the interviewer was good at asking him about the accident that happened on the Otto Preminger Mr. Freeze episode, but Ward just immediately launched into the familiar pilot episode occurrences and never referred back to that episode.
Commodore Schmidlapp
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Commodore Schmidlapp »

Kamdan wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:47 am
And probably got more and more outlandish with each telling!
Definitely how tall tales come to be, including the infamous tiger pit story. In the last interview I heard with Ward, the interviewer was good at asking him about the accident that happened on the Otto Preminger Mr. Freeze episode, but Ward just immediately launched into the familiar pilot episode occurrences and never referred back to that episode.
Long before the DVD set emerged, I videotaped the entire series off TV Land in the early 2000's. They would play back-to-back episodes for an hour. As the credits for the first episode were running, a voice from TV Land would come on and give various bits of Bat-trivia.

In that instance, the TV Land voice suggested to watch Burt Ward over the tiger pit, as that was really him and not a double.

I'm not as up on these things as some here, so if anyone can share the real story, or a link, I'd be most appreciative. I couldn't imagine they would actually film something as dangerous as what was suggested.
robinboyblunderer
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by robinboyblunderer »

bat-rss wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:18 am Paul and I are now reading Burt Ward's memoir for a future TO THE BATPOLES. I've picked up from comments on the board that much of what he writes in this book should be taken with a large grain of salt.
Fame is a heady brew and so I'm going with the contrary opinion on this one, I don't think there was that much exaggeration.

It should be a fun episode when you review the book; good idea to do so.

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Kamdan
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Kamdan »

I'm not as up on these things as some here, so if anyone can share the real story, or a link, I'd be most appreciative. I couldn't imagine they would actually film something as dangerous as what was suggested.
From Joel Eisner:

“There are however a number of myths about this episode that were spread by a number of people but in particular Burt Ward, (in his book and in person). In particular, the tale of the tiger. During the episode Robin is held captive by Catwoman and tied up on a wooden plank over a pit of tigers. Attached to the plank is a device filled with sand, measured to Robin's exact weight. As the sand slowly is released, Robin is lowered over the pit, sort of like a see-saw. When enough sand is released Robin would fall into the tiger pit. This is where reality ends and myth begins. According to Ward, he was tied up over a pit of live tigers, the would jump up and try to attack him. This was due to a large hunk of meat that was suspended over his head. The director (which in his book claimed was Robert Butler, when it was James Sheldon) and the crew were locked in a large cage to keep the tigers from getting at them during the shoot. Unfortunately, for Ward, the scene was shot in a sort of long wide shot, which enabled Batman to view the scene through a window high above the dungeon set. It was would be impossible to hide this hunk of meat from being seen in the shot. Second and more importantly, the tigers in the pit did not exist. You can see it clearly in the episode the pit was a fake and on close inspection the tigers were grainy stock footage lifted from a past Fox feature film. The entire story is bogus.”
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Commodore Schmidlapp wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:29 pm Long before the DVD set emerged, I videotaped the entire series off TV Land in the early 2000's. They would play back-to-back episodes for an hour. As the credits for the first episode were running, a voice from TV Land would come on and give various bits of Bat-trivia.
Ah, I remember the TV Land triva. Iteresting.
In that instance, the TV Land voice suggested to watch Burt Ward over the tiger pit, as that was really him and not a double.

I'm not as up on these things as some here, so if anyone can share the real story, or a link, I'd be most appreciative. I couldn't imagine they would actually film something as dangerous as what was suggested.
Actually, placing actors in dangerous situations was not that uncommon in the past; during the filming of The Wolf Man (1941), Claude Rains was to beat the Wolf Man with the silver wolf's head cane (made of vulcanized rubber), but he was a bit too into his performance and made contact with Lon Chaney jr with the cane--injuring him. A stuntman should have been used, but director/producer George Waggner did not see fit to protect the star of the film.

On The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee routinely hurt stuntmen because he was not trained to do stunt work and was overzealous in his fight scenes.

George Reeves was injured when his wires snapped during an early flying sequence on The Adventures of Superman. Whether it was an accident or crew carelessness, actors did find themselves in risky situations, so Ward's claims would not be out of line with one historical account after another.
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Progress Pigment
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Progress Pigment »

All that aside, "MY LIFE IN TIGHTS" was more about "I hooked up with two young girls in Memphis" or wherever than actual interesting Batman lore or anything else. I lost a huge amount of respect for "Bert Gervis" after the book. He was obviously just piggy backing West's "Return to the Bat-Cave". And it was all just awful. Too much, "I really love the guy but" ... then an attempt make Adam West look cheap, shallow, or like a phony. I hated it. I didn't even resell it, I threw it in the garbage.

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Progress Pigment wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:47 pm He was obviously just piggy backing West's "Return to the Bat-Cave".
Ward has a right to tell is own story whether West had a book out or not. No one knows the motives behind such work.
And it was all just awful. Too much, "I really love the guy but" ... then an attempt make Adam West look cheap, shallow, or like a phony. I hated it.
I'll say this: Ward knew West in a way unlike any fan or latter day observer, no matter how much the fan(s) thought they knew West. That's just a fact some should accept. He has an important perspective and relationship that was so tied to a life with West that was more than what was on camera or in ay interview. Unless "you were there." ("you" meaning any fan) attacking Ward is not based on having some intimate knowlege of West that can be used to counter Ward's claims. Further, what West said to fans is what he wanted to--no one twisted his arm into telling his own negaive stories, or those "red light district" tales about the series, his "misadventures" as a result of his Batman fame, and whatever else he did post-series.

Both were adults, and not the saintly, clean cut, milk drinking, cross-at-the-light-characters they played, but both were/are inseparable from the other, meaning take away one--and the entire chemical make-up of Batman 1966 that struck a chord with millions around the world / made a lasting cultural mark would not exist. It took both playing off of each other as much as Star Trek was not going to work without Shatner and Nimoy's distinct personalities, life experiences and perspectives mixing / playing off of the other.

To that end, post-Star Trek, Shatner and Nimoy were friends off camera, but did not hesitate to say the occasional negative thing about the other, because...that's real, adult life. Emphasis on life, which is not living in a constant state of grinning PR about actors or their products.
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Commodore Schmidlapp
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Commodore Schmidlapp »

Kamdan wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:29 pm
I'm not as up on these things as some here, so if anyone can share the real story, or a link, I'd be most appreciative. I couldn't imagine they would actually film something as dangerous as what was suggested.
From Joel Eisner:

“There are however a number of myths about this episode that were spread by a number of people but in particular Burt Ward, (in his book and in person). In particular, the tale of the tiger. During the episode Robin is held captive by Catwoman and tied up on a wooden plank over a pit of tigers. Attached to the plank is a device filled with sand, measured to Robin's exact weight. As the sand slowly is released, Robin is lowered over the pit, sort of like a see-saw. When enough sand is released Robin would fall into the tiger pit. This is where reality ends and myth begins. According to Ward, he was tied up over a pit of live tigers, the would jump up and try to attack him. This was due to a large hunk of meat that was suspended over his head. The director (which in his book claimed was Robert Butler, when it was James Sheldon) and the crew were locked in a large cage to keep the tigers from getting at them during the shoot. Unfortunately, for Ward, the scene was shot in a sort of long wide shot, which enabled Batman to view the scene through a window high above the dungeon set. It was would be impossible to hide this hunk of meat from being seen in the shot. Second and more importantly, the tigers in the pit did not exist. You can see it clearly in the episode the pit was a fake and on close inspection the tigers were grainy stock footage lifted from a past Fox feature film. The entire story is bogus.”
Thanks! That's what I suspected all along. I know they had more of a budget at this time, but I couldn't imagine them building a multi-layered set like that, then bringing in actual tigers.
BATWINGED HORNET wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:35 pm
Commodore Schmidlapp wrote: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:29 pm Long before the DVD set emerged, I videotaped the entire series off TV Land in the early 2000's. They would play back-to-back episodes for an hour. As the credits for the first episode were running, a voice from TV Land would come on and give various bits of Bat-trivia.
Ah, I remember the TV Land triva. Iteresting.
In that instance, the TV Land voice suggested to watch Burt Ward over the tiger pit, as that was really him and not a double.

I'm not as up on these things as some here, so if anyone can share the real story, or a link, I'd be most appreciative. I couldn't imagine they would actually film something as dangerous as what was suggested.
Actually, placing actors in dangerous situations was not that uncommon in the past; during the filming of The Wolf Man (1941), Claude Rains was to beat the Wolf Man with the silver wolf's head cane (made of vulcanized rubber), but he was a bit too into his performance and made contact with Lon Chaney jr with the cane--injuring him. A stuntman should have been used, but director/producer George Waggner did not see fit to protect the star of the film.

On The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee routinely hurt stuntmen because he was not trained to do stunt work and was overzealous in his fight scenes.

George Reeves was injured when his wires snapped during an early flying sequence on The Adventures of Superman. Whether it was an accident or crew carelessness, actors did find themselves in risky situations, so Ward's claims would not be out of line with one historical account after another.
I agree; and not to say they didn't think about it, just that I couldn't imagine them putting an actor at such risk with wild animals, like tigers.
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bat-rss
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by bat-rss »

Of course there was ONE real tiger in that episode, but they put a tiger trainer in a Batsuit for those shots.

Hornet, I agree with you. They appeared to remain friends despite jabs taken at each other in print. Yeesh, think of some things the Beatles said about each other in the press! In both cases, there were tight bonds there and we'll never know 100% of what happened between/among them.

We can definitely poke holes in stuff that Ward (and everyone else) said about the show, but commenting on his assertions about what happened off camera is shakier ground.
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Dan E Kool
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Dan E Kool »

[YouTube]https://youtu.be/yNbIWC7WBYk[/YouTube]

I'm guessing we've all seen it already, but eh, what the heck. :x

I think I agree with Batwinged Hornet when he said something to the effect of it all just being marketing. These guys (Ward and West) were really badly typecast after the show and making a living ain't easy. At the end of the day, a man's gotta pay his bills and put food on the table. If you're writing a book to sell to the general public (eg, not just die-hard fans like us) do you figure that it's better to write about trivial and quaint (but true!) interactions you had on set... or do you stretch the truth, create some drama, and tell a juicy story? 1+1=$
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Kamdan
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Kamdan »

Love how in this interview he’s talking about “moral responsibility” while selling a book that’s about explicit material. Sure there’s a disclaimer that the book is for adults, but that audience is people who were children when the show was first on and that is gonna have an effect on them and how they will judge you. Plus, he seems oblivious to the content of the then released Batman Forever, stating it had “blood and guts and body parts blown apart“ when no such scenes occur in it.

http://www.peteranthonyholder.com/Archi ... cjad15.htm
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John Mack
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by John Mack »

Hubie and Victor in the Batmobile. As a kid, I had this still and as I got older I questioned who the heck were these people. Now remember, this was 1974-1977. I never even knew Adam and Burt HAD stunt doubles back then.
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Kamdan wrote: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:09 pm Sure there’s a disclaimer that the book is for adults, but that audience is people who were children when the show was first on and that is gonna have an effect on them and how they will judge you.
I think that would have an effect if the viewer grew up thinking the actors and their characters were interchangable. I dont know about anyone else, but I've never thought actors were like the characters they played. I recall in 1973 The World of Star Trek was published, and I--very young at the time--still read it cover to cover, including details about the unpleasant fued between Shatner and Nimoy, and David Gerrold implying that some particularly rabid female fans were offering "favors" to local TV stations in exchange for locally edited footage of Star Trek; it was shining a light on the serious side of personalities, fandom, etc., but it did not ruin my enjoyment of the series, as I had no expectations (of the cast or crew) to be shattered from real people being...real.
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Dan E Kool
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Re: "Boy Wonder: My Life in Tights"

Post by Dan E Kool »

Kamdan wrote: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:09 pm Love how in this interview he’s talking about “moral responsibility” while selling a book that’s about explicit material. Sure there’s a disclaimer that the book is for adults, but that audience is people who were children when the show was first on and that is gonna have an effect on them and how they will judge you. Plus, he seems oblivious to the content of the then released Batman Forever, stating it had “blood and guts and body parts blown apart“ when no such scenes occur in it.

http://www.peteranthonyholder.com/Archi ... cjad15.htm
Well, I must tell you, Burt refers to those times as Wild and Crazy so often, I took to reading that interview in Otto Preminger's voice.

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