CineTV Contest: #44 - Batman (1966)

Hold onto your Bat-ropes, everyone, because this week on CineTV, the contest is favorite Batman movie or series. This is an interesting week as there have been so many different films with Batman, making it hard to choose. My pick is Batman (1966), the film produced after the success of the Batman TV series’ first season.

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Batman movie poster - IMDB

My Bonnie Bride sat down with me to watch this fun-filled adventure, which is a film we have both enjoyed watching in the past. In fact, I have to admit, I remember seeing this film during its original theatrical release. Of all the Batman films and TV series, the Adam West Batman, with Burt Ward as Robin, as stuck with me throughout my life (along with, of course, Scooby-Doo/Batman team-ups). Sadly, our daughter, Little Miss, declined to join us for this popcorn and root beer thriller as she wanted to work on a costume for an upcoming SF Convention.
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Batman thwacks a pirate - IMDB

There are so many reasons why I like this film. Yes, Batman campy and silly, but it is pure escapist entertainment; a film that is fun to watch time and again. It has all the elements from the TV series; cliffhangers making you wonder how The Dynamic Duo will escape certain death; The Batmobile, one of the coolest vehicles in film and television; massive fights with the “zap”, “pow”, “thwack” captions.

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Batmobile - IMDB

And a great cast of villains. All performers who show that they loved doing Batman, and worked well together. And new vehicles galore, coolest being the Batboat, speeding across the ocean blue. And the Penguin’s submarine, which uses flippers instead of propellers to move.

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Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman, The Joker - IMDB

The plot revolves around the alliance of The Joker (Cesar Romero), Penguin (Burgess Meredith), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), and The Riddle (Frank Gorshin!) with plans to take over the world, or at least get filthy rich while eliminating Batman and Robin.
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Frank Gorshin as The Riddler - IMDB

All four of these supervillains worked well together in their performances, but I don’t think anyone can hold a candle to Frank Gorshin as The Riddler; his maniacal style, facial expressions, and physical acrobatics as well as his ability to shift gears into someone completely evil with just a slight change of body language, set Gorshin apart from so many other actors making him a hard act to follow.

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Holy Bomb Disposal, Batman! - IMDB

One of the most iconic scenes in Batman is the “how to dispose of a bomb”, which has Batman running around a pier trying to dispose of a bomb that is about to detonate. He keeps running to one place to another only to be thwarted in dumping the bomb due to the presence of various innocent bystanders. When the bomb finally explodes, off camera, one is left wondering if this is the end of Batman? This is one several cliffhangers between cuts in the film, emulating the series. Yes, this is also one of the silly, yet funny bits in the film, making it special.

When I first saw Batman in theaters as a kid, it was the first time I was able to see the various characters from TV in color, as all we had was a small, portable, black and white TV. Although I didn’t read Batman comics at the time, I was certainly familiar with their comics (I read a lot of Sgt. Rock at the time), so I can’t talk about how it compared to Batman or Detective Comics from the ‘60s. By the time I started reading those series as a teenager in the ‘70s, they had taken on a more mature tone, and having outgrown the campyness of the ‘60s Batman, this was probably a good thing. But now that I am older, with a kidlet of my own (okay, she’s a teenager, now), it has been a thrill to reconnect with a movie that I had such fond memories of.

Holy Blu-Ray, Batman, even the special features are worth watching. Which we did. But that’s a whole different story. Thanks to the special features mentioning it, I now have the theme from Batman (tv series in this case) as my ringtone for my Bonnie Bride. We’re such a family of geeks.

Batman (1966) still holds up well as an entertaining film, in part because it is so silly and campy, and in part because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. And that is why it is my favorite Batman movie. By the way, I like the TV series as well (and we have it on DVD).

I hope you enjoyed this romp down memory lane with me, and thanks for stopping by.

To find out about more about the current CineTV contest, please check out - https://peakd.com/hive-121744/@cinetv/cinetv-contest-44-favorite-batman-film-or-tv-show

NOTE - all images from IMDB, some have been cropped.



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