Monday, March 4, 2013

Batman - the movie (1966)

SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils Batman the movie

Batman the movie is based on tv series that run during 1966 and 1967. Series contained 120 episodes during three seasons. This movie was shot between first and second season. It has same actors as tv series with exception Catwoman being played by Lee Meriwether instead of Julie Newmar. It is little shame that we don't have Batman home entertainment release where Julie Newmar plays Catwoman. She was better in role that Lee Meriwether.

The problem with this movie is that it is too long and tries too hard. TV series worked because it was looser and didn't take itself too seriously. In TV series you got two fights in 30 minute episode. In movie you got one fight scene with Batman and Robin in almost two hour movie. There is one teaser of fight scene and Bruce Wayne fights more than Batman. Fight scene itself takes place on surfaced submarine which limits what they can do with it.

In tv series Batman and Robin are more like little brother and big brother. Alfred and Aunt Harriet are like father and mother. Movie has too little Alfred. Alan Napier is best actor of regular cast and he has larger role in tv series than in movie. In movie Batman and Robin as kids playing superheroes angle was dropped completely. They still survive more with luck than their skill. This time criminals don't catch them and there is no cliffhanger. With all the times they were on mercy of the villains it is miracle that they are still alive and nobody knows who they are.

Frank Gorshin made Riddler best villain of TV series. Riddler is one of the worst villains ever but in suited the tv series style and Frank Gorshin made it work. He was most versitile villain actor in series. He also have big role in villains United Underworld. In tv series Penguin episodes were often ones where characters couldn't do anything because he hadn't done crime and had to wait and play along until he did crime. That angle was dropped in movie and Penguin was provider of stuff United Underworld used.  In this movie Catwomans role is mess with Batmans head as miss Kitka. For some reason she is russian in this movie. Joker, arch villain of Batman, is just a side kick in this movie. In series Joker was not on level of Penguin, Riddler or Catwoman. Same continues in this movie.

This version of Batman looks ridiculous today but it was quite faithful to comic Batman of that age. There is parody aspect but without it, it is quite close to comics of that date. Movie doesn't have all the madness tv series had. I like tv series more. This is bad substitute for series. And finally. Yes, Batmans batpole is thicker than Robins batpole. I didn't realize that until someone told me it. Now I see it every time they use batpoles.

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