65mm Black & White Print
The Bat Whispers

Poster from the Setnik Collection

Film courtesy of Theo Gluck

70mm black & white is an oddity, and 65mm black & white even more so. In 1930, Joseph M. Schenk produced The Bat Whispers for United Artists. The movie was simultaneously shot in conventional 35mm and either 65mm or 70mm, (I'm a bit fuzzy on that). The fact that the film had sound was more of an advertising gimmick than was the wide screen large format version, which got minimal use. These frames are from a recent print made during the restoration of the original. Faintly visible are traces of the sprocket holes from the negative, which did not use film specifications compatible with today's 65mm/70mm system. Of some interest is the fact that, in all likelihood, the cameras used to film The Bat Whispers were later used to film Oklahoma! and Around the World in 80 Days. Joseph M. Schenk was one of the founders of Magna Theatre Corporation, the money behind Todd-AO.

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