Saturday, June 5, 2021

Quote of the Day (Edgar Allan Poe, With Verses Used by Bruce Wayne to Woo Catwoman)

“And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams—
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.”—American short-story writer, poet, literary critic, and editor Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), “To One in Paradise” (1833)

Amid all the “POWS!!,” Robin’s “Holy…” exclamations, and cruising around the Batmobile, cultural references like this slyly inserted into the Sixties “Batman” franchise flew right over my head when I was a little kid.

Even now, more than five decades later (including college courses where I had to read poems, horror, sci-fi, and detective fiction by Mr. Poe), I came across this material entirely by accident, while researching actress Lee Meriwether. As a youthful fan of the TV show, I had caught Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar as Catwoman, but had missed the former Miss America (whom I saw onstage, decades later, in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music!) slipping into the slinky catsuit in Batman The Movie.

In the same film, the actress had even more fun putting on a Russian accent as “Miss Kitka,” a “reporter” for The Moscow Bugle (!!!!) exotic enough to lead Adam West’s Bruce Wayne to recite spontaneously this bit of Poe-try, as seen in this YouTube clip. 

Well, I guess it was a way to get Sixties audiences to view the writer as a romantic—rather different from the tortured soul whose more chilling tales were adapted into seven Roger Corman flicks that permanently endeared Vincent Price to horror fans.

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