Bat­man (1966)

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS LIFE -

“Some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.” — Bat­man (Adam West) at­tempt­ing to be rid of a smok­ing, bowl­ing ball-type ex­plo­sive de­vice.

The TV se­ries Bat­man (1966-68) took an en­tirely campy ap­proach to the vig­i­lante hero cre­ated by Bob Kane in 1939, play­ing up Bat­man’s goody two-shoes hero­ism to the ex­tent that he and “Boy Won­der” Robin (Burt Ward) weren’t even vig­i­lantes. “Bat­man and Robin are fully dep­u­tized agents of the law,” blus­ters Com­mis­sioner Gor­don at one point in the movie.

This was all very well. The campy tone was ap­pro­pri­ate for its time, and if star Adam West cut a sin­gu­larly unim­pres­sive fig­ure in his Bat­suit, his stolid de­liv­ery was very funny. The movie’s cast of vil­lains was ac­tu­ally im­pres­sive with Burgess Meredith as The Pen­guin, erst­while Latin lover Ce­sar Romero as the Joker, comic-im­pres­sion­ist Frank Gor­shin as The Rid­dler and, alas, Lee Meri­wether — a poor sub­sti­tute for the orig­i­nal Julie New­mar — as Cat­woman.

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