Batman


1h 45m 1966

Brief Synopsis

The archvillains of The United Underworld - The Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin - combine forces to dispose of Batman and Robin as they launch their fantastic plot to control the entire world. From his submarine, Penguin and his cohorts hijack a yacht containing a superdehydrator, which can extract all moisture from humans and reduce them to particles of dust. The evildoers turn the 9 Security Council members in the United World Building into 9 vials of multicolored crystals! Batman and Robin track the villains in their Batboat and use Batcharge missles to force the sub to surface.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Austin, Texas, opening: 30 Jul 1966
Production Company
Greenlawn Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Bob Kane.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Batman, the caped crusader, and Robin, the boy wonder, learn that Commodore Schmidlapp, a millionaire distiller, is in danger aboard his yacht and rush to his aid by batcopter, but the yacht disappears beneath Batman as he is descending the batladder. The dynamic duo learns that The Catwoman, The Joker, The Penguin, and The Riddler have joined forces to eliminate Batman and Robin and eventually control the world. (The vanishing yacht was a decoy to lure Batman and Robin from the place where the villains were hijacking the yacht of Commander Redhead and holding him prisoner because they want his invention, a dehydrater that turns humans into dust that can be returned to human form with the addition of water.) After many encounters the villains are still loose, and The Penguin goes to Security Council headquarters. There he turns nine diplomats into dust, which he places in nine test tubes. Batman and Robin, however, outwit and capture the quartet of criminals and rescue Commander Redhead. As they are about to reconstitute the nine diplomats, the commander sneezes on the test tubes, scattering the dust. Batman does his best to sort the dust into nine homogeneous piles, but when the dust is restored to human form, the Russian speaks Greek, the Greek speaks English, and so on. But Batman is satisfied that the world is safe from the four fiends for the time being.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Austin, Texas, opening: 30 Jul 1966
Production Company
Greenlawn Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Bob Kane.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)


Frank Gorshin, a skilled comedian, impressionist and character actor who will forever be indentified with his role as "The Riddler" on the cult series from the '60s Batman lost his battle with lung cancer on May 17 at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 72.

He was born on April 5, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a family of modest means, his father was a railroad worker and mother a homemaker. His childhood impressions of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney paid off when he won a local talent contest at 17, and that led to his first gig at 17 at a the prize was a one week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel night club, Pittsburgh's hottest downtown spot in the day. The taste was there, and after high school Frank enrolled in the Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama did hone his craft.

His career was interrupted briefly when he entered the US Army in 1953. He spent two years in Special Services as an entertainer. Once he got out, Frank tried his luck in Hollywood. He made his film debut in a forgettable William Holden vehicle The Proud and Profane, but his fortunes picked up soon when he and when he hooked up with American Internation Pictures (AIP). With his charasmatic sneer and cocky bravado that belied his slender, 5' 7" frame, Frank made a great punk villian in a series of entertaining "drive-in" fare: Hot Rod Girl (1956), Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, and of course the classic Portland Expose (all 1957).

By the '60s, he graduated to supporting roles in bigger Hollywood fare: Where the Boys Are, Bells Are Ringing (both 1960), Ring of Fire, and his biggest tole to date, that of Iggy the bank robber in Disney's hugely popular That Darn Cat (1965). Better still, Frank found some parts on television: Naked City, Combat!, The Untouchables, and this would be the medium where he found his greatest success. Little did he realize that when his skeletal physique donned those green nylon tights and cackled his high pitch laugh that Frank Gorshin would be forever identified as "the Riddler," one of Batman's main nemisis. For two years (1966-68), he was a semi-regular on the show and it brought him deserved national attention.

By the '70s, Frank made his Broadway debut, as the star of Jimmy, a musical based on the life of former New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. He spent the next two decades alternating between the stage, where he appeared regularly in national touring productions of such popular shows as: Promises, Promises, Prisoner of Second Street, and Guys and Dolls; and nightclub work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

He recently found himself in demand for character roles on televison: Murder, She Wrote, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and film: Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the quirky comedy Man of the Century (1999). Yet his biggest triumph was his two year stint (2002-2004) as George Burns in the Broadway smash, Say Goodnight Gracie. It ran for 364 performances and he received critical raves from even the toughest New York theater critics, proving undoubtly that he was a performer for all mediums. He is survived by his wife Christina; a son, Mitchell; grandson Brandon and sister Dottie.

by Michael T. Toole
Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)

Frank Gorshin (1933-2005)

Frank Gorshin, a skilled comedian, impressionist and character actor who will forever be indentified with his role as "The Riddler" on the cult series from the '60s Batman lost his battle with lung cancer on May 17 at the Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. He was 72. He was born on April 5, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a family of modest means, his father was a railroad worker and mother a homemaker. His childhood impressions of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney paid off when he won a local talent contest at 17, and that led to his first gig at 17 at a the prize was a one week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel night club, Pittsburgh's hottest downtown spot in the day. The taste was there, and after high school Frank enrolled in the Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama did hone his craft. His career was interrupted briefly when he entered the US Army in 1953. He spent two years in Special Services as an entertainer. Once he got out, Frank tried his luck in Hollywood. He made his film debut in a forgettable William Holden vehicle The Proud and Profane, but his fortunes picked up soon when he and when he hooked up with American Internation Pictures (AIP). With his charasmatic sneer and cocky bravado that belied his slender, 5' 7" frame, Frank made a great punk villian in a series of entertaining "drive-in" fare: Hot Rod Girl (1956), Dragstrip Girl, Invasion of the Saucer Men, and of course the classic Portland Expose (all 1957). By the '60s, he graduated to supporting roles in bigger Hollywood fare: Where the Boys Are, Bells Are Ringing (both 1960), Ring of Fire, and his biggest tole to date, that of Iggy the bank robber in Disney's hugely popular That Darn Cat (1965). Better still, Frank found some parts on television: Naked City, Combat!, The Untouchables, and this would be the medium where he found his greatest success. Little did he realize that when his skeletal physique donned those green nylon tights and cackled his high pitch laugh that Frank Gorshin would be forever identified as "the Riddler," one of Batman's main nemisis. For two years (1966-68), he was a semi-regular on the show and it brought him deserved national attention. By the '70s, Frank made his Broadway debut, as the star of Jimmy, a musical based on the life of former New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker. He spent the next two decades alternating between the stage, where he appeared regularly in national touring productions of such popular shows as: Promises, Promises, Prisoner of Second Street, and Guys and Dolls; and nightclub work in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He recently found himself in demand for character roles on televison: Murder, She Wrote, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and film: Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995), and the quirky comedy Man of the Century (1999). Yet his biggest triumph was his two year stint (2002-2004) as George Burns in the Broadway smash, Say Goodnight Gracie. It ran for 364 performances and he received critical raves from even the toughest New York theater critics, proving undoubtly that he was a performer for all mediums. He is survived by his wife Christina; a son, Mitchell; grandson Brandon and sister Dottie. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

This yacht is bringing a revolutionary scientific invention to Gotham City. On a peaceful afternoon motor ride, millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson have been summoned back to Wayne Manor by an urgent but anonymous call for help; the invention AND its custodian are reported in grave danger aboard the yacht! Never ones to shirk responsibility, Bruce and Dick, with characteristic speed and resolve, descend promptly into The Batcave, and then, as they have done many times before, as BATMAN AND ROBIN, courageous warriors against crime, they are off once again to the rescue!
- Narrator
Penguin, Joker, Riddler... and CATWOMAN, too! The sum of the angles of that rectangle is too monstrous to contemplate!
- Commissioner Gordon
We've been given the plainest warning: they're working together to take over...
- Batman
Take over WHAT, Batman: Gotham City?
- Chief O'Hara
Any *2* of them would try that!
- Batman
The whole country?
- Commissioner Gordon
If it were 3 of them, I would say yes, but *4*? Their minimum objective must be... THE ENTIRE WORLD.
- Batman
I see the way to do it! We'll play each of our treacherous trumps in one hand, and we'll do it right here!
- Riddler
How?
- Penguin
How? The end! The end, oh...
- Riddler
We shall spring them from The Joker's Jack-In-The-Box, through that window, out over the sea, and into the waiting arms of The Penguin's Exploding Octopus!
- Riddler
The trigger: one of my riddles, of course, and the bait: Catwoman!
- Riddler
My name is Kitayna Ireyna Tatanya Kerenska Alisoff. I work for the Moscow Bugle.
- Miss Kitka
Careful, careful, every one of them's got a mother.
- Penguin

Trivia

Originally planned as the pilot film for the "Batman" (1966/II) TV series, the movie was instead produced between the show's first and second seasons. The producers took advantage of the larger budget to have a number of new Bat-gadgets constructed, such as the BatBoat.

Julie Newmar did not appear in the film because she had signed to do another project and could not get out of the commitment in time to work on this movie.

Although Sterling Holloway is listed in the credits as Col. Terry, all his scenes were, in fact, cut from the film as released.

The BatBoat was built especially for the film by the Glastron boat company. In exchange for their cooperation, the producers agreed to hold the film's world premiere in Austin, Texas, Glastron's headquarters.

The original trailer includes specially-shot footage of the 4 supervillains outlining their plans for the Dynamic Duo. Still frames from these sequences are visible when Batman and Commissioner Gordon watch a closed-circuit TV update on villains at large. The trailer also includes specially-shot footage of Batman and Robin addressing the audience about their first motion picture.

Notes

The film was inspired by the ABC Television series, Batman.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video August 25, 1988

Released in United States Summer July 1966

Re-released in United States on Video August 3, 1994

Formerly distributed by Playhouse Video.

Released in United States Summer July 1966

Re-released in United States on Video August 3, 1994

Released in United States on Video August 25, 1988