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The Organ Grinder

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The Organ Grinder
The Organ Grinder is one of the quaternary antagonists in the 1992 epic superhero film Batman Returns. He was a thug working for The Penguin, as a member of the Red Triangle Circus Gang.

He was portrayed by the late Vincent Schiavelli


The Organ Grinder is a member of the Red Triangle Circus Gang. He had an organ grinder that was armed with a machine gun. More or less, he was Penguin's right-hand man. He and most of the gang were captured by Batman before they could carry out Penguin's plan to kidnap and kill all the first-born sons of Gotham.

The Organ Grinder was The Penguin's right-hand man and enforcer. He was known for his hand-cranked street organ which contained a hidden mini gatling gun. He also had a trained pet monkey which carried out various criminal activities for him. He is first seen in the assault in Gotham City, destroying a large Christmas tree with his gatling gun organ and generally wreaking havoc on bystanders. He and the Circus Gang then captured Max Shreck in order to force Shreck into a political alliance with the Penguin.

Later, The Organ Grinder drove The Penguin's Circus Train so the first-born children of Gotham could be kidnapped. He saw Batman's shadow before the Dark Knight himself appeared and tried to force the Red Triangle Gang to hurry up but he was dragged and presumably interrogated by Batman on the Penguin's whereabouts. Presumably, the Organ Grinder told him everything.


The Organ Grinder's pet monkey escaped after his master was arrested and relayed a note from the Batman detailing that The Penguin's plan to capture the first-born children of Gotham had failed. This infuriated The Penguin but nonetheless, the monkey stuck around as the keeper of the key to Max Schreck's cage. Max got the better of the monkey and tricked it into coming close so he could snag the key.

In Other Media

  • He's the sixth boss in the Super Nintendo video game adaptation of Batman Returns. The monkey is also seen in the game, but only as a spectator.
  • He's also the boss of stage 4-3 of NES game Batman Returns.
  • The late Vincent Schiavelli, the actor who played the Organ Grinder also starred in an episode of Batman: the Animated Series as Zatara.
  • Organ Grinder made a comic book appearance in 2011.

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