Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Batman (1966 version) (5 Stars)

I don't care what anyone else says. Forget all the rest, this is the best Batman film ever made. It's camp, it's corny, it's cheap, it's brilliant. (I seem to be using the word "brilliant" a lot this month, get used to it). Among all the thousands of films I've ever watched, this is one of the best, I'd rate it in my top three.

The film is a spin-off of the Batman tv series that ran from 1966 to 1968. Although regarded by many as the best television series ever made, it still hasn't been released on DVD due to the copyright holders not wanting to spoil Batman's new serious image. Fortunately the copyright is due to expire soon (50 years after the first broadcast), so I'm hoping that the original master tapes will find their way onto DVD.

The plot? Who cares, but I'll tell you anyway. Batman's greatest enemies, the Riddler, the Penguin, the Joker and Catwoman, team up to kidnap the members of the UN Security Council (called the United World security council in this film). But the strength isn't in the plot, it's in the individual scenes. Who could ever forget Batman climbing out of the water with a shark biting his leg, radioing Robin to bring him shark repellent Batspray? There are so many memorable scenes which still make me laugh after watching them a dozen times.

If you buy the DVD with the commentary by Adam West and Burt Ward, please listen to it. It's the most entertaining commentary I've ever heard. It's informative, it's introspective, but what overwhelms me most is that Adam West is such a nice guy. How could anyone not like him? When I first bought the DVD, one of the first I bought, I visited his web site and sent him an email, which he answered personally. He's a great guy.

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