EXCLUSIVE: “Run silent, run deep…”
UPDATED 11/16/19: Burgess Meredith was born 112 years ago! This piece first ran in August 2018. Perfect time to present it again! — Dan
The 1966 Batman movie gave us not just the Batcopter, Batboat and a new Batcycle, it also gave us the best villain vehicle of the entire series run — the Penguin Sub, the mobile lair from which the United Underworld battles the Dynamic Duo.
The film’s climactic Batfight takes place atop a life-size set but the sub itself was a roughly 8-foot fiberglass prop that was maneuvered by set technicians:
And it’s now in private hands.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been showing off items from the greatest Batman ’66 collection you’ll ever see — a startling array of screen-used costumes and props owned by an anonymous collector we’re calling “Alfred.” (Click here for much more on that. Really, go ahead. We’ll wait.)
Alfred’s latest acquisition? The Penguin Sub.
Just dig these photos from his hideaway, where the model sits below a full-size replica of the Batcopter (and near a repro Batcomputer, as well as a trio of cardboard standees of everyone’s favorite heroes):
OK, a couple things:
First, it’s amazing how well this has been kept up since 1966, when the movie was both shot and released.
Second, I love the attention to detail by the model-builders. In the days before CGI, we really took for granted the practical effects that moviemakers utilized to pull off their cinematic illusions. Instead, viewers had a tendency to point out the flaws.
But there’s serious artistry at work here:
Up close you can see the line work, the seams and the glue but on screen, it looks true to life.
I just wish I’d had the presence of mind to bring some Batman ’66 action figures to complete the scene. Perhaps next time.
Meanwhile, check out some more pix:
— SNEAK PEEK: The Greatest BATMAN ’66 Collection You’ll Ever See. Click here.
— Dig This UP-CLOSE LOOK at an Original PENGUIN Costume. Click here.
— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: The Magnificence of Burgess Meredith’s PENGUIN. Click here.