Thursday, March 5, 2015
Batman - The Movie!
As difficult as the vintage Batman TV series has been to obtain (finally in 2014 after decades of frustration) that's just how easy the 1966 Batman movie has been to get. It was one of the very first things I bought on VHS for my home library and I've since replaced it on DVD of course.
But now at long last I've been able to view this flick in the context it was intended, a summer big-screen offering between the first and second seasons of the original TV show run. Created to entice foreign distribution of the TV show, the movie has all the elements of the show, just turned up to eleven.
Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin are just as straight-faced and corny as they are in the TV show. The satire of the movie might be a bit more pronounced in the movie as the yarn unrolls over a leisurely one hour and forty-five minutes or so. That has a lot to do with the gaggle of villains (Cesar Romero as Joker, Frank Gorshin as Riddler, Burgess Meredith as Penguin, and debuting Lee Meriwether as Catwoman) who cavort with bristling energy whenever they hit the screen.
The plot (such as it is) rambles all over, supplying opportunities for Batman and Robin to use some of their here-to-fore unseen equipment such as the Bat-Copter, the Bat-Boat, and a new improved Bat-cycle with detachable sidecar.
Great moments abound such as Batman's classic dash about the pier to try with little luck to dispose of a bomb, the outlandish romance between Bruce Wayne and Miss Kitka, the dehydrated henchman who pop like balloons in the Batcave, and many more.
The movie is a giant episode, not unlike one of those outstanding summer annuals the comic book companies used to produce which had truly special over-sized adventures. If the episodes of the TV show are the regular issues, then this movie is the 100-Page Spectacular.
Now I'm properly ready for Season Two of the regular series.