Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:29 am

Jim Akin wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:41 pm
Pauline's shepherd's crook becomes a sleeping-gas gun, eliminating her seductive come-on to Robin. Even with treachery in her heart, the Bo Peep character, like Robin, exudes innocence. Sexing up their scene together would've sounded a false note, IMHO.
I don't think so; Robin--or Dick Grayson--was more than aware of the opposite sex, even to the point where Wayne chastised him in the Chandell arc for having his own girl-happy/romantic feelings on the brain when wondering about Harriet & Chandell. One could say Grayson was not innocent in the sense of being naïve or indifferent to women.

As to the reasons for adapting "The Joker's Comedy Capers" comic as a Riddler story, I think the silent-movie disguises probably had a lot to do with it. Frank Gorshin's skills at mimicry certainly helped him pull off the Chaplin impersonation, but even if Cesar Romero were capable of an equally impressive imitation, he'd have been hard-pressed, as the tallest guy in every scene, to sell himself as "The Little Tramp." And of course, in the comics Joker's skin really is chalk-white, and make-up and masks are always convincing, but the TV team would have had to negotiate Joker's disguises (as Chaplin and the Snidely Whiplash bad guy) against Romero's customary whiteface and the famous mustache it concealed. If makeup- and prosthetic-based disguises were too unwieldy for clean-shaven Malachi Throne as False Face, I don't see how they could have worked with the Joker.
I think your first point was the key: Gorshin's strong talent for impressions made him a natural for this kind of story; he was so versatile with other characters, while framing it with his Riddler persona. Romero was not capable of "becoming" other characters and/or actors as a disguise for the Joker.
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Jim Akin
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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by Jim Akin » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:29 am
I don't think so; Robin--or Dick Grayson--was more than aware of the opposite sex, even to the point where Wayne chastised him in the Chandell arc for having his own girl-happy/romantic feelings on the brain when wondering about Harriet & Chandell. One could say Grayson was not innocent in the sense of being naïve or indifferent to women.
My main point was about the innocent connotations of Pauline's Bo Peep disguise, but I do think Robin was very naive in the ways of femmes, especially of the fatale variety.

IMHO, in the 1966 Bat-universe, Dick Grayson was plenty aware of *girls,* and he clearly had some experience (and success) with them, but he was far from a ladies' man. An aggressive come-on from a worldly *woman* most likely would have reduced him to jelly. Think how tongue-tied and hot under the collar he got when Pussycat flirted with him. Or worse, it might have compelled him him to try to respond in kind, with awkward macho banter like he adopted after Catwoman drugged him, and the "Susie baby" swagger he feigned when trying to infiltrate the Bad Pennies. In both cases, alpha-male bravado were "tells" that we weren't seeing the true Robin (or Dick Grayson).

More to the point, there was no need for Pauline to play seductress to catch Robin unawares. (That's arguably evidence of a different sort of naiveté, especially after his run-in with Lydia Limpet.) I'm glad they decided to rework the scene without trying to insert any sexual tension.

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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by robinboyblunderer » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:20 pm

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:29 am


I don't think so; Robin--or Dick Grayson--was more than aware of the opposite sex, even to the point where Wayne chastised him in the Chandell arc for having his own girl-happy/romantic feelings on the brain when wondering about Harriet & Chandell. One could say Grayson was not innocent in the sense of being naïve or indifferent to women.



Good point. He was a normal healthy high schooler. What Robin wasn't prepared for nor experienced enough to deal with were Catwoman or the various molls he encountered; either playing the demure "helpless victim" or being assertive, mocking, teasing and knowing in their outfits and attitude, it was all too much for him and why he often ended up captured by them.

Changing GIRL to PAULINE was good, as was replacing the compact with the shepherd's crook but the rest of the scene would've worked just as well with her leading Robin away from the Batmobile and pulling off her bonnet. Again, the sheer beauty and attitude of Pauline as played by Sherry Jackson would naturally be overwhelming for Robin.

Didn't Batman even reassure the boy wonder during the Marsha episodes about lack of experience making him more susceptible to her drug?

Also, there'd be more of Pauline in the story all together. I never understood why she hangs around the lumberyard and is effectively taken off the board as it were as the second part continued. Also it would've been nice to have more scenes with Robin as well.

I enjoy this two parter as filmed but this is definitely a case where with some minor tweaks, I would've enjoyed it more. But I'm glad we can read this version at least.

Though I cut it off you make a very good point about Gorshin and mimicry. He works as a villain in top hat and moustache more than the Joker's outre appearance would've.

cheers

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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by bat-rss » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:43 am

Holy screwups! In preparing to record the episode, I discovered that the B&W file of the first draft that I posted only contains the first 16 pages, but I also have a COLOR scan of the first draft that includes the entire script! So here it is! Profuse bat-apologies!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c3scwlh7pmtse ... R.pdf?dl=0

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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by bat-rss » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:13 am

Keith Mayo wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:38 am
Any explanation why they changed it from a Joker arc to the Riddler?
I went back to episode 22 of our podcast to listen to our take on this episode from a few years ago. Our response to that thought was, basically, "Do you REALLY want to see Cesar Romero try to act like Charlie Chaplin? Me, neither!"

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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by chrisbcritter » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:17 am

Thanks for the complete first draft, bat-rss - Similar to the other two, and yet another ending!

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High C
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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by High C » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:14 am

Thanks, Tim, for the correction.

As soon as I saw the ending with all the horseplay, so to speak,and the earlier stuntwork on the roof, I knew none of it would fly, of course. And immediately there's the annotation, 'write out chase and tag.'
'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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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by Dan E Kool » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:30 am

My deepest condolences to you and your family, High C. I also have a soft spot for Aunt Harriet and agree that the scene would've fit in well, especially in a Season One masterpiece like this episode.

And it really is a masterpiece, thanks in no small part to Frank Gorshin's fantastic performance. Looking back on this script and thinking about this episode after the recent discussions on the Londinium trilogy really puts those Season Three episodes into perspective. I'm reminded of your (High C) comment in another thread about how the Londinium Larceny could have been an attempt at being current, namely by referencing Mod culture. And when you look at how brilliantly Batman tackled the silent movie age here (another kind of culture, if you will), it makes me wonder how different, how much better, the Londinium trilogy could have been. Ah well. Not to rag on Season Three, but you understand.
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High C
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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by High C » Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:16 pm

Dan E Kool wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:30 am
My deepest condolences to you and your family, High C.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
'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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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by elmrgraham » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:57 pm

My deepest condolences too.

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High C
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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by High C » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:00 pm

elmrgraham wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:57 pm
My deepest condolences too.
Thank you.
'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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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by robinboyblunderer » Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:18 pm

High C wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:32 am
I never discuss personal stuff on the board (just my thing, not saying anyone else shouldn't) but I have to make an exception here. I actually cried reading the scene because my Mom, who died suddenly at 86 in 2016, always would say how if I was happy, then she was happy.
I respect you sharing this; sorry for your Mother.

Take care.

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Re: Script: THE SILENT FILM CAPERS, by Dick Carr

Post by Lord Death Man » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:30 pm

Mr. Tim (bat-rss), I think it likely that they were referencing the character of Bo Peep from the 1934 Laurel and Hardy comedy, Babes in Toyland, even though it was not a silent film. Featuring Laurel and Hardy would have matched up with the opening Chaplin scene had they wished to go the re-enactment route. Since L & H did many silent, and Babes was from 1934, the Riddler (and the writer :) ) probably figured 'close enough' or just thought it was asilent to begin with.

As to 'Death in Slow Motion', many silent films are run in the modern era at the improper frame rate-since silent were hand-cranked (which made the speed vary even within the shot) and ranged from 16 FPS to 24 (with 24 being standard for sound films). So it can be difficult to figure out what speed to project them at. When silent are projected at the correct rate, many do appear to be in slo-mo...not super slo-mo, but a little slower than real life. This was most notable to me in watching 1922's Nosferatu (although even it does have some speeded up shots done for effect, like the coach ride to Nosferatu's castle-which also uses a cool trick to make it look like it was shot in negative, putting the coach, coachman, and horses in white shrouds).
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