Batman (1966 film): Wikis

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Batman

Poster by Tom Chantrell
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Produced by William Dozier
Written by Screenplay:
Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
Characters:
Bob Kane and
Bill Finger
Starring Adam West
Burt Ward
Lee Meriwether
Cesar Romero
Burgess Meredith
Frank Gorshin
Music by Nelson Riddle
(incidental music)
Theme:
Neal Hefti
Editing by Harry Gerstad
Studio Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
William Dozier Productions
Greenlawn Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) July 20, 1966 (1966-07-20)
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$ 1,400,000 (est.)

Batman, often promoted as Batman: The Movie, is a 1966 film and the first full-length theatrical adaptation of the DC Comics character of the same name. Released by 20th Century Fox, the film starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin.

The film was directed by Leslie H. Martinson, who also directed a pair of Batman episodes; "The Penguin Goes Straight" and "Not Yet, He Ain't," both from season one.

Contents

Plot

When Batman (West) and Robin (Ward) get a tip that Commodore Schmidlapp (the final role of actor Reginald Denny) is in danger aboard his yacht, they launch a rescue mission using the Batcopter. After a tangle with an exploding shark, Batman and Robin head back to Commissioner Gordon's office where, through deduction and wisdom, they figure out that the tip was a set-up by four of the most powerful villains ever (Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman), who have united to defeat The Dynamic Duo once and for all.

Armed with a dehydrator that can turn humans into dust, a World War II Unterseeboot made to resemble a penguin, and their three pirate henchmen (Bluebeard, Morgan and Quetch), the "fearsome foursome" intends to take over the world, and Batman and Robin must stop them. Catwoman romantically lures Bruce Wayne into a trap, little suspecting that Wayne is Batman's alter-ego, and Penguin even schemes his way into the Batcave, leaving the Duo unable to prevent the kidnapping of the dehydrated United World Security Council.

After giving chase in the Batboat, the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder use a sonic charge weapon called "Bat-Charges" to disable Penguin's submarine and bring it to the surface, where a grand fistfight ensues. Although Commodore Schmidlapp sneezes on and scatters the powdered members of the dehydrated Council, mixing them together – which would normally spell their doom – Batman constructs an elaborate filter to return each of them to life.

Prior to this process, Robin asks Batman if it might not be in the world's best interests, with continued problems of overt racism, especially in the U.S. during the 1960s, for them to alter the dust samples so that humans can no longer harm one another. In response, Batman says that they cannot do so and can only hope for people, in general, to learn to live together peacefully on their own.

However, in the final scene, Robin's wishes are ironically fulfilled when the Security Council is improperly re-hydrated. While all of the members are alive and well, continuing to squabble among themselves and totally oblivious of their surroundings, each of them now speaks a completely different language than their original native tongue. As the world looks on in disbelief at this development, Batman and Robin quietly climb out of the United World Headquarters to an uncertain future. Batman's final words express his sincere hope that this "mixing of minds" does more good than it does harm.

Cast

Though Julie Newmar played the Catwoman to great acclaim in the TV series, she had other commitments at that time[2] and was replaced by Lee Meriwether in this movie. In his autobiography, Adam West writes of his asking for more money to do the film and that the producers countered with the fact that another actor would be hired. Mike Henry was the actor but a lawsuit against the producers of his Tarzan film series prohibited him from taking the role.

History

William Dozier wanted to make a big-screen film to generate interest in his proposed Batman TV series, to have it in theaters while the first season was before the cameras, but 20th Century Fox studio refused, because a network would share the cost of a series whereas they would have to cover the entire cost of a movie, and they wanted to know if the series was a hit before they would do that.[3] So it was not filmed until the end of the first season of Batman the TV series (between April 25 and May 31, 1966 at an estimated $1,377,800). This movie featured four main criminals from the show, including the "clown prince of crime" The Joker (Cesar Romero), that "count of criminal conundrums" The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), that "pompous, waddling master of fowl play" The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), and the "fiendish feline" The Catwoman (Lee Meriwether). It was written by series writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr. and directed by series director Leslie H. Martinson, who won a Golden Gryphon for his efforts, and is less well remembered for directing a large number of less notable movies such as PT 109 and Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

The 105-minute Batman opened at The Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas on Saturday, July 30, 1966 (between the first and second seasons of the TV series).

The movie was moderately successful at the box office. It had its nationwide television debut as an ABC Sunday Night Movie, at 9:00 Eastern/8:00 Central, on Independence Day, 1971.

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Tone

Like the television series, the movie featured saturated colors, campy dialogue and special effects, and over-exaggeration in acting performances, effectively being a tongue-in-cheek parody.

Though it is often described (like many contemporary shows) as a parody of a popular comic-book character, some commentators believe that its comedy is not so tightly confined. It's worth noting that some commentators feel the film's depiction of the Caped Crusader "captured the feel of the contemporary comics perfectly".[4] The film was, they remind us, made at a time when "the Batman of the Golden Age comics was already essentially neutered".[5]

Nevertheless, certain elements verge into direct parody of the history of Batman. The movie, like the TV series, is strongly influenced by the comparatively obscure 1940s serials of Batman, such as the escapes done almost out of luck.[5] Likewise, the penchant for giving even obscure devices — notably, "shark repellent" — a "Bat-" prefix, and the dramatic use of stylized title cards during fight scenes, playfully acknowledge some of the conventions that the character had accumulated in various media. However, the majority of Batman's campier moments can be read as a broader parody on contemporary mid-1960s culture in general.[6]

Vehicles

The Batmobile as seen in the 1960s Batman TV series.

Besides the Batmobile, other vehicles used by The Dynamic Duo:

Of the three new Batvehicles which first appeared in the Batman movie, only the Batcycle crossed over into the TV series, as the budgetary limits of the TV series precluded the use of the others. Instead, snippets of the Batcopter and Batboat from the movie were stitched into episodes.

Release

The film was in released on VHS in 1985 by Playhouse Video, in 1989 by CBS/Fox Video, and in 1994 by Fox Video. On August 21, 2001 this film was released on DVD; it was re-released July 1, 2008 on DVD and on Blu-ray for the 42nd anniversary of the film's release and to take advantage of The Dark Knight's release on July 18. The Blu-ray added several features in addition to those found on the original DVD, however the 2008 DVD is identical to the 2001 release, except for the disk artwork, which had a darker feel than the 2001 release and did not include Robin, probably to tie in with The Dark Knight.

Reception

Batman: The Movie has received positive reviews over the years, with an 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Bill Gibron of Filmcritic.com gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and commented that "unlike other attempts at bringing these characters to life...the TV cast really captures the inherent insanity of the roles."[7] Variety magazine stated on their review that "the intense innocent enthusiasm of Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin as the three criminals is balanced against the innocent calm of Adam West and Burt Ward, Batman and Robin respectively."[8]

References

  1. ^ Van Hise, James, "the man who played The Green Hornet" [sic], The Green Hornet Book, Shuster and Shuster, Inc., 1988, p.16.
  2. ^ Garcia, Bob, "Batman: Catwoman," Cinefantastique, Vol. 26, #6/Vol. 7, #1 (double issue), February 1994, p. 19 (interview with Julie Newmar).
  3. ^ Garcia, Bob, "Batman: Making the Original Movie", Cinefantastique, Volume 24, #6/Vol. 25, #1 (double issue), February 1994, p. 55.
  4. ^ stomptokyo.com review 2002.
  5. ^ a b grouchoreviews.com review of Batman.
  6. ^ Museum of Broadcast Communication's entry on the parent TV show
  7. ^ AMC Filmcritic - Batman (1966) Review
  8. ^ Variety.com - Batman Review

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Batman is a 1966 film about Batman and Robin battling the combined forces of four supercriminals who have stolen an invention and intend to use it maliciously.

Directed by Leslie H. Martinson. Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr..
FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE MOTION PICTURE SCREEN IN COLOR! Adam West As Batman And Burt Ward As Robin Together With All Their Fantastic Derring-Do And Their Dastardly Villains, Too! taglines

Contents

Batman

  • The Riddler is loose to plague us with his criminal conundrums.
  • They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings.
  • Bon Voyage, Pussy.
  • Hand down the shark repellent Batspray!
  • The drinking-water dispenser is clearly marked.
  • Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb...

Robin

  • Holy nightmare!
  • It looks bad, Batman. This brassy bird has us buffaloed.
  • Holy horseshoe!
  • Holy Polaris!
  • Holy sardine!
  • Holy Captain Nemo!
  • Holy heartbreak! Miss Kitka!
  • Holy jumble! Where's the hope of the world now?
  • Holy heart failure, Batman!
  • Holy bikini Batman!
  • Holy Halloween!

Others

  • Narrator: This yacht is bringing a revolutionary scientific invention to Gotham City. On a peaceful afternoon motor ride, millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson have been summoned back to Wayne Manor by an urgent but anonymous call for help; the invention AND its custodian are reported in grave danger aboard the yacht! Never ones to shirk responsibility, Bruce and Dick, with characteristic speed and resolve, descend promptly into The Batcave, and then, as they have done many times before, as BATMAN AND ROBIN, courageous warriors against crime, they are off once again to the rescue!
  • Riddler: Question: Who's going to make the feathers fly and knock Batman and Robin out of the sky?
  • Riddler: This bird has flown around the bend!
  • Joker: Have you heard this one? It'll KILL you, Batman! [laughs]
  • Joker: A joke a day, keeps the glum away!
  • Catwoman: [meows] You're going to see the purr-fect crime, when I get Batman in my claws! [hisses]
  • The Penguin: Could I trouble you for a glass of water? Your Batgas has left me with a parched sensation.
  • The Penguin: Now hear this, now hear this. This is your Captain speaking. My fine pinioned pirates, we're approaching the tricky buoy! Sharpen your cutlasses! There may be skullduggery ahead!

Dialogue

[Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and Chief O'Hara consider which supercriminal might have been behind the fake yacht and exploding shark attack.]
Gordon: Could be any one of them, but which one? W— which ones?
O'Hara: [gasps]
Batman: Pretty fishy what happened to me on that ladder.
Gordon: You mean, where there's a fish, there could be a Penguin.
Robin: But wait! It happened at sea! See? "C" for Catwoman!
Batman: Yet... an exploding shark was pulling my leg!
Gordon: The Joker!
O'Hara: [It] all adds up to a sinister riddle. Riddle-er. Riddler?
Gordon: Oh! A thought strikes me! So dreadful I scarcely dare give it utterance.
Batman: The four of them. Their forces combined...
Robin: Holy nightmare!

Commissioner Gordon: Penguin, Joker, Riddler... and Catwoman, too! The sum of the angles of that rectangle is too monstrous to contemplate!
Batman: We've been given the plainest warning. They're working together to take over...
Chief O'Hara: Take over what, Batman? Gotham City?
Batman: Any two of them would try that!
Commissioner Gordon: The whole country?
Batman: If it were three of them, I would say yes, but four? Their minimum objective must be... the entire world.

Riddler: I see the way to do it! We'll play each of our treacherous trumps in one hand, and we'll do it right here!
Penguin: How?
Riddler: How? The end! The end, oh... [giggles] We shall spring them from The Joker's Jack-In-The-Box, through that window, out over the sea, and into the waiting arms of The Penguin's Exploding Octopus! [giggles again] The trigger: one of my riddles, of course, and the bait: Catwoman!

[In the Batcave, Batman and Robin prepare to leave in the Batmobile.]
Robin: Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.
Batman: Roger. Ready to move out.

[After the shark attack, Batman takes questions from the press in Commissioner Gordon's office.]
Batman: You there, Miss...
Miss Kitka: Comrade Kitayna Ireyna Tatanya Kerenska Alisoff. I am from the Moscow Bugle.

[Stuck to Penguin's magnetic buoy, with a torpedo approaching, Batman pries loose his utility belt transmitter.]
Batman: If I could just reverse the polarity... send out waves of super-energy...
. . .
[An annoyed Penguin observes the destruction of his torpedos.]
Penguin: He must be using his Super-Energy Reverse Polarizer!
. . .
[A third torpedo approaches, but Batman's transmitter ceases its screeching.]
Batman: Confound it! The batteries are dead!
. . .
[Moments after an off-camera explosion, we see Batman and Robin speeding in their Batboat.]
Robin: Gosh, Batman. The nobility of the almost-human porpoise.
Batman: True, Robin. It was noble of that animal to hurl himself into the path of that final torpedo. He gave his life for ours.

[Batman calls Vice Admiral Fangschliester at the Pentagon about recently sold submarines.]
Fangschliester: Answer affirmative, Batman! We disposed of a war surplus submarine last Friday. A pre-atomic model. To some chap named, uh, "P. N. Guin".
Batman: P. N. Guin?
Robin: The Penguin!
Batman: Did this… P. N. Guin leave an address?
Fangschliester: No, just a post office box number. Would you like it?
Batman: No, thank you, Admiral. [gritting his teeth] You've been very helpful.
Fangschliester: Avast and belay, Batman. Your tone sounds rather grim. We haven't done anything foolish, have we?
Batman: [slowly] Disposing of pre-atomic submarines to persons who don't even leave their full addresses?! Good day, Admiral!
[They hang up.]
Fangschliester: Gosh!

[Batman reads Miss Kitka's riddles to Robin.]
Batman: One: "What has yellow skin and writes?"
Robin: A ballpoint banana.
Batman: Exactly! Two: "What people are always in a hurry?"
Robin: Rushing people? Russians!
Batman: Right again! Now, what would you say they mean?
Robin: Banana... Russian... I've got it! Someone Russian is gonna slip on a banana peel and break their neck!
Batman: Precisely, Robin! The only possible meaning!

Alfred: What is the scheme, sir?
Batman: Tonight, Bruce Wayne will go out on the town with Miss Kitka.
Alfred: A not-displeasing chore, sir.
Batman: Indeed, Alfred! I've rarely met a girl who's such a potent argument in favor of international "relations".

[Catwoman is scooping up "dehydrated death-dealing pirates" into separate vials.]
Penguin: Careful, careful. Waggh, waggh. Every one of 'em has a mother.

Catwoman: You and your submarine! Look where it's got us now!
Penguin: Shut up, you feline floozy!

[Batman and Robin are climbing up the wharf building concealing the United Underworld hideout.]
Robin: When you think, Batman, with people in weird outfits, like the four super crooks hangin' around here, it's amazing somebody hasn't already reported this place to the police!
Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.
Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes.

[Batman dashes around the pier trying to dispose of a comically large bomb, repeatedly running into insensate bar patrons, the Salvation Army, two nuns, a baby stroller, lovers in a boat, and ducks in the water.]
Batman: Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!

[In the Batcave, Penguin's reconstituted pirates all disappear the moment they're touched.]
Robin: The pirates - they're gone! Popped like balloons! How'd it happen?
Batman: Whoever de-hydrated those pirates could not have foreseen their accidental re-hydration with the heavy water we use in recharging the atomic pile!
Robin: Which naturally left them in a highly unstable condition!
Batman: You saw it yourself, Robin. The [slaps his hands together] SLIGHTEST impact was sufficient to instantly reduce them to anti-matter!
Robin: Antimatter? You mean they won't be coming back?
Batman: No, Robin. Not in this universe.
[They jump down from the Bat consoles.]
Batman: Let that be… an object lesson in the dangers of tampering with the laws of Mother… Nature.

[Batman and Robin spy the Riddler's latest missile-delivered clues.]
Batman: "What goes up white, and comes down yellow and white?"
Robin: An egg!
Batman: "How do you divide seventeen apples among sixteen people?"
Robin: Make applesauce!
Batman: Apples into applesauce; a unification into one smooth mixture. An egg: nature's perfect container the container of all our hopes for the future!
Robin: A unification and a container of hope? United World Organization!
Batman: Precisely, Robin!

[Batman and Robin are running through the streets of Gotham to the United World headquarters.]
Robin: Holy marathon! I'm getting a stitch, Batman!
Batman: Let's hope… it's a stitch in time, Robin! That saves nine — the nine members of the United World… Security Council! C'mon!

Joker: Suppose Penguin did fail! All the more reason not to send up your stupid clues!
Riddler: Oh, but I must, I must! Outwitting Batman is my sole delight, my heaven on earth, my very paradise!

Catwoman: Riddler, you fool! Penguin must have finished them by now!
Riddler: Why, that stupid waddling mountebank of a bird? He couldn't finish a bag of popcorn!

[After processing the jumbled powders of the Security Council members with their Super Molecular Dust Separator, the Dynamic Duo discovers the rehydrated delegates are speaking the wrong languages.]
Batman: Who knows, Robin? This strange mixing of minds may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity. Let's go, but, inconspicuously... through the window. We'll use our Batrope. [long pause] Our job is finished.

Riddler: You and your trained exploding shark.
Penguin: How should I know they'd have a can of shark-repellent Batspray handy? Why, you sniveling sardine!
Riddler: You pompous, puffed-up penguin!
Joker: Oh, friends, make peace. Have a shake on me. [shakes their hands, and the two are electrified; Joker laughs manically, and shows he is wearing joy buzzers on his hands] A joke a day keeps the gloom away!
Catwoman: (to her cat) Sic 'em, Hecate. Scratch out their eyes!
Penguin: Take away that ravenous panther!
Riddler: So help me, Catwoman, I'll feed him to the birds!
Joker: I'll incapacitate the beast with my trick confetti!
Catwoman: United Underworld? [scoffs] We're about as united as the members of the United World Headquarters on Gotham East River! What's the matter with you all?!
Riddler: She's right, she's right! If we don't manage to somehow swallow our supercriminal pride, I'm afraid--
Penguin: Right, Mr. Riddler, all right! We must hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang seperately.
Joker: Oh, and what a pity that would be, on the eve of the greatest criminal coup anyone ever dreamed of!
Riddler: Aha! How did it go, Catwoman?
Catwoman: Purr-fectly, purr-fectly. In my disguise as Kitka, I penetrated their press conference. The fools are completely baffled.
Joker: Yeah, but undrowned.
Catwoman: Yes, unfortunately. Batman's boots didn't even look damp! How's our prisoner? Still doesn't know he's been kidnapped?
Penguin: He hasn't the foggiest. He just keeps ringing for his confounded tea.

Taglines

  • FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THE MOTION PICTURE SCREEN IN COLOR! Adam West As Batman And Burt Ward As Robin Together With All Their Fantastic Derring-Do And Their Dastardly Villains, Too!
  • MEN DIE! WOMEN SIGH! Beneath that Batcape - he's all man!

Cast

External links

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