Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ranking the Batman Movies: #5

5. Batman: The Movie
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson
Batman…Adam West
Robin…Burt Ward
James Gordon…Neil Hamilton
Alfred…Alan Napier
The Joker…Cesar Romero
Catwoman…Lee Merriweather
The Penguin…Burgess Meredith
The Riddler…Frank Gorshin

While it’s not the strangest or most experimental and certainly not the darkest, this is the most unique entry into the canon. While there is humor to be found throughout the franchise, this is the only all-out comedy. It’s also one that most serious Batman fans loathe. They blame it for ruining the character’s image, and of comic books in general, for decades. For that reason and its incorrect labeling as stupid kid stuff will lead many of you to shun me for ranking it this high. Even I felt that way once upon a time. Revisiting it with more mature eyes so many years later, I see it for what it was intended to be: a brilliant spoof of popular serials of the 1930s and 1940s and of Batman himself. It is also chock full of double entendre, slyly slipping lots of dirty talk past the censors of the day. It is a spoof of the highest order, not made to be taken seriously. It makes Batman the one thing he rarely gets to be: fun.

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