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Batman The Movie (It Came from the Bargain Bin)




Welcome to this week’s installment of “It Came from the Bargain Bin!”

Once upon a time there was a television show about a millionaire by the name of Bruce Wayne, who along with his protégé Dick Grayson, would play the roles of everyday citizens of the city of Gotham but when a call was received on the Bat-phone from Commissioner Gordon to report another crime the two would transform into the masked crime fighting super duo known as “Batman and Robin”. Wearing masks to conceal their identity, along with capes and tights, Batman and Robin would protect Gotham City by thwarting the villainous attempts of nefarious criminals the likes of “The Joker”, “The Riddler”, “The Penguin”, and “Catwoman”, amongst others. The Batman television show was hugely popular when it first aired in 1966 but it soon lost its luster and was canceled in 1968 after 120 episodes. Luckily, this gem was filmed before the end of the Batman television show’s run or it may not have ever been made after its cancellation. So, without further ado, TO THE BAT-REVIEW!!

Batman (The Movie)

Starring: Adam West, Burt Ward, and Alan Napier
Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Director: Leslie H. Martinson

A yacht carrying ” a revolutionary scientific invention” is on its way to Gotham City, but not so fast, there seems to be a problem. Millionaire, Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and his protégé Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) are summoned back to Wayne Manor by an urgent but anonymous call for their help. Apparently, the inventor and the invention are both in grave danger aboard the yacht. Without delay, Bruce and Dick race to the Bat cave and transform into the dynamic duo known as Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward). From the Bat mobile to the Bat copter the crime-fighting duo eventually reach the yacht in peril. In an attempt to board the yacht that mysteriously disappears when Batman is only a few feet away from boarding, “HOLY SARDINE!” Batman is attacked by an exploding shark that he is finally able to shed after many blows delivered to the shark’s head and body and the use of “shark repellant bat spray.” Who could be responsible for this act of pure evil, not only on Batman but the poor shark that exploded when it hit the water, and how did the yacht suddenly just disappear? Who could be responsible for such devilish trickery?

Enter the villains: “The Penguin! (Burgess Meredith) That pompous, wanting, master of foul (fowl) play, maestro of criminal umbrellas!” “The Joker! (Cesar Romero) That devilish clown prince of crime!” “The Riddler!” (Frank Gorshin) Who is loose again and “loose to play us with his criminal conundrums!” Last, but certainly not least, we have .”Catwoman!” (Lee Meriweather) who did not receive a colorful description so I’ll have to make up my own for her, how about, Catwoman! The devilishly demented princess of purrrrr! Okay, so I’m not exactly Lorenzo Semple Jr. but that was my best shot. Yes! That’s right! The Penguin, The Joker, The Riddler, and Catwoman are all together and they’ve joined evil forces to create the “United Underworld” whose sole purpose is to take over the world, beginning with Gotham City, and this goal will be made possible with the assistance of “The Total Dehydrator” which is the invention created by Commodore Schmidlapp (Reginald Denny) who the devious geniuses happen to be holding hostage along with the dehydrator. The Total Dehydrator is powerful enough to turn any human being into a pile of dehydrated rubble and this clan of criminals is willing to use it.

I think that it’s well known by now that fans of the Batman comic book were not exactly superfans of this movie nor the Batman television series. I can understand why they might not have cared for the campiness and lack of attention paid to the actual storyline of the comic book by the creators of the series and the film. I, on the other hand, loved watching the repeats of the Batman series as a child so it does have some sentimental value to me and this movie is basically just the television show but 105 minutes long which is just fine by me. I enjoyed the campiness and colorful characters this time around as much as I enjoyed the show when I was too young to recognize how ridiculous it was. If anything this is yet another movie from The Bin that is a sign of how things have changed because lets be honest, the sixties TV show Batman and this particular movie is a worlds difference if you compare it to the most recent Batman films but than again, that may be one of the things that I love about it. I give 1966′ Batman 2 out of 3 superheroes in tights. See you next week, same Bat-site, same Bat-segment!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cindy July 8, 2013, 7:18 am

    I LOVE this movie! I remember wishing I were Bat Girl. Thanks for the fond memories….

  • wordschat July 8, 2013, 10:05 am

    Holy internet cap cinefans I just saw this listed last night for streaming off Netflix. Was never a Burgess Merideth fan but Frank Gorshion… Hello. I’ll look it up.

    • Joe July 8, 2013, 10:15 am

      Hey wordschat,
      Wish that I knew that it was streaming, I would have saved the five bucks:) Who am I kidding, I do get a kick out of owning this wacky classic. You didn’t care for Meredith? I have to say that I loved Meredith as The Penguin but nothing can be taken away from Gorshin as The Riddler. Tough to not appreciate Cesar Romero as The Joker. Guess I love them all. Always good to hear from you, wordschat. Thanks for the post and have a great week.

  • Joe July 8, 2013, 10:10 am

    Hi Cindy,
    Glad I could help turn back the clock for you. Have a great week and thank you for the post………Bat Girl:)

  • Evan Crean July 9, 2013, 5:10 am

    Like you, I loved watching reruns of Batman before I was too old to realize how ridiculous it was. Despite its liberal doses of camp and cheese, I still enjoy the show’s colorful characters and its ability not to take itself too seriously. I have a feeling that I’d have a blast with this movie.

    • Joe July 9, 2013, 12:47 pm

      Hey Evan,
      Sounds like you should definitely check this one out. If you loved the show’s camp and cheese than you will fall out of your seat watching Batman The Movie. The exploding shark is a must see for anyone who appreciates scenarios that are unbelievably cheesey and you can’t lose with the cast of vilains. From my buddy Adam’s post it looks like you can check this one out streaming on Netflix and I suggest that you do so. Thanks for the post and have a great week.

  • Morgan R. Lewis July 9, 2013, 4:35 pm

    I love this movie, and loved the TV show. Absolutely hilarious and a lot of fun.

    And any negative reaction from comic book fans about the campiness is strictly retroactive. The comics were campy before the show existed, and hit heights of camp the show never approached. Anybody who was a genuine fan of the comics at the time had to have appreciated the camp, because that’s what the comics were.

    • Joe July 9, 2013, 4:44 pm

      Hey Morgan,
      I’m with you completely on the movie and TV show and as for the negative reactions I thank you for your input. As far as your response to the negative reactions your input makes sense but at the same time the series only lasted 120 episodes although this may just be a result of an audience that wasn’t made up completely of Batman comic book fans. Always great to hear from you and have a great week.

      • Morgan R. Lewis July 9, 2013, 4:57 pm

        120 episodes is quite a bit in reality for a non-syndicated show. It may not look like much since it was “only” three seasons, but that’s still more than a lot of programs. By way of comparison, consider Lost had twice as many seasons, but virtually the same number of episodes (121). Or, to look at shows closer to the same era, I Dream of Jeannie debuted the year before, and had five seasons — but still only 139 episodes, only a little more, and I Spy ran for three seasons but had only 84 episodes.

        Granted, it was canceled due to audience decline and (largely) the expense of production, but compared to most TV shows it had a very solid run.

  • Joe July 9, 2013, 7:40 pm

    Holy Bat-homework Batman! The fact that it aired twice weekly for 2 seasons definitely helped it reach the 120 episode number. If only more shows aired twice weekly. The series’ runs would be much shorter, much like the Batman series and not to mention when I watched Batman it was many years after it had been canceled which definitely says something about the series’ popularity. Wonder if we’ll be watching re-runs of Lost in ten years? I have to admit that I do watch re-runs of Married With Children and Seinfeld, both of which were canceled for a while now. Good stuff, Morgan.

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