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Based on the play by Mary Roberts Rinehart, the plot is set in motion by a maniacal serial killer who dresses in a bat costume and flashes a batlike shadow on the wall just before he strikes. Most of the action takes place in the spooky old mansion of mystery writer Mrs. Cornelia Van Gorder (Emily Fitzroy), where a number of innocent bystanders, chiseling crooks, murder suspects and cowering bystanders converge. When the police show up, everything seems to be under control -- and then The Bat strikes again! The film's surprise ending was rather better handled in the 1930 talkie remake The Bat Whispers, but otherwise The Bat is a remarkable achievement, boasting superbly shuddery cinematography by Arthur Edeson and some absolutely eye-popping special effects, courtesy of production designer William Cameron Menzies.

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