Batman 2.14 – The Yegg Foes in Gotham

So the story goes that for a few months and possibly longer, Burt Ward had shown some pretty diva-like behavior and made enemies of just about everybody on the Batman set. He still did his thankless job pretty well; in fact, he gets one of the best lines in the episode this time out. When Bruce Wayne explains, after setting off a radar-egg-bomb, that at the age of eleven he had been the junior marble champion of Gotham City, Dick simply replies “Even then.” Nobody ever said that Burt Ward had a tough job as Robin, but he did what he had to do pretty much perfectly.

That’s onscreen. Behind the scenes, he had allegedly become a holy terror. And Vincent Price, he was a professional, and didn’t like to see the crew mistreated. So when they came to film this fight, he didn’t appreciate Ward lobbing eggs at the cameramen. I’ve read that he did what he did on his own and I’ve read that one of the crew gently suggested that maybe Price could, instead of smacking Ward in the head with a single egg, maybe find a couple of handfuls.

Whichever, it’s absolutely beautiful. Watching these fights on DVD, you can always spot Ward’s stunt double, and occasionally the lead villain’s. That’s definitely the case here. It’s not like Vincent Price’s bald cap-and-dome is the best-looking work of makeup in the world anyway, but the poor fellow subbing for him in the long shots has an even worse fake head. So they filmed the fight with the doubles, and then brought the actors in for the closeups, and then Vincent Price takes an entire tray of eggs and smashes the living daylights out of Burt Ward.

To his considerable credit, Ward followed the instructions given by the director with the wonderfully-stylized name george waGGner, who told everybody that this was a one-take fight because of all the egg yolk on the studio floor. Plus, he probably had the sense to know that, for continuity, he was just going to have to play the rest of the scene with yellow all the heck over his costume and shells in his hair. He might have been a diva, but he knew to act like a professional when he needed to.

Daniel enjoyed this episode much more than the first part. He was much less hyper and wild today, which helped, but he paid attention and enjoyed things, egg-specially that final fight. He really liked this one and only got a little hyper in the wake of all the mayhem and egg-throwing.

One other note: I missed out on mentioning that Sammy Davis Jr. had a Batclimb cameo in the previous story. Bill Dana has one this time, in character as José Jiménez. Ben Alexander, who was Officer Smith in Dragnet, also gets a cameo in this story as a Gotham City detective, and gets to say “just the facts.”

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