The Bat 1926

The Bat (1926) is a silent film based on the 1920 hit Broadway play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, directed by Roland West and starring Jack Pickford and Louise Fazenda. The story takes place in an old mansion, where people look for hidden loot while a caped killer (nicknamed “The Bat”) murders them one by one. The film was rediscovered after being thought to have been a lost film for many years.

One of Batman’s greatest trademarks is the bat signal. In the 1926 film, “the Bat” can be seen using the bat signal, although in the film, he uses it to frighten his enemies before he attacks. In later Batman comics, films, etc., the police use it to contact Batman, although modern innovation has taken the signal back to its roots in using it to remind and possibly terrify criminals as to the reality of Batman’s existence.


  • For many years this was regarded as a “lost film” with no known prints or elements existing.
  • This film was highly regarded for its visuals, especially for its cinematography, elaborate sets and special effects. Roland West could only top it by remaking it four years later as The Bat Whispers (1930) with sound and in an early 70mm process.
  • Filming took place almost entirely at night.

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