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Batman (1989)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  23 June 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 251,892 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 795 user | 177 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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 »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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


Gotham City: dark, dangerous, 'protected' only by a mostly corrupt police department. Despite the best efforts of D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner Jim Gordon, the city becomes increasingly unsafe...until a Dark Knight arises. We all know criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot...so his disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. He becomes a bat. Enter Vicky Vale, a prize-winning photo journalist who wants to uncover the secret of the mysterious "bat-man". And enter 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 vigilante. And just how does billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne fit into all of this? Written by Gregory A. Sheets <m-sheets2@onu.edu>

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
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter O'Toole was considered for The Penguin when Tom Mankiewicz was attached. See more »


When Batman captures the balloons with the Batwing and sets them free, they are clustered together. In the very next frame, they have spread out. 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 »


Beautiful Dreamer
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Hill Bowen & Orchestra
Courtesy of CBS Special Products, a Service of CBS Records, a division of CBS Records Inc.
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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