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260 min.
Lambert Hillyer
Action, Crime, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller, War
Rating *
Votes *
3.8% (1:27)
* View IMDb information

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  1. Siskoid's avatar


    Historically speaking, 1943's movie serial "The Batman" introduces some important elements to the lore, which were only then picked up by the comics. The "Bat's Cave" and skinny (helpful) Alfred both start here, and one could make the case that the seeds of Matches Malone are sown in Bruce's "street disguise" of Chuck White. (Batman branding crooks with a little bat sticker would only be taken up by the Snyderverse in more violent fashion, because of course it would.) So it's really too bad that the serial is so racist. I get replacing the planned-for Joker with a Japanese super-scientist and saboteur - it was 1943. But of course that character has to be played by a white actor doing a Mickey Rooney accent, and the narrator himself throws out racial slurs and commends a "wise government" for its internment camps policy. They even take a random swipe at Native Americans. Otherwise, it's a fair entertainment of this type. The big comic book stunts are rather front-loaded, with a lot of repetitive fisticuffs in the middle chapters, but they ARE there. Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft as Batman and Robin are reasonable square matinée heroes, even if the foppishness Wilson gives Bruce Wayne's public persona sometimes bleeds into the Bat. But then, this is a very human Batman who, to fulfill the needs of the format, is consistently chumped by henchmen and has to have his bacon saved by Robin, or sometimes blind luck. So it may just be a better Robin movie. A dangerous drinking game involves taking a shot every time the crooks insist they've killed Batman this time. We can only imagine what the serial would have been like with the Joker in there (I mean, why else put the villain's lair in a fun house? - though for the purposes of this, it's an anti-Japanese propaganda ride), but he would probably have met the Batman earlier and not stayed a shadowy master like Dr. Daka does. I think it'd be fair to say it would have made the serial better on all counts. 2 years 4 months ago
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