Reader review: Batman (1966)

2012-07-30 16:50
Whereas no one would doubt the magnificence of the Batman films made by Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan, I shall forever have a soft spot for the 1966 film.

It was as a child my first introduction to the legend of The Dark Knight, and in recent years it has been the first Batman film my own children have both seen and fallen in love with.

Made as a pilot for the 60s TV series, the film is a simplified, straightforward tale of good vs bad, made to suit all ages. The clean cut, uncomplicated presentation of the heroes Batman and Robin is a parental dream, as too is the clever, often amusing censorship of any violence with words like “KAPOW!” covering up the unavoidable fight sequences.

For the older members of the family there is plenty to enjoy, even if it is mostly the almost Monty Python like level of humour to be found in it. It has been widely labelled as "camp", which it is, and if you have seen the film you surely will never, ever forget the wonders of an invention called "Bat Shark Repellent".

The whole thing is carried by a terrific ensemble cast who seem to appreciate that it is all a bit silly, but all the same play their parts with the affection and professionalism that fans have for the characters.

One day my children will be old enough to watch and appreciate the cinematic wonders and complex plots of the recent film versions of Batman. For the time being, though, this 1966 version keeps them thoroughly entertained and teaches them both the wonders of fantasy and indeed how much better it is to be one of the good guys.

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