Batman


2h 4m 1989

Brief Synopsis

The Caped Crusader takes on his deadliest foe -- the Joker.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Movie
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Crime
Fantasy
Adaptation
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom; Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom; London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 4m

Synopsis

Adventures of the caped crusader, stressing the relationship between Batman and his adversary The Joker.

Crew

Terry Ackland-snow

Art Director

Margaret Adams

Production Coordinator

Len Alexander

Wardrobe Assistant

David Allday

Swing Gang

Dave Allen

Medic

David Allen

Sound Mixer

Les Andrews

Props

Terry Apsey

Construction Manager

Lynda Armstrong

Makeup

Barry Arnold

Props

Bob Badami

Music Editor

Gianni Baldo

Other

Ken Barker

Stunts

Paul Barrett-brown

Other

Steve Bartek

Original Music

Dennis Bartlett

Camera Operator

Dave Baynham

Other

Ronald Bede

Production

Rosie Bedford-stradling

Other

Stephen Begg

Special Effects

Les Benson

Props

Angus Bickerton

Motion Control

Brian Bishop

Scenic Artist

Janice Body

Rotoscope Animator

Michael Boone

Assistant Art Director

Linda Bowen

Accounting Assistant

Marc Boyle

Stunts

Peter Brace

Stunts

Grant Branton

Video

Bob Bremner

Gaffer

Michael Brewster

Camera Operator

Richard Brierley

Other

David Brill

Sound

Chris Brock

Location Manager

Max Brown

Office Runner

Mark Bullimore

Visual Effects

Jo Burn

Assistant

Vin Burnham

Other

Ronald Burton

Special Effects

Edward Butler

Art Department

Edward Butler

Chief Modelmaker

Roy Button

Unit Manager

Wally Byatt

Camera Operator

Julian Caldow

Other

John J Campbell

Camera Operator

Ray Caple

Matte Painter

Darryl Carter

Carpenter

Bruce Cheesman

Props

Paul Cheesman

Props

Peter Chiang

Art Director

Maggie Choyce

Assistant

Diane Christina

Accounting Assistant

Graham Churchyard

Assistant

Mathew Claridge

Office Runner

Phil Clark

Special Effects

Robin Clarke

Music Editor

Roy Clarke

Production

Stuart Clarke

Stunts

Murray Close

Photography

Paula Connor

Sound Editor

Adam Cooper

Camera

Amanda Coroon

Accounting Assistant

Terry Cox

Special Effects

Brenda Coxon

Production Accountant

Derek Cracknell

Assistant Director

Gerry Crampton

Stunts

Simon Crane

Stunts

Annie Crawford

Wardrobe Supervisor

Steve Crawley

Stunts

Graeme Crowther

Stunts

Clive Curtis

Stunts

Bill Dady

Production

Jeff Davis

Stunts

Tony Dawe

Sound Mixer

Peter Dawson

Special Effects

Carole Dejong

Visual Effects

Val Demeter

Assistant

Steve Dent

Stunts

Michael Dilbeck

Music Supervisor

Georgia Dilley

Art Department

Dave Docwra

Other

Marion Dougherty

Casting Director

Jim Dowdall

Stunts

Kevin Draycott

Special Effects

Nick Dudman

Makeup

Michael Dunleavy

Special Effects

Eddie Eddon

Stunts

Tracey Eddon

Stunts

Danny Elfman

Music

Steve Emerson

Stunts

Paul Engelen

Makeup Supervisor

John Evans

Special Effects Supervisor

Suzy Evans

Makeup

Holary Fagg

Script Supervisor

John Falcini

Sound

Val Farmer

Accounting Assistant

Graham Farrow

Music Editor

Noel Ferrell

Other

Doug Ferris

Matte Painter

Chuck Finch

Gaffer

Gerard Fitzsimon

Accounting Assistant

Dorothy Anne Ford

Stunts

Suzie Ford

Production Manager

Terry Forrestal

Stunts

Stephen Foster

Song

Colin Fox

Other

Sarah Franzl

Stunts

Bob Freeman

Key Grip

Simon Fulford

Other

Anton Furst

Production Designer

Mark Gardiner

Camera Operator

Pat Gilbert

Sound Editor

Mark Gill

Assistant Editor

Maurice Gillett

Rigging Gaffer

Kenneth Gittens

Special Effects

Peter Godfrey

Props

Stuart Godfrey

Key Grip

Romo Gorrara

Stunts

Jose Granell

Visual Effects

John Grant

Camera Operator

Richard Graydon

Stunts

Lenny Green

Sound Editor

Jenny Gregoire

Art Assistant

Peter Guber

Producer

Sam Hamm

From Story

Sam Hamm

Screenplay

Richard Hammatt

Stunts

Steven Harding

Assistant Director

Mark Harris

Other

Simon Harris

Assistant Editor

Emma Harrison

Scenic Artist

Pat Harrison

Unit Manager

Brian Hathaway

Production

Joe Hayden

Song

Paul Heasman

Stunts

Tom Hegarty

Stunts

Yvonne Hellin

Wardrobe Assistant

Linda Henrikson

Costume Designer

Simon Hewitt

Effects Assistant

Robert Hill

Props

Steve Hill

Production

Joe Hobbs

Wardrobe Assistant

Nick Hobbs

Stunts

Peter Hodgson

Video

Mary Holdsworth

Script Supervisor

Dave Holland

Stunts

Sy Hollands

Stunts

Antony Hunt

Camera Operator

Danny Hunter

Props

Clive Ingleton

Scenic Artist

Colin Jamison

Hairdresser

Janet Jamison

Hairdresser

William Todd Jones

Wardrobe Assistant

Eddy Joseph

Sound Editor

Barbara Kalish

Associate Producer

Bob Kane

Characters As Source Material

Bob Kane

Consultant

Faisal Karim

Visual Effects

Reza Karim

Other

Ian C Kelly

Video

Chris Kenny

Motion Control

Chris Kenny

Coproducer

Mike King

Construction

Nikolas Korda

Assistant Director

Katie Ladyko

Assistant

Martin Laing

Other

John Lanzer

Production

Bradley Larner

Other

Dave Lea

Stunts

Tommy Lee

Production

Cheryl Leigh

Script Supervisor

Peter Lewsey

Production

Brian Lince

Special Effects

Melvin Lind

Assistant Director

Stephen Lloyd

Other

Roger Lofting

Other

Laura Lovejoy

Assistant Editor

Ray Lovejoy

Editor

Ray Lovell

Special Effects

Lee Lighting Ltd

Lighting

Peter Macdonald

Camera Operator

Annie Marshall

Assistant

Roy Martin

Other

Graham Martyr

Other

Mark Mcbride

Stunts

Sean Mccabe

Stunts

Libby Mccullugh

Scenic Artist

Derek Meddings

Special Effects

Benjamin Melniker

Executive Producer

Billy Merrell

Best Boy

Ray Merrin

Sound

A Metz

Song

Steve Millson

Assistant Director

Digby Milner

Special Effects

Anthony Moore

Other

John Morgan

Camera Operator

Karl Morgan

Other

Colin Morris

Production

Ken Morris

Special Effects

Keith Muir

Production

Film Details

Also Known As
The Movie
MPAA Rating
Genre
Action
Adventure
Crime
Fantasy
Adaptation
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
WARNER BROS. PICTURES DISTRIBUTION (WBPD)
Location
Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom; Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom; London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 4m

Award Wins

Best Art Direction

1989
Anton Furst

Articles

Batman (1989)


The 1989 feature film of the exploits of the Caped Crusader is considered to be the start of the super-hero driven adventures that rule at world box offices to this day. However, Batman (1989) actually began a decade earlier with the successful movie version of another comic book hero.

That was another recognizable name from Batman's DC Comics, the title character in the Salkind brothers' all-star version of Superman (1978). A Batman movie as a follow-up seemed natural but no one seemed to have the ability to get a yes from a major studio. In 1983 the property fell into the hands of Peter Guber and Jon Peters, then best-known as the producers of An American Werewolf in London (1981). Many directors were called but none chosen until 1986 when Tim Burton was appointed director on the strength of the one feature film he had made up until then, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985).

This unusual choice came with some unusual requests that raised the hackles of traditional Batman fans. First, no Robin. All references to the Boy Wonder, who was to have appeared by the end of the movie in the original script, were eradicated. Second, the movie was to have a dark, sinister look with a city more gothic than Gotham. This was inspired by Frank Miller, Jr.'s graphic comic, The Dark Knight Returns, a revisionist version of the superhero. Third, Danny Elfman, former lead singer of the new wave group Oingo Boingo and the soundtrack composer for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, was brought in to compose the score. Most surprisingly of all, the stand-up comic turned actor Michael Keaton was to be the lord of the Batcave. And in a last minute casting change, Sean Young, who was slated to play Vicky Vale but was injured in a riding accident, was replaced with Kim Basinger. (Gossip columnists at the time reported that during production Basinger dated producer Jon Peters, co-star Jack Nicholson and Prince, the film's composer).

The results surpassed everyone's expectations. Keaton had no problem portraying Batman as a tormented, obsessed crime fighter, Elfman's score could not have been bettered by John Williams and Anton Furst's twisted Gotham City won the designer an Academy Award. The best addition was, however, Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Unrestrained by any need for naturalistic acting, Nicholson played the role with everything he had, coating each line with his own sardonic touch.

Naturally a film of this scale presented several challenges. One was the Batcar whose visual design combined elements of the fifties Stingray with the Utah Flats speed testers of the thirties. The engine was created from two 1968 Impalas but the vehicle was completely unpredictable during filming and almost killed a stunt girl during one scene. Plus, Batman kept getting his ears caught on the car's roof. Equally problematic was Keaton's vise-like body suit, composed of armors of latex bolted together, which made it hard for him to hear or see clearly. In addition, the cape alone weighed 25 pounds and the entire costume became intensely hot during shooting, causing Keaton to kick furniture and throw things in frustration. As for the most difficult scene to shoot, that would be the sequence where the Batcar crashes into the steps of Gotham Cathedral; it required numerous miniatures and a four camera set-up to capture all the action on the street set, which was doused in oil to give it a hosed-down appearance.

The movie's release in the summer of 1989 became the media sensation of that year. Batman insignia were everywhere, two hit soundtracks, one of Elman's score and another of pop songs by Prince used in the movie, raced up the charts as Batman broke box office records. Each summer since, Hollywood has tried to repeat its success as movie followed movie featuring every character in tights who had a secret identity to hide. Few, however, have matched this movie with its dark tone, twisted sense of humor and offbeat performances.

Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren, based on the characters by Bob Kane
Producers: Peter Guber, Jon Peters
Cinematographer: Roger Pratt
Art Director: Anton Furst
Editing: Ray Lovejoy
Music: Danny Elfman, Prince
Cast: Michael Keaton (Batman), Jack Nicholson (The Joker), Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale), Robert Wuhl (Alexander Knox), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Billy Dee Williams (Harvey Dent).
C-126 min. Letterboxed.

by Brian Cady
Batman (1989)

Batman (1989)

The 1989 feature film of the exploits of the Caped Crusader is considered to be the start of the super-hero driven adventures that rule at world box offices to this day. However, Batman (1989) actually began a decade earlier with the successful movie version of another comic book hero. That was another recognizable name from Batman's DC Comics, the title character in the Salkind brothers' all-star version of Superman (1978). A Batman movie as a follow-up seemed natural but no one seemed to have the ability to get a yes from a major studio. In 1983 the property fell into the hands of Peter Guber and Jon Peters, then best-known as the producers of An American Werewolf in London (1981). Many directors were called but none chosen until 1986 when Tim Burton was appointed director on the strength of the one feature film he had made up until then, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985). This unusual choice came with some unusual requests that raised the hackles of traditional Batman fans. First, no Robin. All references to the Boy Wonder, who was to have appeared by the end of the movie in the original script, were eradicated. Second, the movie was to have a dark, sinister look with a city more gothic than Gotham. This was inspired by Frank Miller, Jr.'s graphic comic, The Dark Knight Returns, a revisionist version of the superhero. Third, Danny Elfman, former lead singer of the new wave group Oingo Boingo and the soundtrack composer for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, was brought in to compose the score. Most surprisingly of all, the stand-up comic turned actor Michael Keaton was to be the lord of the Batcave. And in a last minute casting change, Sean Young, who was slated to play Vicky Vale but was injured in a riding accident, was replaced with Kim Basinger. (Gossip columnists at the time reported that during production Basinger dated producer Jon Peters, co-star Jack Nicholson and Prince, the film's composer). The results surpassed everyone's expectations. Keaton had no problem portraying Batman as a tormented, obsessed crime fighter, Elfman's score could not have been bettered by John Williams and Anton Furst's twisted Gotham City won the designer an Academy Award. The best addition was, however, Jack Nicholson as The Joker. Unrestrained by any need for naturalistic acting, Nicholson played the role with everything he had, coating each line with his own sardonic touch. Naturally a film of this scale presented several challenges. One was the Batcar whose visual design combined elements of the fifties Stingray with the Utah Flats speed testers of the thirties. The engine was created from two 1968 Impalas but the vehicle was completely unpredictable during filming and almost killed a stunt girl during one scene. Plus, Batman kept getting his ears caught on the car's roof. Equally problematic was Keaton's vise-like body suit, composed of armors of latex bolted together, which made it hard for him to hear or see clearly. In addition, the cape alone weighed 25 pounds and the entire costume became intensely hot during shooting, causing Keaton to kick furniture and throw things in frustration. As for the most difficult scene to shoot, that would be the sequence where the Batcar crashes into the steps of Gotham Cathedral; it required numerous miniatures and a four camera set-up to capture all the action on the street set, which was doused in oil to give it a hosed-down appearance. The movie's release in the summer of 1989 became the media sensation of that year. Batman insignia were everywhere, two hit soundtracks, one of Elman's score and another of pop songs by Prince used in the movie, raced up the charts as Batman broke box office records. Each summer since, Hollywood has tried to repeat its success as movie followed movie featuring every character in tights who had a secret identity to hide. Few, however, have matched this movie with its dark tone, twisted sense of humor and offbeat performances. Director: Tim Burton Writers: Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren, based on the characters by Bob Kane Producers: Peter Guber, Jon Peters Cinematographer: Roger Pratt Art Director: Anton Furst Editing: Ray Lovejoy Music: Danny Elfman, Prince Cast: Michael Keaton (Batman), Jack Nicholson (The Joker), Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale), Robert Wuhl (Alexander Knox), Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon), Billy Dee Williams (Harvey Dent). C-126 min. Letterboxed. by Brian Cady

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 23, 1989

Released in United States on Video November 15, 1989

Released in United States September 1989

Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 1-11, 1989.

"Batdance" by Prince will be the first video to be released from the soundtrack to the film.

Completed shooting January 1989.

Began shooting October 17, 1988.

Robin Williams was considered for the role of The Joker prior to Jack Nicholson.

Film was released in USA on the 50th Anniversary of Batman.

Released in United States Summer June 23, 1989

Released in United States September 1989 (Shown at Deauville Film Festival September 1-11, 1989.)

Released in United States on Video November 15, 1989