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Batman (1989)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure | 23 June 1989 (USA)
1:20 | Trailer

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The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.



(Batman characters), (story) | 2 more credits »
404 ( 113)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Wallace ...
Carl Chase ...
Mac McDonald ...
Goon (as Mac Macdonald)


Gotham City. Crime boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance) effectively runs the town but there's a new crime fighter in town - Batman (Michael Keaton). Grissom's right-hand man is Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), a brutal man who is not entirely sane... After falling out between the two Grissom has Napier set up with the Police and Napier falls to his apparent death in a vat of chemicals. However, he soon reappears as The Joker and starts a reign of terror in Gotham City. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) is in the city to do an article on Batman. She soon starts a relationship with Batman's everyday persona, billionaire Bruce Wayne. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only one will claim the night.


Action | Adventure


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Betmen  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)


$251,188,924 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (DVD version)| (Dolby 5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the Italian version, Jack Nicholson was dubbed by actor Giancarlo Giannini. Nineteen years later, his son Adriano Giannini was chosen for dub Heath Ledger playing another interpretation of The Joker character in The Dark Knight (2008). See more »


When destroying the paintings in the museum, one of Joker's henchmen puts several hand prints on a painting. Later, we see Joker imitating the statue, and in the background we can see the painting that had supposedly been fingerpainted is not. See more »


[first lines]
Passenger: Excuse me.
Tourist Dad: I'm sorry, this is my cab.
Passenger: Sorry.
Tourist Dad: Listen, I was here first!
[as the cab drives away]
Tourist Dad: Oh, God! Oh, taxi? Taxi!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits run with a 3-D Batman symbol being explored by a flying camera in extreme close-up. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (2011) See more »


There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
Written by Joe Hayden, Theo. A. Metz (as Theodore A. Metz)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I don't even need to say that this is the best Batman of the series. It's obvious enough.
26 August 2001 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

What is all this yap about Michael Keaton as Batman? Yes, he was Batman, and he was a GREAT Batman. He pulled off every aspect of the role perfectly – he was better than Val Kilmer, better than George Clooney, better than everyone. He portrayed the mysterious charm of the winged crusader just as well as he captured the cool and collected character of Bruce Wayne. Michael Keaton is a huge part of the reason that this film was such a huge success, the other main portion having come from the tremendous contribution from Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Gotham City is created in incredibly detailed comic-book style, which adds to the overall quality of the movie.

Director Tim Burton does an amazing job bringing this unreal world to reality, and Kim Basinger is excellent as Vicky Vale, the film's main female presence. The script is particularly brilliant. The role of the Joker seems to have been written specifically for Jack Nicholson, which would not be surprising because of how well he pulled off the role with lines like `Why didn't anyone tell me he had one of those…things?!' and `Remember me? When you dropped me into that vat of chemicals? That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.' And, of course, my favorite, `…we'll be like Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else ever calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out.'

Everything, from the setting in Gotham City to the characters costumes to the actual dialogue, gives the unreal feeling of a comic book, but the characters are developed enough so that we understand their problems and we care about what happens. The movie is a thrill ride from the beginning to the end, and is enjoyable for all ages. If anyone is going to complain about who was chosen to play Batman, there is much more room for complaint among the film's several sequels. Keaton did a spectacular job that no one has ever even come close to.

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