Batman - The Dark Knight - On Screen History

Batman (1989) logo
Batman (1989) logo

Batman was born in 1939, in the mind of comic book artist and writer Bob Kane (1915-1998).

Superman had been a success for Detective Comics (DC) in early 1939 and the editors were scrambling for more super heroes. Kane came up with “the Bat Man”, according to Kane he was influenced by the masked hero Zorro, the 1930 movie The Bat Whispers and Leonardo da Vinci's design of a flying machine with giant bat-like wings.

The first Batman story appeared in May 1939 in Detective Comics #27. Batman’s origin appeared in issue #33 and the first appearance of sidekick Robin in #38.

Detective Comics is still being published today 73 years and nearly 900 issues later. It is the longest running comic book in the U.S.

The success of the 1960’s TV series Batman gave the superhero a worldwide boost in popularity and mega-hits like Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster movie Batman and Christopher Nolan’s phenomenally successful The Dark Knight (2008) has kept Bruce Wayne and his alter ego in the top league of successful movie franchises.

Marvel Comics may have a greater range of popular comic book characters but DC Comics can lay claim to the two most popular superheroes of them all – Superman and Batman.

Lewis Wilson as Batman (1943)
Lewis Wilson as Batman (1943)
Douglas Croft and Lewis Wilson in Batman (1943)
Douglas Croft and Lewis Wilson in Batman (1943)
Batman (1943) poster
Batman (1943) poster


Batman (1943) directed by Lambert Hillyer, starring Lewis Wilson as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Douglas Croft as Dick Grayson / Robin, J. Carrol Naish and Shirley Patterson. 260mins.

A serial in 15 Chapters.

Lewis Wilson (1920-2000) is the first actor to play Batman, and at 23 the youngest to date to take up the role. Wilson is the father of James Bond producer, Michael G. Wilson.

Douglas Croft (1926-1963) is the first actor to play Robin on film.

Batman drives a black Cadillac.

IMDB rating 6.7

Johnny Duncan and Robert Lowery in Batman and Robin (1949)
Johnny Duncan and Robert Lowery in Batman and Robin (1949)
Batman and Robin (1949) poster
Batman and Robin (1949) poster


Batman and Robin (1949) directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet, starring Robert Lowery as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Johnny Duncan as Dick Grayson / Robin, Jane Adams. Lyle Talbot and Leonard Penn as The Wizard. 263mins.

Another serial in 15 chapters.

Jane Adams plays Vicki Vale, it would be 40 years before the character appeared on film again, played by Kim Basinger in Batman (1989).

Batman and Robin drive around in a 1949 Mercury, the Batmobile had yet to make it's film debut.

IMDB rating 6.3

Batman (1966) poster
Batman (1966) poster
Burt Ward and Adam West in Batman (1966)
Burt Ward and Adam West in Batman (1966)
Lee Meriwether, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and Cesar Romero in Batman (1966)
Lee Meriwether, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith and Cesar Romero in Batman (1966)
Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman (1966)
Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman (1966)
Batman (1966)
Batman (1966)
Lee Meriwether as Catwoman in Batman (1966)
Lee Meriwether as Catwoman in Batman (1966)


Batman (1966) directed by Leslie H. Martinson, starring Adam West as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin, Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, Cesar Romero as The Joker, Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Alan Napier as Alfred and Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon. Music by Nelson Riddle. 105mins.

The Batman TV series had debuted in January 1966, thanks to it's camp tone, crazy villains and cliffhanger endings it became a TV phenomenon totalling 120 episodes, shown twice a week, the last episode appeared in March 1968.

The movie version was filmed at the end of the first season, with the four most famous villains appearing on screen.

Adam West (1928-) was Batman to an entire generation of comic book fans and still has a cult following, ditto Burt Ward (1945-) as Robin, Cesar Romero (1907-1994) as The Joker, Burgess Meredith (1907-1997) as The Penguin and Frank Gorshin (1933-2005) as The Riddler.

Julie Newmar (1933-) played Catwoman in the series and would have appeared in the film but was busy making a movie when this went into production, Lee Meriwether (1935-) became cinema's first Catwoman. Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) took over as Catwoman in the final season of the Batman series.

IMDB rating 6.3

Batman (1989)
Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
Michael Keaton and Kim Basinger in Batman (1989)
Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman (1989)
Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman (1989)
Batman (1989)
Batman (1989)

Batman (1989) directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier / The Joker, Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon, Michael Gough as Alfred, Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, Jerry Hall as Alicia Hunt and Jack Palance as Carl Grissom. Music by Danny Elfman. 126mins.

Nic: Don't kill me! Don't kill me, man!
Batman: I'm not going to kill you. I want you to tell all your friends about me.
Nic: What are you?
Batman: I'm Batman.

There was some concern at the time over the casting of comedian Michael Keaton (1951-) as Bruce Wayne / Batman, other actors considered include Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck and Bill Murray (!).

Joker: "Winged freak terrorizes" Wait till they get a load of me!

David Bowie, Willem Dafoe and Tim Curry were considered for The Joker, Robin Williams wanted the part badly which eventually went to Jack Nicholson (1937-).

Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams) would eventually turn into the villain Two-Face, played by Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever (1995) and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008).

Won an Oscar for Best Art Direction.

Batman cost $35m to make, it opened in June 1989 with a record breaking $43m in just 3 days, going on to gross $411m worldwide.

IMDB rating 7.6

Batman Returns (1992) poster
Batman Returns (1992) poster
Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992)
Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton in Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton in Batman Returns (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns (1992)
Batman Returns (1992) poster
Batman Returns (1992) poster
Christopher Walken in Batman Returns (1992)
Christopher Walken in Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns (1992) directed by Tim Burton, starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin, Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, Michael Gough, Michael Murphy and Pat Hingle. Music by Danny Elfman. 126mins.

Selina Kyle: I am Catwoman. Hear me roar.

Annette Bening was originally chosen to play Catwoman but got pregnant and was replaced by Michelle Pfeiffer (1958-). Michelle complained that the cat suit was so tight it was vacuum sealed on her and she could only wear it for a certain amount of time or she would pass out.

Shreck: Selina Kyle, you're fired! And Bruce Wayne, why are you dressed up like Batman?
Selina Kyle: Because he is Batman, you moron!

In an early draft of the script Max Shreck (Walken) turns out to be the Penguins brother. The character Max Shreck is named after the actor who played the vampire in Nosferatu (1922).

Oscar nominated for Best Make Up and Best Visual Effects.

Batman Returns cost $80m to make and has grossed $266m worldwide.

IMDB rating 6.9

Batman - Mask of the Phantasm (1993) poster
Batman - Mask of the Phantasm (1993) poster

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, starring the voices of Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Stacy Keach as the Phantasm, Dick Miller, John P. Ryan and Mark Hamill as the Joker. Music by Shirley Walker. 76mins.

The first Batman animated movie.

Originally planned as a direct-to-video film the budget was increased to $6m and it was released in cinemas, grossing $5.6m in the U.S.

A spin-off of the Emmy Award-winning Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995).

IMDB rating 7.6

Batman Forever (1995) poster
Batman Forever (1995) poster
Jim Carrey and Drew Barrymore in Batman Forever (1995)
Jim Carrey and Drew Barrymore in Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman in Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer and Nicole Kidman in Batman Forever (1995)
Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey in Batman Forever (1995)
Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey in Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Forever (1995) poster
Batman Forever (1995) poster

Batman Forever (1995) directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent / Two-Face, Jim Carrey as Edward Nygma / The Riddler, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, Chris O' Donnell as Dick Grayson / Robin, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle and Drew Barrymore. Music by Elliot Goldenthal. 121mins.

The decision was made to make the Batman movies more family-friendly and a new director was brought in. Keaton bowed out of playing Batman wanting to play other roles, he felt the character was too easily upstaged by the villains.

Robin: Holy rusted metal, Batman!
Batman: Huh?
Robin: The ground, it's all metal. It's full of holes. You know, holey.
Batman: Oh.

Johnny Depp, William Baldwin and Daniel Day-Lewis were considered for the role of Batman before it went to Val Kilmer (1959-).

Jeanne Tripplehorn, Linda Hamilton and Rene Russo were considered for Dr. Chase Meridian.

Riddler: Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big, black bat?

Various close shots of the butt, crotch and nipples (!) on Batman and Robins costumes created concern among the fans, the neon lighting, gaudy colours and campy tone signalling the end was nigh for the current movie series.

Oscar nominated for Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Cinematography. Batman Forever cost $100m to make and has grossed $336m worldwide.

IMDB rating 5.4

Batman & Robin (1997) poster
Batman & Robin (1997) poster
Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997)
Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin (1997)
George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (1997)
George Clooney and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (1997)
George Clooney, Uma Thurman and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (1997)
George Clooney, Uma Thurman and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin (1997)
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (1997)
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin (1997)
Chris O'Donnell and Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin (1997)
Chris O'Donnell and Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin (1997)
Michael Gough and George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997)
Michael Gough and George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997)

Batman & Robin (1997) directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze, George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Chris O' Donnell, Uma Thurman as Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy, Alicia Silverstone as Barbara Wilson / Batgirl, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, John Glover, Elle Macpherson and Jeep Swenson as Bane. Music by Elliot Goldenthal. 125mins.

Director Joel Schumacher had problems with Val Kilmer on Batman Forever and the actor wasn't asked to come back for a second go.

Anthony Hopkins and Patrick Stewart were considered for Mr. Freeze. Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and Demi Moore were considered for Poison Ivy.

Mr. Freeze: You're not sending me to the cooler!
Mr. Freeze: The Ice Man cometh!
Mr. Freeze: Tonight, hell freezes over!
Mr. Freeze: Ice to see you!
Mr. Freeze: In this universe, there's only one absolute... everything freezes!
Mr. Freeze: Cool party!

Poison Ivy: Come join me. My garden needs tending.

Nominated for 11 Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies) including - Worst Movie, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Couple (George Clooney & Chris O' Donnell), Worst Supporting Actor (Schwarzenegger), Worst Supporting Actress (Uma Thurman) and winning for Worst supporting actress (Alicia Silverstone). For the curious, Kevin Costner's The Postman was the big Razzie winner that year.

George Clooney (1961-) criticized the movie saying it was a waste of money, "I think we might have killed the franchise."

Batman & Robin cost $125m to make and has grossed $238m worldwide.

IMDB rating 3.6

Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins (2005)
Cillian Murphy as the Scarecrow in Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Morgan Freeman and Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Morgan Freeman and Christian Bale in Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Begins (2005) poster
Batman Begins (2005) poster
Christian Bale and Katie Holmes in Batman Begins (2005)
Christian Bale and Katie Holmes in Batman Begins (2005)
Liam Neeson in Batman Begins (2005)
Liam Neeson in Batman Begins (2005)


Batman Begins (2005) directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard / Ra's al Ghul, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow, Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone, Rutger Hauer as Earle and Ken Watanabe as Ra's al Ghul (decoy). Music by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. 140mins.

After the gaudy, campy franchise-killer that was Batman & Robin it would be 8 years before anyone dared to resurrect the caped crusader. A clean reboot was necessary. British director Christopher Nolan was hired by Warner Bros to bring Batman back to the cinemas, teaming up with David S. Goyer to write the script.

Ra's al Ghul: You were my greatest student. It should be you standing by my side, saving the world.
Bruce Wayne: I'll be standing where I belong. Between you and the people of Gotham.
Ra's al Ghul: No one can save Gotham.

Billy Crudup, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Khutcher and Jake Gyllenhall were among the actors considered to play Batman. Ewan MacGregor and Marilyn Manson were considered for the Scarecrow.

Christian Bale (1974-) had previously been considered for the role of Robin in Batman Forever (1995).

Oscar nominated for Best Cinematography.

Batman Begins cost $150m to make and has grossed $372m worldwide.

IMDB rating 8.3

The Dark Knight (2008) poster
The Dark Knight (2008) poster
Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight (2008)
Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
Michael Caine and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)
Michael Caine and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)
Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008)
Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008) poster
The Dark Knight (2008) poster
Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
Christian Bale and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008)
Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger and Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight (2008) directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger as The Joker, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent / Two-Face, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Eric Roberts and Anthony Michael Hall. Music by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. 152mins.

Joker: You just couldn't let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible, aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
Batman: You'll be in a padded cell forever.
Joker: To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.

Robin Williams and Steve Carrell wanted to play the Joker but Nolan had wanted to work with Heath Ledger for some time and he was his only choice for the role.

Heath Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose in January 2008, shortly after filming his scenes for the film, he was 28.

Nominated for 8 Oscars - Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Make Up, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects and winning for Best Supporting Actor (Heath Ledger) and Best Sound Editing.

The Dark Knight cost $185m to produce and was a major success, breaking box office records and grossing $1,004,558,444 worldwide. The biggest film of 2008.

IMDB rating 8.9

The Dark Knight - Trailer

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)

Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010) directed by Brandon Vietti, starring the voices of Bruce Greenwood as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Jensen Ackles as Red Hood, John DiMaggio as the Joker, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing, Jason Isaacs as Ra's al Ghul and Wade Williams as Black Mask. Music by Christopher Drake. 75mins.

The 8th Animated movie released by DC Universe and one of the highest rated.

Other animated Batman movies include - Batman & Mr. Freeze - Subzero (1998), Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000), Batman vs Dracula (2005), Batman: Gotham Knight (2008) and Batman: Year One (2011)

IMDB rating 7.8

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy as Bane, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle / Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Matthew Modine, Music by Hans Zimmer. 165mins.

One of the most anticipated movies of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises reunites five actors from Nolan's previous film Inception (2010), Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine.

Bane (Tom Hardy) had appeared previously in Batman & Robin (1997) played by wrestler Jeep Swenson.

Four actresses have played Catwoman in movies - Lee Meriwether, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway.

In Aurora, Colorado on July 20 a gunman wearing a gas mask shot dead 12 people, including a six year old child, at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, 58 people were injured. The psycho was identified as 24 year old James Holmes, he was caught by police while driving away from the theater.

The killings may have frightened some people from seeing the film that weekend but it still opened to $160.8m in 3 days, the highest opening for a 2D movie, the previous record for a 2D only movie was The Dark Knight (2008) which opened with $158m in 3 days.

The Dark Knight Rises cost an estimated $250m and has grossed an amazing $1,084,439,099 at the worldwide box office, making it the 3rd biggest film of the year, after The Avengers and Skyfall.

Nominated for 3 Empire Awards - Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress (Anne Hathaway).

One of the AFI's 10 Best Films of the Year.

IMDB rating 8.6

Selina Kyle: There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you're all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.

Batman: Why didn't you just kill me?
Bane: Your punishment must be more severe.

Selina Kyle: You don't owe these people any more! You've given them everything.
Batman: Not everything. Not yet.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) poster

Batman v Superman (2016) Trailer

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Comments 21 comments

rabbit75 profile image

rabbit75 4 years ago

Really one of the coolest and iconic comic book characters ever on page and in film...the great thing about the character of Batman is his depth and the directions this character is able to go.

One of DC's more flawed and darker characters, and one can see just from the villains Batman has to go up against...especially, The Joker, whom is one of the, if not, the greatest villain in comics.

My hub one who's the greatest DC Villain of all time has the Joker at the number one spot by a landslide!

Great hub as always Steve. Voted up and shared!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks rabbit75, appreciate the comment, vote and share. I'm still editing this would you believe. I thought Cillian Murphy was back in Dark Knight Rises but he isn't listed on the IMDB credits. I was wondering whether to add dividers to the hub like I did with some of my other hubs but I think the pictures themselves work well as dividers between films.

Everyone was posting superhero hubs I thought it was about time I had a go too. :)

I'll do a similar one for Superman in the near future.

Bet you can't wait for Dark Knight Rises? :)

I'm looking forward to seeing The Avengers in 2 or 3 weeks time, should be spectacular.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

An amazing hub about an amazing super heroe...After superman, batman is the most popular super hero to have been created... hats off! to Bob Cane!

You have outlined the history of batman in the most wonderful manner possible...

thanks for the share rabbit! much appreciated..

up, awesome, beautiful, interesting and shared


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks for the comment, votes and kind words rahul0324, very much appreciated.

It took a couple of evenings to finish but I think it was worth it.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

definitely....


Dee42 profile image

Dee42 4 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

Ahhh, The Bat Man. I read a lot of the digital comics, but there are so many. I just read a couple of series.

I'm wondering how they got Nicholson to play the Joker? He was so great!

And isn't funny how certain directors their own 'feel&look' of a film? Like Burton, the colors were richer and the over-all aspect of his movies are phenomenal. But Nolan has a great gift of directing that is Dark and Passionate.

Voted up of course.


Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

Ah, Batman..I will have to check out the pre-Adam West films if I come across them. But for me, Adam West will always be THE Batman! Never mind I was born long after the show ended. I love Adam West and crew. Because Julie Newmar was the first West Catw Woman she is my favourite, but I love all three. Yes! I have seen the 1966 movie as well. The TV show was: Totally silly! Totally inane! Who cares?!

The only big screen version post-1966 I have seen was the 1989 version. I enjoyed Jack Nicholson as The Joker. However, I really watched it only to see if Adam West and/or any of his 60's costars would appear in brief cameos. No!

Hence, I saw no reason to watch any further Batman films. The fact that Christopher Walken is in Batman Returns makes that a possibility if it should air on TV, but I have no interest in owning any Batman that isn't Adam west. So...

To see: pre-1966 films, and perhaps Walkin's film.

I enjoy Michael Caine very much, but he is so much more than just a Butler-so no need to watch his film for him.

favourite posters and photos are from the Adam West era. but my favourite picture overall has Lee Meriweather was-you guessed it -a cat.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Steve, an interesting hub and some great info on the new movie. As you know, I am not really a super-hero fan but him indoors loves these movies so I usually get dragged along anyway. Hubby says the Christopher Nolan movies are head and shoulders better than any of the others so he is really looking forward to seeing the new one.

Voted up, etc.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Well well three ladies in a row commenting on a Batman hub, interesting! :)

Dee, Flora, Jools, thank you all for commenting, most appreciated!

Dee, not sure why they picked Jack for the Joker, probably because he already had a reputation as a bit of a joker and his role in Witches of Eastwick might have helped too.

Nolan wanted his Batman grounded in reality while Burton wanted a supernatural gothic edge to his films. Schumacher wanted to go back to the Adam West Batman with his two films. At least we have all these different styles of Batman. My preference is for the creepy, gothic Tim Burton films but I like Nolan's films too.

Hi, Flora, I had a feeling you'll be in the Adam West camp, and camp is what it was. Very popular in the swinging 60's. I remember owning a toy Batmobile back then and a few Thunderbirds toys too, aah memories. :)

Julie Newmar was a sexy and popular Catwoman, she was one of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a shame she never appeared in the Batman movie but Lee Meriwether was a shapely and pretty Catgirl too.

Jools, Christopher Nolan has become a superstar director, a sort of British Spielberg. I remember watching Nolan's brilliant head-scratcher Memento a decade or so ago thinking he was an interesting new director but never realising how successful he would turn out to be. Nolan's last film Inception, another head-scratcher, grossed over $800m worldwide!

Thank you all for posting!


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Great hub. I really enjoyed reading this one. I thought I was pretty familiar with Batman and his movies.....But no! You have to prove me wrong. I had never heard of the Batman movies from the 1940s. Thanks for shattering my persona of being a movie expert....lol.

I grew up watching the Adam West Batman reruns. I have seen all the recent Batman movies at the theater with the exception of the George Clooney one. I really enjoy the Nolan Batman movies....and I am looking forward to see how he is going to wrap up this trilogy.

Hey Flora....Michael Caine is more than a butler in these movies...especially Batman Begins....Caine refers to his work with Nolan as his "pension plan"....so you should check out Batman Begins if only to enjoy one of Caine's more enjoyable performances.

My personal rankings of these movies would be....Dark Knight, Batman, Batman Begins, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin(thank goodness one of my favorites Bruce Willis did not plan the bad guy in that horrible movie).

Interesting that the producer of the Bond movies is the son of the first Batman.....Bond and Batman is a pretty cool combo. Voted up and interesting.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Bruce, appreciate the comment, observations and preferences.

So you might actually go to the cinema and see Dark Knight Rises? Not waiting for the blu-ray at Xmas? ;)

Will it be as popular as The Hunger Games? Which has passed $500m in just a few weeks.

My favourite Batman movie is still the 1989 Tim Burton movie followed by Batman Returns. I like the actors and style of those movies, music plays a large part too. I'm a bit of a Danny Elfman fan.

Nolan should add a little more humour to his films.

One of my favourite quotes is from Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin - "Come join me, my garden needs tending" - you'll never hear that in a Chris Nolan movie, hahaha!

Thanks for posting amigo.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

I am sure I will be at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.....I saw The Dark Knight at the midnight showing as well....and I could not go to sleep because I liked the movie so much.....Heath Ledger's performance was mind blowing....he actually get me nervous every time he showed up on screen the first time I saw that movie....as I was just waiting to see what thing he would do next....via robbing a bank, killing all his co-horts, putting a pencil though somebody's head....the list goes on.


Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

Cogerson-Still not seen the Clooney film? :)

I will check out Batman Begins for home viewing on your recommendation. I do so enjoy Michael Caine. But I haven't seen a Batman film on the big screen since that first disappointment that none of the TV cast got the chance for cameos.

A couple of years before Frank Gorshin died, he and Julie Newmar joined West and Ward in a campy TV movie that was part Batman film/part film about the actors and the world of fandom-and in true form it ended with a cliffhanger that would be answered (in a non-existence sequel) next time- same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

These air on MeTV on Saturday nights-the original TV series, that is.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Flora, I just checked and there are a few episodes of the 60's TV series on Youtube. I might watch a couple later just out of pure nostalgia.

Bruce, I was a little wary of Heath Ledger playing the Joker when I first heard he was cast, but he did a stupendous job. Not quite the comics Joker, more a psycho kid with no redeeming qualities. If I remember the comics Batman has many chances to finish off the Joker once and for all but never does, the Joker is always getting locked up at Arkham Asylum and every 9 or 10 comic issues he's escaped and is back causing mayhem. Batman vs Joker, the eternal fight between good and evil.


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Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Hi Steve; I read my first 'Batman' comic in the early 1970s. I used to love the old Adam West/Burt Ward TV series. Fun, campy, silly stuff. The Riddler was my favorite villain on the show.

My favorite film version was the 1989 Tim Burton/Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholson version. My pals and I used to quote that film all the time.

And while I thought "Dark Knight" was over-rated, there's no denying how good Heath Ledger was as the Joker. He stole the film. It's a shame about what happened to him.

See you next hub. Same bat time, same bat channel...

Rob


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Rob, appreciate the comment. I remember when I saw Dark Knight at the cinema the friend I was with thought it had finished when the Joker was caught, but it still had half an hour to go. 152mins was a little long, maybe an intermission would have been useful. hmm I was just writing about intermissions in another hub. :)

I wonder if Dark Knight Rises will be even longer?


Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

Hey-Sunday,April 22nd has been Jack Nicholson's 75th birthday. Happy Birthday, Jack.


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Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

"The thing I like about The Joker is that his sense of humor is completely tasteless." Jack Nicholson.

Hi Flora, 75 years old! The old Joker is getting on a bit eh? Happy Birthday Jack.

"With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and seventy."


rmcmillen 2 years ago

This was a great little road down memory lane for a "fan-boy" like myself!

While I've only started by reviewing Batman Begins for one of my hubs and am working on the other two "Nolan-verse" movies, I can't wait to give almost every last one of these movies mentioned their own little space in my hubs.

Awesome article!


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Steve Lensman 2 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks rmcmillen, appreciate the comment. Good luck with your caped crusader hubs!


rmcmillen 2 years ago

If they do well enough I may just continue on with retro-reviews that every fanboy or girl can enjoy, so we'll see

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