Batman (1966) Movie Review

Title: Batman.
Rated: PG.
Director: Leslie H. Martinson.
Written by: Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Release Date: 1966.
Runtime:  105 min.
Genre(s): Action, Comedy, Crime.
Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, and many more!
Budget: $1,377,800 (estimated).
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.


There was an era where Batman wasn’t about instilling fear in the cowardly lot, about brutally beating down those who dared break the law, or about grunting and safely reveling in his solitude. Before Batman resorted to darker means to serve justice, he was a jolly fella who worked hand in hand with his sidekick to stop criminals in their ridiculous schemes in broad daylight. Everyone and their grandmothers knew who these two lunatics in costumes were and what they were up to, and no one would miss an opportunity to salute their city’s guardians whenever they could. As the first full-length theatrical adaptation of Batman spun off of the iconic 1960s television series, this iconic movie brilliantly captures the campy humour and absurd shenanigans that is often attributed to Adam West’s Batman.

What is Batman (1966) about? Tipped off that Commodore Schmidlapp is in danger on his yacht, Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) set off on their Batcopter to rescue the man only to discover that they were set up for a trap by the United Underworld, composed of Gotham’s four greatest villains, that is the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the Joker (Cesar Romero), and the Catwoman (Lee Meriwether). Equipped with a dehydrator, they plan to hold the entire world for ransom by secretly capturing the the United World Organization’s Security Council. If the world isn’t to plunge into chaos, the dynamic duo will have to hunt down the United Underworld and retrieve the kidnapped and dehydrated security representatives of the world.

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With each viewing, this movie only gets better. This interpretation of Batman is definitely not one that will easily grow on viewers of modern cinema but it has its own charm that allows us to better understand the comical take on what is known today as one of the darkest superheroes of all time. In this movie filled with silly pseudoscience, whimsical puns, and playful fight choreography, there isn’t a sequence that doesn’t highlight the absurd world and its quirky inhabitants. From The Penguin’s quacking and nonsensical transportation devices to The Riddler’s lunatic laugh and obsession for riddles that thwart his own plans, there isn’t a character that doesn’t somehow stand out from the others in a ridiculous fashion.

Despite being deputized agents of the law who seem to only fight crime during broad daylight, Batman and Robin aren’t surrounded by the sharpest tools in the shed. To deal with the United Underworld, they have to resort to their own set of skills, ranging from crazy scientific knowledge to unparalleled preparation by having the perfect Bat-tool for the job. While it’s also fun to watch all the “Pow! Whap! Thwack! Bap!” flash before our eyes during important showdowns, the movie also offers some moments of introspection by bringing us to ask ourselves questions about privacy or the desire to meddle with laws of nature. As much as you want to mock these two heroes in their intense crime-fighting activities, they also bring some important questions to the table when you least expect it.

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Surprisingly enough, the movie never really has a dull moment, apart maybe when Bruce Wayne is needed and has to blindly fall in love with a suspicious Russian lady with very cat-like behaviours. Stacking one tense and suspenseful moment after another with plenty of humour and action to look forward to, the movie does a formidable job in keeping viewers entertained, completely self-aware of its silliness. Did I mention that it contains a lot of torpedoes carelessly shot at the dynamic duo? Oh yes, it does. The score in this movie is also brilliant, as if the iconic theme song alone didn’t make it perfect already. They all brilliantly set the tone and pacing for this movie, always making sure to immerse the viewer in this wacky universe, bound to put a smile on your face from start to finish.

Batman (1966) is a cult classic, hilariously bizarre, and ludicrously entertaining adventure depicting the charming insanity of the 1960s Batman era.

Batman (1966) is available on various services today.

Have you read any Batman comics?
Have you seen Batman (1966)? Will you? What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!



47 thoughts on “Batman (1966) Movie Review

    1. Hahahahah when I first saw this movie a couple of years ago, I knew things were going to be sooooo goofy the moment that we saw Batman request the Shark repellant Bat-spray and we had a whole 2-minute segment of Robin climbing down that ladder to give it to him hahahaha 😛


  1. Hahahahaaa. I am glad you had such a good time with this. I suspect my reaction would be closer to what your reaction to the Superman stamp movie was 😀

    Was this the only movie spun off from the tv show or was it a success so they eventually made more?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahah I’m not surprised there! 😛 People who grow up with it are much more likely to have fond memories of it but man, I don’t know if it’s even possible to recommend such movies to today’s viewers.

      It was the only movie that spun off from the TV series. It is only in 1989 that they rebooted and we got Tim Burton’s classic Batman movie. In between all that is the whole Superman saga (which is pretty much what I plan on reviewing on a monthly basis now). 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was an era when they knew how to do ‘campy’.
    How about those high-powered guest villains! Those are some wonderful actors that really let loose in these ridiculous roles. We named our cat ‘Kitka’ in honor of the suspicious Russian lady.
    Catch you next time, Chum, same Bat-Time, same Bat-channel!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea there was an early movie like this. I grew up watching the 60s show and I loved it and also the 1989 movie with Keaton in it. I wish I still had it, but my grandpa bought me a 33 speed record with the soundtrack on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the only movie made out of the 1960s television series so it might indeed be a fun one to check out, with or without any knowledge of the show! 😀 I’ll probably be rewatching Tim Burton’s Batman movies to finally review them on my blog in the coming months hahah

      That’s so cool! I dream of having a record collection of some of the best stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m working on mine, although the only soundtrack I got on vinyl currently is The Crow soundtrack. Most of my tastes are too heavy for most people. I may share my collection so far on the blog, not quite sure.

        BTW, have you seen anyone that runs comic book auctions on their blog?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Too funny! I love this look back at an earlier take on Batman and Robin. Not sure if I ever watched the movie but I did grow up on reruns of the show and have fond memories of it. I think it’s funny, too, the recent talk of what is too far over the top on your review of The Minders, and how this seems just as over the top and yet I’d watch this. Perhaps it’s back to the fact this is a movie. Not sure I’d put in the time to read a full length book of this. 🙂 I enjoyed the review, Lashaan, great to see you watching these older pieces. And great to see you enjoying them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah I can imagine the reaction of many people who aren’t familiar with Adam West’s Batman when they see this for the first time. And I totally understand that. Then again, over-the-top comedy is also quite common too. It reminds me of a less-vulgar Mel Brooks type of silly comedy! I plan on reviewing all of the DC live-action movies on my blog so you can expect all the post-Batman (1966) and pre-Nolan movies getting covered in the upcoming months. 😀 Thanks for reading my review, Todd!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Such a great point about over-the-top comedy being common and popular. And I’ve often found myself thoroughly enjoying it. Mel Brooks is a great example, as are some of the old Leslie Nielsen roles.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome, I’m actually surprised at how positive your review of this little gem is – glad you enjoyed it! I’ve always been fond of this and the Adam West series, as much as I’ll always prefer the purer, darker and grittier Batman sometimes it’s just good to have fun with this movie, or the series. The funny thing is I first saw it at quite a young age and I took it quite seriously, it’s only when I got older and had seen Batman ’89 (had to wait for the VHS to come out as I was only 6 when that came out) and then Batman: The Animated Series debuted that I became aware of it’s tongue-in-cheek inclinations!

    Great review Lashaan, it’s actually long been on my list to cover…maybe one day, I have to get around to watching/reviewing Superman III well before that!

    Oh and since the Batman 1966 movie gets four stars, then surely Batman ’89 is going to get FIVE? Anything less will break my heart haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha thanks for reading, my friend! I surprised myself too with this rewatch. I know the first time I saw this, I rated it a 3/5 and wasn’t too thrilled by the campy humour and all the ridiculous shenanigans these heroes and villains were up to. This time around, I actually ended up appreciating it all for what they were. I saw the purpose, the reason, the direction of it all and found it all ingenious in scope. It definitely doesn’t compare to anything Batman-related nowadays but it has its own peculiar charm.

      That might explain a lot too! My first exposition to Batman was B:TAS as a kid and anything that deviated from that made no sense to me as a kid hahaha

      I’m going to go through the whole Superman saga next myself in the coming months too. I look forward to exchanging notes on these movies. 😀

      Hhahahah you’ll just have to wait and see what I’ll have to say about Burton’s Batman. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An interesting share and background on the famous Batman series. I just read a very interesting share on the theoretical origination of Batman. It was very exciting. With your permission, I would love to share the link with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is not a movie you watch for a serious superhero experience. It’s not what you watch for any kind of drama, other than its cynical approach to global politics. It’s a movie you watch to shut off your brain and have fun, if you’re in the right mood. It’s not for everyone, but it’s charming, the cast is clearly having fun making the movie, and it’s brought us so many great memes. That and the 60’s show helped popularize Batman. Without this show, we probably wouldn’t have the Tim Burton movies, the Dark Knight trilogy, or the MCU.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahah I’m pretty sure that some MCU fans nowadays would never credit Batman ’66 for the existence of the MCU though. 😉 But yes. This is a special, cultural, and historical movie. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you’ve been doing well since moving into your new place and all. 🙂


  8. I absolutely love this movie. I grew up watching it with my little brother. Now my husband and I watch it from time to time as well as the series. It is so fun and campy. Catwoman is a whole mood in this masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

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