The Theater: Old Play in Manhattan, Feb. 2, 1953

The Bat (by Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood) is 33 years old—a bearded oldster among thrillers. But though it does its hissing through false teeth and glares from a glass eye, it is still strangely animate—a good deal of a mess, but only now & then a bore.

In the era of The Bat, whodunits got elaborate trousseaux, so as to set up house-haunting in style: winding staircases, sliding panels, well-trained lightning and thunder, gashed faces, bloody hands, Japanese servants, hidden blueprints, missing banknotes; it was kill and conk, conk and kill. George Moore once snorted that in War...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!