BATMAN: THE MOVIE (1966) – REVIEW


batman_1966_main

1966

sU

CANDLES 8

DIRECTOR: Leslie H. Martinson

Contains spoilers!

“Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”

Before the Frank Miller’s Dark Knight, there was the Caped Crusader; The founding member of the Dynamic Duo, Batman and his ward, the Boy Wonder, Robin. In order to promote the series, after Batman’s first season, a theatrical version was green-lit. Bigger and longer than any of the soon to be syndicated TV show, which would ultimately run for three seasons, Batman was on the big screen with “all his wonderful toys” and a whole host of new ones.

Welcome, the Bat Ladder, Bat-boat, Bat-copter and of course the Bat Shark Repellent! The wry humour can easily be dismissed as hammy and cheap, but in fact, this incarnation of Batman struck a cord and ran with it with confidence. And in this era of The Dark Knight, Batman Light is a welcome respite from all the dower self flagellation of the character.

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The late Adam West and Burt Ward are as dry as ever as they over act and dramatically fight crime against a collection of cartoon villains, with this movie delivering the most popular, The Joker (Caesar Romero), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin, all of whom have been brought together by Burgess Meredith’s, Penguin.

Fun from start to finish, with Batman gags, satirical humour and out and out farce! (The bomb gag is classic!) An outrageous plot involving dehydrating the UN Security Council is delivered at a breakneck pace, with one set piece being delivered after another. It is hard to imagine that so much happens in such a lean running time. This is a smart comedy with does not out stay its welcome.

And that is the thing with Batman (1966); It is a smart comedy posing a piece of nonsense. A point proven by its popularity 50 years on. If anything, the recent Lego Batman Movie plays the same hand, only it gets away with it because its a kids Lego digi-mation. But the humour is very similar, irreverently honouring their source.

If you have not seen this in years and god forbid, not at all then get yourself…

…”to the Batmobile!”

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