Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Film & Water Podcast Episode 24: Batman The Movie



Rob Kelly welcomes guest Dan Greenfield ( to discuss 1966's BATMAN: THE MOVIE, starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Caesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, and Lee Meriwether! Make sure to pack your Anti-Shark Repellant!

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  1. I have to admit, when Cindy told me you were doing the Batman 66 movie on Film and Water, my immediate response (as your Power Records Ed McMahon) was a somewhat jealous "with who?" But then she told me Dan Greenfield, and all was right with the world. Dan is one of the great fliers of the Batman 66 flag, so it's only fitting he stop by to talk about the movie!

    I think I first watched the movie up at my uncle and aunt's house who happened to live up our street. They had HBO (and we didn't), and my aunt called and told my Mom the Batman movie was coming on. It was well known even then, at age 5 or so, I was a diehard Bat-fanatic. My whole family knew it! So Mom went to visit with Aunt Carol, and I got to watch a Batman "episode" I had never seen before. The thing that I still remember most from that viewing was that awesome opening. It's so moody and vibrant. Other than the part where Batman and Robin bump into each other, it's slicker and darker than just about anything seen in the series.

    The Bruce Wayne fight sequences always jumped out to me as well. The fight in the villains' headquarters is my favorite Bat-fight, and it looks like West is doing a good chunk of it. Dan is right, this could have come from a James Bond film, or at the very least one of the many Bond "spoofs" of the time.

    I fall into Rob's camp of never really hating the show. I did kind of treat it as the whacky uncle to the deadly serious comics of the time, but I still enjoyed it. I too groaned at the media's inability to let the sound effects and holyisms go, but I never shunned it completely. The show disappeared from syndication in our area around 1986 or so, and I didn't see it again until The Family Channel began airing it in anticipation of the film. It was then that I noticed the intentional humor. For years I'd ignored my dad's snickers when we watched it together. Now that he knew I knew, he really let the show have it. He remembered his Golden Age Batman comics being far more serious!

    It's a shame we never got any sequels, but I think Dan nailed the reasons why. I have that final Batman 66 comic in my pile, so I'm going to go home tonight and read "the sequel" in honor of this episode, and Rob's great review over at 13th Dimension.


  2. What? I didn't comment after I listened to the episode? My bad!

    Somehow, Batman 66 is turning into the least dated - or most timeless, I guess I should say - Batman film of all time. It just doesn't get old. Batman 89 has gotten old for me, and I've become disinterested with it over time. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are in danger of falling by the wayside as well after the glut of grimdark DC films that followed its lead.

    Obviously, Batman the Animated Series and Brave and the Bold are bulletproof, but those are TV projects.