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Batman (1989)

PG-13 | | Action, Adventure | 23 June 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:22 | Trailer
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Director:

Tim Burton

Writers:

Bob Kane (Batman characters), Sam Hamm (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
737 ( 17)
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 Gordon
Billy Dee Williams ... Harvey Dent
Michael Gough ... Alfred
Jack Palance ... Grissom
Jerry Hall ... Alicia
Tracey Walter ... Bob the Goon
Lee Wallace ... Mayor
William Hootkins ... 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:

Justice is always Darkest before the Dawn. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the comics, the Joker I between 6'0" - 6'4" (depending on the writer), Jack Nicholson is 5'10. See more »

Goofs

(at around 6 mins) At the beginning of the movie, on the rooftop, Batman pulls out a batarang to catch the fleeing crook. The batarang is matte black, ridged, and hinged in the middle. Once it's around the crook's ankle, though, it's shiny black, smooth and all one piece. 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

Lee logo during end credits See more »

Alternate Versions

The original (non Special-Edition version) Region-1 DVD actually contains two different versions of the film. The fullscreen version is the theatrical version, the widescreen version has one brief shot replaced. It is a small scene near the end at 1:54:06 just before Batman fights the Joker in the Clocktower. In the fullscreen version Vicki Vale gets a disgusted look when she kisses the Jokers jacket and pulls a lint out of her mouth, however in the widescreen version she really seems to like it. See more »

Connections

Version of The New Batman Adventures (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
Written by Joe Hayden, Theodore A. Metz (as Theodore A. Metz)
Performed by Jack Nicholson
See more »

User Reviews

Batman(1989) vs Dark Knight(2008)
19 August 2008 | by korben_dallas-2See all my reviews

After the recent press storm and domination at the box office of The Dark Knight I tried to get my head around comparing the two films. I'll be clear, I disregard films 3 and 4 of the original franchise,(ie. Val Kilmer and George Clooney as Batman), these were terrible films which pale next to Michael Keatons portrayal.

Everyone went a little crazy about Heath Ledger's posthumous portrayal of the Joker, however now that I've seen the film, I really can't agree. He looks out of his depth and just doesn't carry it off. Jack Nicholson was born to play that role, he lives and breathes that part in his daily life, so all they had to do was add some makeup and a facial prosthetic to increase the size of that already huge grin and he was ready to go.

To start with thats where the Burton films have an edge, beyond that there's Batman himself. Just like the Bond series, where there has been a reinvention and the casting of a young talent, Connery, for me and like many others, is the original and best Bond. The same goes for Batman, in terms of film adaptations, Keaton is the most versatile and adept at playing Bruce Wayne and Batman. For starters you just have to reference Beetlejuice and you'' see a screen stealing performance. Upon its release in 1989, Burton and Keaton, in that order, took Batman to a darker place in the conscious of the general non-comic reading public. Keatons Bruce Wayne, was shy, yet outspoken and slyly comedic at the same time. Current less observant Dark Knight fans will fail to notice this, as its something called depth, which current Batman(Christian Bale) only barely captures. As Batman, Keaton is hard and to the point with shades of Bruce coming through when he interacts. All Bale can muster is a silly lower and throaty voice. Given, the gadgets and cars have come along in technology, and thats great, we'd all love material that reacts to electricity and allows us to have a cape, which becomes a hand glider....but it doesn't hide some cinematic flaws.

Before I draw a close on the bad points of the new film, I'd like to honourably mention Aaron Eckhart's portrayal of Harvey Dent. It was awfully scripted, and post burning of the face scene, where his injured eye is moving around like something from 'The Mummy', that was just hard to watch, after seeing a potentially great film, move into the 'good' category.

The better points of the film are many, and in particular Michael Caine(as Alfred) and Morgan Freeman(as Lucius Fox). The original Alfred(Michael Gough), was excellent, but Caine produces some of the best one liners available. They really should have used more of him, as he brought the air of a master with him.

I read a review which compared the Dark Knight with 'Empire Strikes Back', 'Jaws', 'The Godfather', that person, who was English, should really sit with the stereotype middle American, ie stupid. Those films are cinematic reference points, in breaking new ground. The Dark Knight really isn't, its on a bandwagon of the new action genre, ie the one that the Bourne series really brought into the mainstream.

Both films are great, in many ways, but for me, the 1989 version is the winner.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

23 June 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Batman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,489,746, 25 June 1989

Gross USA:

$251,348,343

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$411,556,825
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| DTS (DVD version)| Dolby Digital (DVD)| Dolby Atmos (Blu-ray release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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