SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by bat-rss »

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Late next week we're going to be recording an episode about the script for The Penguin Goes Straight. We have a "final" and "revised final" script. As is traditional, we'd like to let you guys take a look at them first and send us your comments by September 2, 2020, and we'll read some on TO THE BATPOLES.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w5xf1x50um3z4 ... l.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/h485dqzzlrpc9 ... l.pdf?dl=0
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High C
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by High C »

I'll admit, sirs, as I sit here and wait (not-so) patiently for your Astrologer script episode, I am intrigued as to what your 'angle' might be for selecting this arc.

I have no desire to rewatch this arc to spot the differences, quite frankly. It is kind of difficult to watch. Giving a clueless idiot role to an ingenue is one thing. It is quite another when a seasoned pro such as Kathleen Crowley is saddled with such a part where there is nothing on the page, no nuance whatsoever. Sophia Starr is not intended as an avatar for a human being--she exists as a plot device.

I did find a 'faugh,' if that helps!
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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gothosmansion
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by gothosmansion »

Really, I didn't see a lot of changes from the February 2, 1966 version credit to Lorenzo Semple and the version that aired. I haven't watched the episode in a while, but this gives me an excuse to watch it again. :D I was afraid I wouldn't have time to watch it before your Sept. 2 deadline or I would have watched it before I posted.

This is one of my favorite episodes of the series, because I think it breaks formula a lot. I can see some viewers being uncomfortable with Batman and Robin breaking the law themselves to trap Penguin.

I thought it interesting that some of the dialog crossed out by whomever was editing Semple's script made it to screen anyway. I also noticed that one cut line, Robin's "Holy Mush" popped up in a later Catwoman episode. The bit where the other arch-villains don't want to pay part of their loot to Penguin that was cut from Semple's script pops up in the Ma Parker episode. Why the dialogue where Batman and Robin worry about being branded crooks was moved from the the Wall Climb. Was it more budget-conscious not to shoot it in the Batmobile?

Edit: Did anyone else find it strange that whenever Penguin referred to Eagle Eye and Dove as "Feathered Finks" in Semple's draft, it was crossed out and changed to Frothy? Feathered really fits the bird motif better. Anyone think it was because there had been an episode title "Fine Feathered Finks"?

Thanks for sharing the script.
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Jim Akin
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by Jim Akin »

I did rewatch the episodes. and what I was struck with was how closely they adhere to the script. (The biggest deviation from the earlier drafts, besides removal of the reference to the other archcriminals that Gothosmansion mentioned) is a diminished role for Reggie Rich, the millionaire Pengy "rescues" in the steam room.

The two drafts of the script are extremely similar as well, with the revised version largely incorporating penciled-in changes made in the earlier draft. Unlike earlier scripts discussed on the podcast, there doesn't seem to be a lot of "what might have been" to glean from these.

For myself, the biggest revelation in the script was the spelling of "bad cess," which Bruce exclaims when the Commissioner tells him Penguin is getting into the crimefighting game. I'd never heard the expression before, and was glad to see it in print so I could look it up.

An additional observation that has nothing to do with the scripts: In the scene in part 2 when Penguin and Sophia Starr visit GCPD HQ and accuse Gordon and O'Hara of sheltering fugitive Batman and Robin, Ms. Starr's outfit, with the pillbox hat and shawl, made her strongly resemble a character in a story from "The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told" comics collection. The character appeared in a 1948 Batman newspaper strip story titled "The Joker and the Sparrow," in which the clown prince of crime is taunted and repeatedly upstaged by a rival arch-criminal called The Sparrow. I have no evidence that the story was reprinted any time around the TV show, or that the Greenway team was aware of it, but it's at very least an interesting coincidence.
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

The script and produced episode not having many differences is probably a strong an argument for how tight / creatively interested the Greenway team were early on to produce something worthwhile, as opposed to the tail end of the series. It would be interesting to look through a handful of scripts from season two or three to determine if they were shot as written, and if so, ask the expected, "what were they thinking?"
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High C
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by High C »

Honestly, I think Semple was running on fumes by Feb. '66. Not that I would not have been after so many months of hard work, plus writing the movie on the side. The script is terrific, but kind of peters out, imo, in the last act, and the Semplian ideal is lost in the Borschtian tag. It feels strange for a season 1 arc not to end in Wayne Manor when Aunt Harriet thought our heroes were disgraced and dead.

Also, swiping the Batmobile seems like a response to the Dozier directive, and an un-Pengy-like move, even with The Duo disgraced. Feels like a deus ex machina to get him apprehended. Just my .02.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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gothosmansion
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Re: SCRIPT: The Penguin Goes Straight

Post by gothosmansion »

Jim Akin wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:32 am
An additional observation that has nothing to do with the scripts: In the scene in part 2 when Penguin and Sophia Starr visit GCPD HQ and accuse Gordon and O'Hara of sheltering fugitive Batman and Robin, Ms. Starr's outfit, with the pillbox hat and shawl, made her strongly resemble a character in a story from "The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told" comics collection. The character appeared in a 1948 Batman newspaper strip story titled "The Joker and the Sparrow," in which the clown prince of crime is taunted and repeatedly upstaged by a rival arch-criminal called The Sparrow. I have no evidence that the story was reprinted any time around the TV show, or that the Greenway team was aware of it, but it's at very least an interesting coincidence.
Your comment got me thinking. I know I have read that story in a comic other than the Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told. I did a little research. It was reprinted, untitled, in Batman 187, the December 1966-January 1967 issue. According to comics.org, the on sale date was October 6, 1966. That seems to indicate that story wasn't an influence on the episode....However, the same story opens with the Joker escaping from jail via a trick football, very similar to his baseball escape in "The Joker is Wild" episode. Coincidence or did the production staff somehow get hold of a newspaper story? And doesn't that death trap the Joker is in look very familiar to Death in Slow Motion, which began as a Joker comic and ended a Riddler episode?
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