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


The BIG BIG Serial With Just What It Takes To do BIG BIG Serial Business! See more »


Action | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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


In chapter 5, when the plane is being shot at, the wires supporting the plane are clearly visible. 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

Shortened versions of the individual chapters were released for the 8mm home movie market in the late 1960s. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The Mummy (2017) (2017) See more »


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

Fantastic - one of the most enjoyable of the cliffhanger serials!
27 May 2005 | by Scarletfire-1See all my reviews

Batman is not technically as "good" as other serials such as most Republics, but I do like it better and enjoy it more than most others. Sure it is too long in the middle with 15 chapters and all, but there is just something about it that really appeals to me.

First of all it is Batman. Second, it just drips with atmosphere. All of the scenes in Daka's hideout are done so well that I can hardly imagine them being improved on. There is a darkened smoky atmosphere to the hideout with its walls covered with Japanese paintings and designs. Can anyone possibly think of a better way to have that set look? The theme music and the scraping sound heard when the door to the hideout opens are very distinctive - though minor elements of the serial, they add incredibly to the sum total of my evaluation.

J. Carrol Naish's portrayal of Dr. Daka is amongst the best acting ever done on film. The character and his dialog are just so fitting as the epitome of a villainous "jap" spy. Credit needs to go to the scriptwriters for dreaming it all up and to Naish for the brilliant execution of it. His lines and the trance like expression on his face as he talks about the emperor being the "heavenly ruler and prince of the rising sun" and freeing the "enslaved people of America" are just unbeatable acting.

Some of Daka's underlings are "zombies". They wear a radio headset receiver which has a wire connected to their spine so he can control them. Sure - that makes sense. This is the best example of serial logic and science I've ever seen. Its the perfect thing to describe to people in order to explain how things work in serials.

Of course Daka's scientific devices are powered by radium! Is it just me or do a lot of super scientific devices in serials run on radium? Saying its powered by radium somehow makes it all make sense.

Daka and Emperor Ming are the two ultimate serial villains. Sure there are some others that were really cool, but no one really even come close to them.

Nuff said!

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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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