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Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Action  |  19 June 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 200,981 users  
Reviews: 594 user | 148 critic

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.



(Batman characters), (story), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristi Conaway ...
John Strong ...
Sword Swallower


Having defeated the Joker, Batman now faces the Penguin - a warped and deformed individual who is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Schreck is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt to expose Batman in a different light. Earlier however, Selina Kyle, Max's secretary, is thrown from the top of a building and is transformed into Catwoman - a mysterious figure who has the same personality disorder as Batman. Batman must attempt to clear his name, all the time deciding just what must be done with the Catwoman. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brooding, dark violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 June 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batman 2  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)


$162,831,698 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo®)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tim Burton:  [title sequence]  the opening credits "follow" the baby carrier down the river. See more »


After "rescuing" the mayor's baby, the Penguin rides one of his duck boats up on a scissor lift. The boat is shown to have short walls on the side and the duck's head is clearly the highest point on the boat. But when Penguin rises out of the manhole, his feet are nearly level with the ground, implying either he had another lift inside the boat or the rest of the boat was crushed against the sewer ceiling. See more »


[first lines]
Happy Woman: Merry Christmas!
Happy Man: Merry Christmas!
See more »


Referenced in Neighbors (2014) See more »


I Saw Three Ships
Written by (Traditional)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Darkest Knight of All
21 November 2000 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

Batman Returns is a perfect film to watch during the holiday season as the winter/Xmas atmosphere that Burton creates for Gotham City is wonderful. It's weird that Warner decided to release this as a summer film. It doesn't fit.

But what's even weirder, when you consider the content of this film, is that it was aimed at families. An upper-class family throws their mutant baby down the sewer, a socio-phobic billionaire dresses up in leather as a flying rodent, a lonely secretary has a mental breakdown and dresses up in leather as a feline, and said grown-up mutant baby freak runs for political office. Not to mention the S&M subtext that Tim Burton somehow managed to get away with. His eccentric visual style fits this film best, and is the height of his career, IMO.

This and the Dark Knight are the only true live-action incarnations of the comic-book character. True, Batman Returns is not as grown-up and serious as the Dark Knight, but it's a helluva lot atmospheric, and I just prefer the oddball character development here than in TDK. I rate them both equally, but scoring points on different levels.

Darker and more violent than the first movie, the sense of Gothic pathos reaches a new high. I was quite keen on Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne (don't even get me started on George Clooney!), he displayed the right balance of weirdo loner and cool crime fighter. Michelle Pfieffer is great as Catwoman (much sexier and more 'realisticly' cat-like), she wears that leather outfit better than Halle Berry. And Danny DeVito was so convincing as the Penguin that his scenes become disturbing to watch. Special mention must be made of Christopher Walken, who is brilliant as the spooky Max Shreck (if you think you recognise Chip Shrek it's none other than a very young Leatherface/Butterfinger).

Danny Elfman's score is also even better than it was first time round. His powerful and engaging themes are way better than the dross that followed in the later Schumacher movies. This movie is the Batman phenomenon at its Zenith. Forget the following sequels and stick to the animated series after this. Christopher Nolan brought integrity back to the series, but before Schumacher destroyed it, Burton gave the original series integrity too.

A great Xmas film, and my favorite Batman adventure.

153 of 205 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
De Vito is the best penguin !!!deleted!!! (63041829)
Did anyone else like this one more than the 1st one? Rage-Kage
How would you have done a Burton Batman series? ackbar51690
How did Schreck end up in Penguin's lair? me1991
What if Batman Returns were three hours long? ackbar51690
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