SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by bat-rss » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:31 am

Image

Our next script(s) for TO THE BATPOLES podcast discussion will be a treatment, first draft, and final of the Catwoman/Joker two-parter, "The Funny Feline Felonies" and "The Joke's on Catwoman"!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ua21l8ooingkuod/Funny Feline Felonies- treatment.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5nnc927dc52y8ru/Funny Feline Felonies First Draft.pdf?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7k1gwdu3yewz84d/Funny Feline Felonies Final.pdf?dl=0

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epaddon
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by epaddon » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:27 pm

A couple early thoughts on the treatment.

1-Odd that Joker is *really* kidnapped. That frankly is way too complicated. We had enough "Penguin goes straight" episodes but it's really not credible to think of a "Joker goes straight" episode (if he were he'd be taking off his makeup!)

2-Written with Julie in mind because of CW saying "The only way I'll ever kill Batman is with love and kindness!"

3-"Mr. and Mrs. North" as the original names of the lighthouse keepers. There was in fact a radio series and 1950s TV series "Mr. and Mrs. North" about a husband/wife amateur detective team which starred Richard Denning (the Governor on "Hawaii Five-O") and Barbara Britton but if this was meant to be an inside joke reference, I'm sure it was lost on everyone else and hence the reason why it was changed to "Mr. and Mrs. Keeper."

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dell
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by dell » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:35 am

epaddon wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:27 pm
A couple early thoughts on the treatment.

1-Odd that Joker is *really* kidnapped. That frankly is way too complicated. We had enough "Penguin goes straight" episodes but it's really not credible to think of a "Joker goes straight" episode (if he were he'd be taking off his makeup!)...
Given that Commissioner Gordon issues bring Batman in "Dead or Alive" in at least two episodes of the series it is obvious that Batman and Robin are the only good guys capable of deep thinking.
dell

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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by robinboyblunderer » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:42 am

Thanks for posting these.

The episodes, no matter which draft are another good example of the failure of the third season. Mish-mashing villains, (just like Egghead and Olga though I think Joker/Catwoman work a bit better) plots that are all over the place, stupid scenes (shaking hands, gunpowder explosion), Batgirl to the rescue, all of it a mess. And the tickling machines? I guess it fits with the Joker but something about it just feels off.

Whatever good/witty elements SRR brought to the show, I think they were overshadowed by dreck like this.

Jthree
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jthree » Fri Jan 25, 2019 9:53 am

Anybody else notice any significant differences between the scripts and the filmed versions?

--jthree

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Jim Akin
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jim Akin » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:56 am

Thanks so much for sharing these. The episodes aren't my favorites, but looking at the evolution of the scripts is really enjoyable.

A few observations, after perusing all three PDFs:
  • I can't believe Ross's name for the sleazy hotel across from GCPD HQ, the "Hero Inn" (which became the Hotel Sleazy in production) lasted through his final script: A dope pun? Implying the place was a drug den? I doubt the network would have let it fly, and I'm surprised no one called it out in any of the drafts.
  • The toe-tickler doomtrap was lame, even by SRR standards, but I love the aghast first-draft note "NO!" at the notion of goons removing our heroes' boots. This and the notes about making Joker less a Catwoman stooge, not letting Batgirl do all the detective work, etc., are good examples of the production team preserving some integrity/dignity for the Dynamic Duo. Even if they did still let Batman say the ridiculous line about how Catwoman and Joker have *only* tried to murder Batgirl, Robin and himself.
  • D'oh! I never got the "Katz cradle" gag until I read the treatment.
  • Ross's comedy stylings often leave me less than thrilled, but I like his love of language and silly words. The legalese word "replevin" was a new one on me. He used it in the treatment, in the name Lafcadio Replevin (of Replevin, Tort & Shyster), the lawyer who eventually became Lucky Pierre. Then after the name changed, he tried to slip "replevin" into Gordon's dialog in the final draft, but it never made the shooting script. If "Lafcadio" means anything, I can't figure out what it is.
  • I'd have thought Horwitz & Co. would've put out the word to writers about season three budget and casting constraints, but maybe not, since Ross thought he could get away with giving the gang four henchmen, all with speaking parts. (I bet SRR was heartbroken to lose his awful "Four Horseman of the apocryphal" gag! Sheesh.)
  • In the first draft, one of the commenters struck Robin's second line after Batman's courtroom summation: "You were great, Batman. *A regular Judd.*" The purged line riffed on the then-current ABC courtroom drama "Judd for the Defense." I guess Ross thought it'd be funny since Batman was prosecutor? Who knows. Losing the line was a good move.
  • Moving the lighthouse explosion to before the courtroom scene, and losing the second trip there was a good idea. Losing the business about the stolen Batmobile key was even better, though part of me would like to see the "Batminicar" mentioned in the treatment. :)
Not script-specific (since it was in every version, including production), but I've always wondered if the band Little Louie Groovy says he's just discovered, "Gotham City Boulevard Offramp," is spoofing a real contemporary act (as "Benedict Arnold and the Traitors" riffed on Paul Revere and the Raiders in "The Cat and the Fiddle"). I can't figure out which band it might refer to, but I did learn you can buy Gotham City Blvd Offramp T-shirts online.

Thanks again for excavating and sharing these.

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Therin of Andor
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Therin of Andor » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:29 pm

Jim Akin wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:56 am
I love the aghast first-draft note "NO!" at the notion of goons removing our heroes' boots.
I remember a panel in the "Batman '66" comic where our heroes take their boots off to reveal bare feet, ie. that their tights are the footless variety, leading to fan arguments.
If "Lafcadio" means anything, I can't figure out what it is.
A 1963 children's picture book by Shel Silverstein.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio: ... _Shot_Back

Lafcadio Hearn, journalist known for his writings about the city of New Orleans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio_Hearn
"Holy nostalgia, Batman!"
Therin of Andor

(aka Ian McLean, from Sydney, Australia)

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chrisbcritter
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by chrisbcritter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:41 pm

Re "Gotham City Boulevard Offramp": Maybe a reference to "Last Exit to Brooklyn"? Either the book or the Gene Pitney song.

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Jim Akin
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jim Akin » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:04 am

Therin of Andor wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:29 pm
A 1963 children's picture book by Shel Silverstein.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio: ... _Shot_Back

Lafcadio Hearn, journalist known for his writings about the city of New Orleans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafcadio_Hearn
Thanks! I never heard the name Lafcadio before, and I didn't think to Google it *as* a name. Doing so turned up this, which explains its derivation from the name of a Greek island with a literary history dating to Homer and Sappho. Lafcadio Hearn (birth name: Patrick) was born there, son of a local woman and an Irish-born British Army officer; he incorporated the island name into his nom-de-plume (and essentially invented the name).
chrisbcritter wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:41 pm
Re "Gotham City Boulevard Offramp": Maybe a reference to "Last Exit to Brooklyn"? Either the book or the Gene Pitney song.
I knew of the book, but not the song. The musical tie-in makes it at least a possibility. I was thinking Ross might be parodying a specific rock group, but maybe he was just spoofing the era's long-winded band names (Strawberry Alarm Clock, 13th Floor Elevators, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, etc.).

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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by gothosmansion » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:44 pm

This may get me kicked off the board, but I don't hate Stanley Ralph Ross's writing as much as a lot of other fans of the series do. He wrote all of my favorite all of my favorite season 3 episodes. However, this treatment and script are a mess.

Thanks for posting the scripts. I enjoyed reading the handwritten comments on the scripts from the production staff. Getting to see these really helps we viewers see how the final filmed versions came to exist. I hate that whoever up the food chain and commented on this wanted to eliminate Batgirl's detective work. I would have enjoyed seeing more detective work on the series...from Batgirl and Batman.

Since she was so often presented as the damsel in distress, I do love that Batgirl escapes from the death trap herself. I don't recall any of these other script's having anything like the *sigh* Ross typed in when describing where Batgirl was tied up. Come on, Stanley, we all know how gorgeous Yvonne Craig was. No need to put it in writing...Of course, I guess I just did, so oh well.

Finally the tickle death trap : It seems like some weird fetish-y contraption that William Moulton Marston would come up with as a trap for Wonder Woman in the golden age. If you read a lot of Golden Age WW's in a row, you realize Marston regularly came up with weird excuses to get Wonder Woman out of her boots.

I kind of wish there had been an action scene after the court scene, as was in the script. That might would have made for a more exciting climax.

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High C
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by High C » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:28 am

It's hard to add a lot to Jim Akin's tremendous post, but I'll try.
Jim Akin wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:56 am

I can't believe Ross's name for the sleazy hotel across from GCPD HQ, the "Hero Inn" (which became the Hotel Sleazy in production) lasted through his final script: A dope pun? Implying the place was a drug den? I doubt the network would have let it fly, and I'm surprised no one called it out in any of the drafts.
Great catch. I have to admit, maybe I'm still too naive at age 54, but I missed it. Of course, he later mentioned LSD in the treatment, so I should've figured it out.
I'd have thought Horwitz & Co. would've put out the word to writers about season three budget and casting constraints, but maybe not, since Ross thought he could get away with giving the gang four henchmen, all with speaking parts. (I bet SRR was heartbroken to lose his awful "Four Horseman of the apocryphal" gag! Sheesh.)
Interesting observation. I almost think by this juncture, with the treatment being dated Sept. 25, that it was a sort of silent protest by Ross. He'd already seen some of his planned setpieces for Wail of The Siren, for instance, taken out before the first draft. He had to know the budget had been cut severely, but it's almost as if he wanted to pitch expensive, hard-to-shoot scenes for his own enjoyment, knowing they'd be excised.

In a similar vein, he has a line in the treatment in which Catwoman says, 'the only way I'll ever kill Batman is with love and kindness.' It's as if he also was trying to rebel against the new edict of 'ixnay on the romance angle between Batman and CW.'
In the first draft, one of the commenters struck Robin's second line after Batman's courtroom summation: "You were great, Batman. *A regular Judd.*" The purged line riffed on the then-current ABC courtroom drama "Judd for the Defense." I guess Ross thought it'd be funny since Batman was prosecutor? Who knows. Losing the line was a good move.
Good call by you. My best guess is by then, the attitude of TPTB was, 'they're about to cancel us anyway, so why do Fox and ABC a solid?' Judd was a Fox and ABC show. Remember, they had used a pre-Cabala Duff in a window cameo to plug Felony Squad, also a Fox and ABC show.
Moving the lighthouse explosion to before the courtroom scene, and losing the second trip there was a good idea. Losing the business about the stolen Batmobile key was even better, though part of me would like to see the "Batminicar" mentioned in the treatment. :)
Agree completely.

I never liked the idea of Batgirl copping evidence on the sly. It makes her look like a glory hound. At least it's somewhat improved in the final by having Batman be smart enough to notice. But for him to accept Joker's handshake, especially after the exploding cigar at the beginning, is horrible. I hated when Ross made Batman into a complete idiot.
'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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Jim Akin
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jim Akin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:27 am

High C wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:28 am
[It's] almost as if he wanted to pitch expensive, hard-to-shoot scenes for his own enjoyment, knowing they'd be excised.
Great point. That completely fits my impression of Ross as an oversized kid, tickled at all he was able to get away with. :)
But for [Batman] to accept Joker's handshake, especially after the exploding cigar at the beginning, is horrible. I hated when Ross made Batman into a complete idiot.
In the grand scheme of things, of course you're right that Ross (among others) often shamelessly cast Batman and Robin as clowns and buffoons, to the detriment of the series. He does so in this episode as well, but looking at the internal reality of this script, if we accept two (admittedly credulity-stretching) assumptions, I think it's arguable that the cigar in Crichton's office actually provides a logical setup for the joy-buzzer bit. The premises are:
  • Batman really thought Joker had reformed (which seems absurd, but why else would Bruce Wayne be there to usher him out of the Pen?), and
  • Batman really believed Catwoman had kidnapped Joker and coerced him into a criminal relapse.
Having Batman think that way is truly terrible characterization, but within the episode's framework, Joker's non-exploding cigar in Crichton's office would have reinforced Bruce/Batman's faith in Joker's rehabilitation, and predisposed him to buy the contrite speech about having succumbed to the temptation of the "hepcat's pajamas." Again, not good writing, but at least logically consistent.

What really galled me was Batman and Robin letting Joker and Catwoman go after specifically noting their three murder attempts, in order to find out what their real caper was. So moronic.

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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jthree » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:01 am

High C wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:28 am
sive, hard-to-shoot scenes for his own enjoyment, knowing they'd be excised.

In a similar vein, he has a line in the treatment in which Catwoman says, 'the only way I'll ever kill Batman is with love and kindness.' It's as if he also was trying to rebel against the new edict of 'ixnay on the romance angle between Batman and CW.'
O.K. This is what I want to know more about. Can somebody tell me more about this edict of the ixnay on the romance angle between Batman and CW." This is what I've been trying to find out more about some time.

==jthree

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High C
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by High C » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:30 am

Jthree wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:01 am
High C wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:28 am
In a similar vein, he has a line in the treatment in which Catwoman says, 'the only way I'll ever kill Batman is with love and kindness.' It's as if he also was trying to rebel against the new edict of 'ixnay on the romance angle between Batman and CW.'
O.K. This is what I want to know more about. Can somebody tell me more about this edict of the ixnay on the romance angle between Batman and CW." This is what I've been trying to find out more about some time.
This is from a Stanley Ralph Ross interview in the late 1990s. Go to the 18:50 mark in 'chapter 2' and he claims he wrote a script in which Batman and Eartha Kitt's CW were 'married' on the ferry. Of course, the problem is this scene never aired, even though he claimed it did. But despite the obvious 'mis-remembering,' I believe there's some truth to the fact that someone above his pay grade was skittish about romance between a black female and a white male. In any event, other than a couple lines in 'Catwoman's Dressed to Kill,' 'speak of the angel' and 'muscular custody,' any attraction/flirting by CW toward Batman seems to have been excised in season 3.

https://interviews.televisionacademy.co ... view-clips
'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

Jthree
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Re: SCRIPT: THE FUNNY FELINE FELONIES

Post by Jthree » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:26 am

[/quote]
This is from a Stanley Ralph Ross interview in the late 1990s. Go to the 18:50 mark in 'chapter 2' and he claims he wrote a script in which Batman and Eartha Kitt's CW were 'married' on the ferry. Of course, the problem is this scene never aired, even though he claimed it did. But despite the obvious 'mis-remembering,' I believe there's some truth to the fact that someone above his pay grade was skittish about romance between a black female and a white male. In any event, other than a couple lines in 'Catwoman's Dressed to Kill,' 'speak of the angel' and 'muscular custody,' any attraction/flirting by CW toward Batman seems to have been excised in season 3.

https://interviews.televisionacademy.co ... view-clips
[/quote]


Thanks that is what I was looking for. I was thinking that if even if the scene had never been filmed, it might show up in an earlier draft of the script.

--jthree

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