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Batman (1943)

Approved | | Action, Crime | 16 July 1943 (USA)
Japanese spymaster Prince Daka operates a covert espionage organization located in Gotham City's now-deserted Little Tokyo which turns American scientists into pliable zombies.


Lambert Hillyer


Bob Kane (comic books created by), Victor McLeod (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Lewis Wilson ... Batman / Bruce Wayne
Douglas Croft ... Robin / Dick Grayson
J. Carrol Naish ... Dr. Daka
Shirley Patterson ... Linda Page


In his first screen appearance, the Caped Crusader of Gotham City (belying the lethargic facade of his alter ego Bruce Wayne) battles Dr. Daka, Japanese mastermind of a wartime espionage-sabotage group. Daka has a radium-powered death ray that pulverizes walls, a classic alligator pit to dispose of enemies, and can turn men into electronic zombies who do his bidding and transmit video signals to Daka's lab! Batman has no Batmobile, but there are bats in the Bat Cave... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrill to the nation's favorite adventure hero! (Lobby cards). See more »


Action | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This is the first filmed appearance of Batman. See more »


Strings are attached to the bats as they fly around in the cave. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: High atop one of the hills which ring the teaming metropolis of Gotham City, a large house rears its bulk against the dark sky. Outwardly there's nothing to distinguish this house from many others, but deep in the cavernous basements of this house is a chamber hewn from the living rock of the mountainside, strange, dimly lighted, mysteriously secret bat cave headquarters of America's #1 crimefighter, Batman! Yes, Batman, clad in the somber costume which has struck terror to the ...
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Crazy Credits

The 2005 DVD release is missing the "next chapter preview" at the end of chapter 2. See more »

Alternate Versions

With the success of the television series "Batman" (1966), Columbia's 8mm division released this serial in a condensed version on six reels of super-8 film for the home market. The total of all six reels amounted to about one-fourth of the running time of the original serial. This release was noted for its production problems resulting in an over-exposed image with reduced contrast. See more »


Version of Batman & Robin (1997) See more »


If I Were King
Composed by Adolphe Adam
Used in episodes 4 and 10
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User Reviews

The First Appearance of Batman on the Screen and in Serial
10 November 2016 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Gothan City, in the Word War II, the Japanese spy Dr. Tito Daka (J. Carrol Naish) has a gang working for the Japanese government. He plans to steal a radium load to use in a lethal weapon and hijack an American prototype airplane. The evil Dr. Daka uses a machine to turn people into zombies to work for him. Batman is indeed the lazy millionaire Bruce Wayne (Lewis Wilson), and Robin is his protegee Dick Grayson (Douglas Croft) that are supported by the butler and chauffeur Alfred Pennyworth (William Austin). Bruce Wayne's love interest is Linda Page (Shirley Patterson) and Dr. Daka kidnaps her uncle Martin Warren to help him in his research but turns him into a zombie when he refuses to cooperate with the mastermind of the spy ring. Along fifteen Chapters, Dr. Daka stumbles upon Batman and the boy wonder Robin and they will fight each other.

"Batman" (1943) is the landmark of the first appearance of Batman on the screen and in serial at the climax of World War II. This low budget serial does not have the Batmobile; instead, Batman and Robin use Bruce Wayne's Cadillac convertible driven by Alfred. The plot has anti-Japanese messages and is silly, naive and funny in many moments, but is also highly entertaining and divided in 15 Chapters that were presented in the theaters once a week; now they are available on DVD. (1) The Electrical Brain; (2) The Bat's Cave; (3) The Mark of the Zombies; (4) Slaves of the Rising Sun; (5) The Living Corpse; (6) Poison Peril; (7) The Phoney Doctor (8) Lured by Radium; (9) The Sign of the Sphinx; (10) Flying Spies; (11) A Nipponese Trap; (12) Embers of Evil; (13) Eight Steps Down (14) The Executioner Strikes; (15) The Doom of the Rising Sun. Maybe the funniest scenes are when Dr. Daka communicates with his submarine by radio and they release a coffin with a near-death Japanese soldier only to tell that he should hijack an airplane; and when a spy breaks the window of the airplane to throw off a cargo of radium using parachutes for Dr. Daka's men. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Batman"

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

16 July 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Batman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(15 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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