46 user 23 critic

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


A HUNDRED TIMES MORE THRILLING ON THE SCREEN! (original 1943 one-sheet posters) See more »


Action | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Batman co-creator Bob Kane (I) makes a brief cameo as the newsboy in Chapter One, yelling, "Read all about the Batman!" before handing a paper to Bruce Wayne. See more »


At the end of chapter 2, as Batman is battling with the thugs his cape is obviously ripped off and thrown to the floor. After a brief cutaway to Alfred waiting in the car, it is back on his shoulders with no apparent break in the action. 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 ...
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: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012) See more »


If I Were King
Composed by Adolphe Adam
Used in episodes 4 and 10
See more »

User Reviews

It's the Batman...
15 October 1999 | by beejerSee all my reviews

This is one of the best of Columbia's serials produced in the 40s. There's no Batmobile or Batplane but hey, this was 1943.

There's the usual assortment of narrow escapes, last minute rescues, zombies, an alligator pit and an endless supply of the villain's henchmen.

Also included are some great stuntwork and excellent fight scenes.

Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft make an credible Batman and Robin and their alter-egos Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Two distinct advantages this serial has is it's wartime setting and the casting of the excellent J. Carroll Naish as the chief villain, Daka who is trying to install "The New Order" in America. Many serial and "B" movie veterans are cast in other roles. Look for George J. Lewis, Tom London and Dick Curtis as various henchmen and Charles Middleton, on the right side of the law for a change.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 46 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






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
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed