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Batman (1989)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure | 23 June 1989 (USA)
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The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director:

Tim Burton

Writers:

Bob Kane (Batman characters), Sam Hamm (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
832 ( 76)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keaton ... Batman / Bruce Wayne
Jack Nicholson ... Joker / Jack Napier
Kim Basinger ... Vicki Vale
Robert Wuhl ... Alexander Knox
Pat Hingle ... Commissioner James Gordon
Billy Dee Williams ... Harvey Dent
Michael Gough ... Alfred Pennyworth
Jack Palance ... Carl Grissom
Jerry Hall ... Alicia Hunt
Tracey Walter ... Bob the Goon
Lee Wallace Lee Wallace ... The Mayor
William Hootkins ... Lt. Eckhardt
Richard Strange ... Goon
Carl Chase Carl Chase ... Goon
Mac McDonald ... Goon (as Mac Macdonald)
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Storyline

Gotham City. Crime boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance) effectively runs the town but there's a new crime fighter in town - Batman (Michael Keaton). Grissom's right-hand man is Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), a brutal man who is not entirely sane... After falling out between the two Grissom has Napier set up with the Police and Napier falls to his apparent death in a vat of chemicals. However, he soon reappears as The Joker and starts a reign of terror in Gotham City. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) is in the city to do an article on Batman. She soon starts a relationship with Batman's everyday persona, billionaire Bruce Wayne. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only one will claim the night.

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

23 June 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Betmen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,489,746, 25 June 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$251,188,924

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$411,348,924
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| DTS (DVD version)| Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Among the props there is a royal throne chair, used by The Joker. This throne was originally made for the MGM production Queen Christina (1933) with Greta Garbo. It is a true replica of the Swedish Queen Kristina's Silver throne, a gift from the Councillor Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie for her coronation in 1650, and used until 1975 at the annual commencement of Swedish Parliament sessions. See more »

Goofs

During the chase after leaving the museum, Batman asks Vicki her weight. He had already carried her across the zipline in the museum, so he should already know her approximate weight. See more »

Quotes

[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 appear as the camera goes through/around a giant Batman symbol. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Kevin Bishop Show: Episode #2.2 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From A Summer Place
Written by Max Steiner
Performed by Percy Faith and His Orchestra
Conducted by Percy Faith (uncredited)
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Hollywood classic.
14 October 2011 | by PhillipMichaelHSee all my reviews

Released in 1989, Tim Burton's Batman holds up very well 22 years after its release and I actually prefer it over Christopher Nolan's re-entry, as interesting as his vision is. As for Joel Schumaker's stunning though at times silly vision of Batman, I try to forget about those films. Burton's first Batman is pure escapism in a sort of old fashion way. No CGI to be seen here and it works better that way. It's no surprise to me that Burton's Batman has been compared to Citizen Kane (1941) or The Maltese Falcon (1941), Burton and production designer Anton Furst take you into a dark world filled with crime and also mystery. Other films at the time such as Blade Runner (1982) and Brazil (1985) had already experimented with the classic film noir style, done in a sort of retro/futuristic way but Anton Furst's design for Gothem City truly feels like you are viewing a modern retelling of the classic noir films from the 40s.

Sam Hamm's script is solid and while it has been the target for criticism, I feel that he did a nice job, his dialog is very witty at times and a little over the top but it's appropriate, particularly with Jack Napiar/ The Joker. The performances are actually quite impressive and even better then what Chris Nolan got out of his actors but that's just an opinion. Micheal Keaton, while controversial and unusual at the time, gives a really good performance, he is very shy and sensitive which is the Bruce Wayne that I respond to the most. Jack Nicholson really needs no analysis for his work here, he is just perfect that putting into words is pointless. His joker is fun and even believable, Jack is just as great of an actor as James Cagney in my mind. Kim Basinger is actually much better then she is given credit for, her and Keaton work well together. The rest of the cast really are supporting characters, some are familiar to the Batman story, some are new. One of them being Alexander Knox. Robert Wahl plays a very likable guy who the other characters have a hard time taking seriously. His eagerness to find Batman and win his Pulitzer prize is well done and is a very down to earth performance, which I guess is what the movie needed.

As for Tim Burton's direction, he handles the actors very well and as for the technical work, I have mixed feelings about that. A lot of moments have really well choreographed camera work but there are a couple of zoom in shots that I felt were sloppy and a little unnecessary. There are a couple of matte painting shots that may not hold up as well today but none of this really matters, it still works. Of course, Danny Elfman's score left me speechless. He combines the fun, the adventurous and the dark side of Batman into one piece. I recommend buying the soundtrack with Elfman's score on it, it's amazing!! I think that Batman may be the best Hollywood movie of the late 80s and I still consider it a favorite from my childhood. I know that comic book purists prefer Nolan's Batman but as just a movie guy who loves old fashion Hollywood movies, this one appeals more to my taste. Batman deserves its comparison with Citizen Kane or any other Hollywood masterpiece as far as I'm concerned, even Casablanca (1942) or The Godfather (1972). Burton's 1992 sequel, Batman Returns is equally as great and even takes the series into a direction that's more complex and provoking which Joel Shumaker ignored. While Christopher Nolan's Batman films have stolen the popularity of Burton's, I would argue that his will go down in history as Hollywood classics.


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