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Batman (1943)
Batman (1943) poster
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Produced by Rudolph C. Flothow
Written by Victor McLeod
Leslie Swabacker
Harry L. Fraser
Starring

Lewis Wilson
Douglas Croft
J. Carrol Naish
Shirley Patterson

Music by Lee Zahler
Cinematography James S. Brown Jr.
Editing by Dwight Caldwell
Earl Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release July 16, 1943
Running time 15 chapters (260 minutes)
Country United States
Language English
Followed by Batman and Robin

Batman is a 15-chapter serial, released in 1943 by Columbia Pictures. The serial starred Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin. J. Carrol Naish played the villain, an original character named Dr. Daka. Rounding out the cast were Shirley Patterson as Linda Page (Bruce Wayne's love interest), and William Austin as Alfred the butler. The plot involved Batman—as a U.S. government agent—attempting to defeat the Japanese agent Dr. Daka, at the height of World War II.

The film is notable for being the first filmed appearance of Batman, and for debuting story details that became permanent parts of the Batman mythos. It introduced "The Bat's Cave", and its secret entrance through a grandfather clock inside Wayne Manor. Both departures subsequently appeared in the comics. The serial also changed the course of how Alfred Pennyworth's physical appearance would be depicted in later Batman works. At the time it was released in theaters, Alfred was overweight in Batman comics. After William Austin's portrayal in these chapter plays, however, subsequent issues of the comics portrayed him as Austin had: trim, and sporting a thin mustache. The serial was commercially successful, and spawned another, Batman and Robin, in 1949. It was re-released in 1965. The re-released version, called An Evening with Batman and Robin, proved very popular, and its success inspired the intentionally campy Batman television series (and its 1966 feature film spin-off) starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

Plot

Batman and Robin struggle against Dr. Daka, a Japanese scientist and agent of Hirohito who have invented a device that turns people into pseudo-zombies, and has a base in a Funhouse of horrors, in a Japanese area of the city. Daka makes several attempts to defeat the Dynamic Duo before finally falling to his death when Robin hits the wrong switch, opening a trapdoor to a pit of crocodiles.

Cast

  • Lewis Wilson as Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Douglas Croft as Robin/Richard 'Dick' Grayson
  • J. Carrol Naish as Dr. Tito Daka/Prince Daka
  • Shirley Patterson as Linda Page
  • William Austin as Alfred Pennyworth
  • Robert Fiske as Foster
Batman
Films

Batman (1943)Batman and RobinBatman (1966)Batman (1989)Batman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatman & RobinBatman BeginsThe Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeThe Lego Batman Movie

Characters

Alfred PennyworthBatmanCatwomanJokerMr. FreezePenguinPoison IvyRiddlerRobinTwo-FaceGotham City

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