A young boy witnesses his parents' murder on the streets of Gotham City.  Deeply disturbed by the event, he grows up to become the peoples avenger: Bruce Wayne becomes Batman.  Batman, named after the bats on his family estate, is a mysterious figure in the eyes of Gotham's citizens - who takes crime-fighting into his own hands. He first emerges out of the shadows when the Joker appears - a horribly disfigured individual who is out for revenge on his former employer and generally likes to have a good time.




Batman and the Joker in the belfry



Gotham City is a dark, dangerous, place 'protected' only by a mostly corrupt police department, should perhaps be renamed Gothic City. Despite the best efforts of D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner Jim Gordon, the city becomes increasingly unsafe, until finally a the Batman is ready to begin his personal battle against evil as a clever vigilante.  


Batman knows many criminals are superstitious.  Armed with umpteen technical gadgets and a wicked looking car, he uses his bat disguise to strike terror into the hearts of petty criminals.  The story is too good, at which time the press take an active interest - enter Vicky Vale, a prize-winning photo journalist who wants to uncover the secret of the mysterious "bat-man". 


Meantime, Jack Napier, one-time enforcer for Boss Grissom, horribly disfigured after a firefight in a chemical factory, who, devoid of the last vestiges of sanity, seizes control of Gotham's underworld as the psychotic, unpredictable Clown Prince of Crime - the Joker. Gotham's only hope, it seems, lies in this dark, brooding hero.  But the identity of the `bat' is unknown to all but Alfred, his faithful butler.  Just as difficult as taking on the underworld, is the task of protecting his secret identity against the gorgeous photographer Vicki Vale, with whom Bruce falls madly in love with.




Bruce Wayne and Alfred the butler



This Warner Bros version of the famous comic book story is one of my personal favorites.  The car was not too outlandish, Michael Keaton and the rest of the cast were believable, except perhaps for Jack Nicholson, but there again, he was playing a nutter, and that said, I rate Mr Nicholson very highly. 


The sets though, were outrageous.  I know this is a comic story, but if the film can strike a balance between reality and simply overlay the incredible characters, the audience may relate to the situation (interface) more easily. Possibly, the latest version of the story, Batman Begins, is heading in this direction.  Although, we took a backward step with the car. NK



The film was directed by Tim Burton.  Tim went on to direct Sleepy Hollow (1999) Mars Attacks! (1996) Batman Returns (1992) Edward Scissorhands (1990), obviously in reverse order.




Writing credits 

Bob Kane


(Batman characters)

Sam Hamm



Sam Hamm


(screenplay) and

Warren Skaaren







Cast overview, first billed only:


Jack Nicholson

Joker/Jack Napier

Michael Keaton

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Kim Basinger

Vicki Vale

Robert Wuhl

Alexander Knox

Pat Hingle

Commissioner Gordon

Billy Dee Williams

Harvey Dent

Michael Gough


Jack Palance


Jerry Hall


Tracey Walter

Bob the Goon

Lee Wallace

The Mayor

William Hootkins

Lt. Eckhardt

Richard Strange


Carl Chase


Mac McDonald





Batman's mask



Runtime: 126 min
Country: USA / UK
Language: English
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix: 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) / Dolby (35 mm prints)




Vicki Vale














Anthony Hopkins

Arnold Shwazenneger

Arnold Vosloo

Brad Pitt

Brendan Fraser

Bruce Willis

Charlize Theron

Chris Cooper

Clint Eastwood

Daniel Craig

Denzel Washington

Eric Bana

Eva Green

George Clooney

Goldie Hawn

Gregory Peck

Halle Berry

Ian Holm

Jack Black

Jack Nicholson

James Cromwell

Jean Reno

Jeff Bridges

Jim Carrey

Joaquin Phoenix

John Hurt

John Travolta

John Wayne

Johnny Depp

Judi Dench

Julia Roberts

Julie Andrews

Kate Winslett

Keanu Reeves



Keira Knightley

Kirsten Dunst

Kurt Russell

Leonardo di Caprio

Liam Neeson

Mads Mikkelsen

Marlon Brando

Mel Gibson

Michael Cain

Michael Douglas

Michael J Fox

Naomi Watts

Nicholas Cage

Nicole Kidman

Orlando Bloom

Paul Hogan

Pierce Brosnan

Rachel Weisz

Robert de Niro

Roger Moore

Russell Crowe

Sam Neil

Sandra Bullock

Sean Connery

Sigourney Weaver

Stanley Baker

Steve Martin

Steven Segal

Slyvester Stalone

Tobey Maguire

Tom Cruise

Tom Hanks

Tommy Lee Jones

Willem Dafoe









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