Batman – The Movie (1966) starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Lee Meriwether, Burgess Meredith, Alan Napier
When Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) get a tip that Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) is in danger aboard his yacht, they launch a rescue mission. But the tip is a set-up by four of the most powerful villains ever. The Caped Crusaders’ four deadliest foes have joined forces to … Rule the world!
- Penguin (Burgess Meredith)
- Joker (Caesar Romero)
- Riddler (Frank Gorshin)
- Catwoman (Lee Meriwether)
Armed with a dehydrator that can turn humans into dust, the fearsome foursome intends to take over the world! Can the Dynamic Duo stop them in time?
In short, Batman – the Movie is a campy, fun, extended version of the 1960’s Batman TV series. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and is simply a fun, silly ride. I enjoyed it immensely when I was younger, and I still do. Batman – the Movie doesn’t take itself seriously, and pokes fun at itself, As well as many other things, including people in authority (the admiral who sells a nuclear submarine to “P. N. Guin”), the United Nations, and many otherr things.
And, of course, it’s a fun ride, with Frank Gorshin’s Riddler & Cesar Romero’s Joker trying to out-crazy each other, Burgess Meredith’s plotting Penguin pondering pulchritude, and Lee Meriwether’s Catwoman breaking Bruce Wayne/Batman’s heart.
Some quotes that stick decades after initial viewing:
- “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!’
- “Hand down the shark-repellent Batspray!”
- “Confound it, the batteries are dead!”
Editorial review of Batman – The Movie courtesy of Amazon.com
Holy camp site, Batman! After a fabulously successful season on TV, the campy comic book adventure hit the big screen, complete with painful puns, outrageous supervillains, and fights punctuated with word balloons sporting such onomatopoeic syllables as “Pow!,” “Thud!,” and “Blammo!” Adam West’s wooden Batman is the cowled vigilante alter ego of straight-arrow millionaire Bruce Wayne and Bruce Ward’s Robin (a.k.a. Dick Grayson, Bruce’s young collegiate protégé) his overeager sidekick in hot pants.
Together they battle an unholy alliance of Gotham City’s greatest criminals: the Joker (Cesar Romero, whooping up a storm), the Riddler (giggling Frank Gorshin), the Penguin (cackling Burgess Meredith), and the purr-fectly sexy Catwoman (Lee Meriwether slinking in a skin-tight black bodysuit). The criminals are, naturally, out to conquer the world, but with a little help from their unending supply of utility belt devices (bat shark repellent, anyone?), our dynamic duo thwarts their nefarious plans at every turn.
Since the TV show ran under 30 minutes an episode (with commercials), the 105-minute film runs a little thin–a little camp goes a long way–but fans of the small-screen show will enjoy the spoofing tone throughout. Leslie H. Martinson directs Lorenzo Semple’s screenplay like a big-budget TV episode minus the cliffhanger endings. –Sean Axmaker
Updated February 14, 2022