Saturday, June 11, 2016

Batman ( 1966 )

The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler and Penguin....all joining forces to destroy members of the United Nations. Holy Quartet! Did four of the fiercest criminals to ever exist truly set aside their differences to unite and hatch this nefarious scheme? Yes....they...did, and the world is stricken with panic at the thought. Only Batman and Robin can put a stop to these arch-criminals. If only they can do it in time!

With a Poh!, Zap!, and Zonk!, the caped crusader of comicdom splashed onto the big-screen in Batman, released in the fall of 1966. Adam West starred as the titular tight-clad hero, reprising the role that launched him to super-stardom on the television series "Batman"; with him was his sidekick, the young Dick Grayson ( Burt Ward ), better known as the boy-wonder, Robin.

Four of the most famous villains from the television series were brought together to cackle up a scheme to ensnare our heroes. Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, and Frank Gorshin all reprised their roles as Penguin, The Joker, and The Riddler, respectively, while former Miss America, Lee Merriwether, let her claws out as Catwoman, a purrrfectly marvelous role that Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar had made popular on television. 
With cries of "Yo, ho, ho!" these enthusiastic rascals unleashed methods of destruction and herds of stripe-suited minions on the duo in numerous attempts to capture them...all without success, of course. It is only by means of Batman's number one weakness - women - that they manage to lure him to a near-deadly doom. 

"Excuse me. I'll slip into something more comfortable while your cocoa's warming......"

With the aid of the fearsome foursome, Catwoman disguises herself as Kitanya Irenya Tatanya Karenska Alisoff ( "Kitka" ), a beautiful Russian journalist, who wields her accent to lure comrade Wayne into the lair of the United Underground, hoping to use him as bait for a rescue attempt by the elusive Batman. But holy mixup! they don't realize that millionaire Bruce Wayne and the crimefighter Batman are one and the same. 
If this plot doesn't pack enough excitement to give you heart failure, then there is the added bonus of seeing the Batcopter in action ( built especially for the film ), Batman shooting UP the batpole, and eight dignitaries of the United Nations babbling in a multitude of tongues....all in kaleidoscopic Technicolor. Bless my dustpan! 

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb"

Batman combines campy comic-book action with witty dialogue by Lorenzo Semple Jr. ( the script is so entertaining it's worth reading in itself ) and great tongue-in-cheek performances by Adam West and Burt Ward, two actors who truly enjoyed their roles. A slew of great character actors top off the sundae, including Alan Napier as Alfred the Butler, Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon, Milton Frome as Vice Admiral Fangschliester ( the dumkopf who sold an atomic submarine to Penguin ), and Reginald Denny as the tea-drinking Commodore Schmidlapp. 


  1. Great post! If you haven't seen it yet, may I recommend the documentary called "Starring Adam West" as it's nicely done and shows his pre-Batman career was pretty interesting!

  2. Holy guacamole, Batman. That review was WAY too short...:-D But I loved it anyway.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Quiggy! When I get around to writing about the Batman TV series I'll be sure to cover more ground.

  3. Wow! There is something different watching the old movies and it will so amazing to watch batman from that time. I can add it to my list. This weekend by kids will finish the series by Andy Yeatman and then I can watch this movie with them. The characters look pretty good here.