Batman (1943, Lambert Hillyer), Chapter 10: Flying Spies

And now Batman is back to the misleading chapter titles. There aren’t spies in Flying Spies, there’s only one spy on the plane.

After the laziest cliffhanger resolution in the series so far–and there have been some lazy ones–Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft take a break from crimefighting (i.e. getting beat up by the same four thugs) to get new orders from Washington. Luckily, J. Carrol Naish is hiring new guys to intercept the plane, so Wilson throws on his makeup again.

The chapter sort of moves well–the logic pitfalls are many and frequent, but they don’t kill the pace. Director Hillyer even tries some camera movement in an establishing shot. That effort doesn’t last long, however, with the cliffhanger both familiar and utterly absurd.

At least the makeup gives Wilson something to do besides be a heel to Shirley Patterson (she’s around long enough for him to be a heel then exits).


Directed by Lambert Hillyer; screenplay by Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker, and Harry L. Fraser, based on characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger; director of photography, James S. Brown Jr.; edited by Dwight Caldwell and Earl Turner; music by Lee Zahler; produced by Rudolph C. Flothow; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Lewis Wilson (Batman / Bruce Wayne), Douglas Croft (Robin / Dick Grayson), Shirley Patterson (Linda Page), William Austin (Alfred Pennyworth), and J. Carrol Naish (Dr. Daka).

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