Movie Review: The Batman Movie, 1960

Roshini Kumaravel, III B.V.A. Fine Arts

When someone mentions Batman, chances are you probably immediately think of a dark, brooding and complex character trying to bring order to a city that’s falling apart. In recent decades, we’ve been seeing the caped crusader in such noir settings that it has become a defining feature of the character. However, Batman from the 1960s was anything but dark. Adam West’s Batman is a polar opposite to Christian Bales’.

The 1966 Batman movie was a spinoff based off of the television series (that brought to us the most iconic Batman theme ever – and is absolutely hilarious. It is ridiculously silly and incredibly over-the-top.  This movie saw the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman and the Penguin team up for the first time ever on-screen to kidnap members of the UN Security Council using a dehydrator ray. It is an incredibly campy and goofy movie. At one point, Batman uses a shark repellent spray conveniently located in his utility belt to save himself from the jaws of a (very rubbery and fake-looking) shark. He and Robin are rescued from a speeding torpedo by a noble porpoise sacrificing itself to save their lives (which happens off-screen, of course). And when their Bat-copter begins crashing toward the Earth, they are miraculously saved by a pile of loose foam rubber that was on display at the Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention. It is truly enjoyable.

Then, of course, there are The Riddler’s immensely convoluted riddles that Batman and Robin solve in about 2 seconds:

Batman: “What goes up white, and comes down yellow and white?”

Robin: An egg!

Batman: “How do you divide seventeen apples among sixteen people?”

Robin: Make apple sauce!

Batman: Apples into apple sauce; a unification into one smooth mixture. An egg: nature’s perfect container the container of all our hopes for the future!

Robin: A unification and a container of hope? United World Organization!

Batman: Precisely, Robin!

This movie will not blow you away with fantastic special effects or cinematography. It will, however, make you laugh until you cry. It is a barrel of laughs and if you have never watched it before, I suggest you do yourself a favour and go watch it right now.


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