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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
514 ( 42)
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:

Only one will claim the night. See more »

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:

Batman 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

(at around 35 mins) The surgical tools used to "reconstruct" the Joker's face are the same props as the dental tools used by Steve Martin on Bill Murray in Little Shop of Horrors (1986). Coincidentally, Jack Nicholson appeared in Murray's role in the original The Little Shop of Horrors (1960). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 50 mins) When Batman fights with the Joker's men atop the Cathedral at the end, the fights are very loud and involve all sorts of yelling, punching, kicking, and object breakage. The Joker and Vicki are seen dancing a mere few feet away, yet both are entirely oblivious to Batman's presence until after the fighting is over. Joker is forcing Vicki to dance, however, and his obliviousness is quite obviously purposeful. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The 4K remaster has an altered color palette, and a sound mix done in Dolby Atmos with new sound FX replacing old ones and changes to volumes in certain lines. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ang mahiwagang daigdig ni Elias Paniki (1989) 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

 
Dark and Doomy
21 November 2000 | by CuriosityKilledShawnSee all my reviews

If you were around in summer 1989 then you'll remember that Bat-fever was EV-ER-Y-WHERE! You couldn't look anywhere without seeing the Bat Logo in some incarnation. The film was a mega-hit. People were queueing up around the block for hours (the literal meaning of a blockbuster).

The marketing team at Warner had to saturate the minds of the public with the big-screen coming of the Dark Knight. Up until this point the Batman series from the 1960s is how people regarded the Batman character and universe. Tim Burton corrected all that by giving us a dark, sinister and Gothic world with rich production design and a great score by Danny Elfman (who has made a career out of recycling the same old generic cues in nearly every movie he has scored). The original material is respected (to a degree), and the characters are deep instead of just campy.

Michael Keaton is the best Bruce Wayne in my opinion. When he plays both Bruce Wayne and Batman you have to watch what he doesn't say and doesn't do. He's a rich, socio-phobic megalomaniac who has more money than sense. This is very different from Adam West's turtleneck playboy.

Jack Nicholson is a great Joker too, not quite as intimidating or as iconic as Heath Ledger's take on the character, but still a role that has defined his career in a way. Nicholson's Joker isn't much more than an attention-seeking lunatic. But it's still nothing like Caesar Romero's campy, hopping-skipping-and-jumping villain.

Anton Furst's Oscar-winning design of Gotham City is very original and unique, and is very much in the style of the Comic book. The smoke-blackened, cramped and claustrophobic 1920s buildings look and create a very oppressive atmosphere. This is definitely GOTHam City. Not LA like the TV series.

They didn't even make any attempt with that show did they? In fact the Batcave in the TV series was like the set of a mad scientists lab from a 1950s movie. But the REAL Batcave in this movie is a monstrous cavern filled with stalagmites and it actually HAS bats in it. And there's no fireman's pole leading into it.

With Christopher Nolan's reboot of the franchise currently the only Batman worth considering for most fans, it'd be a shame if you were to let this go ignored. It may not be as mature as Nolan's work but it has an edge that no other recent comic-book movie has.

It's NOT an origin story. There's no 60 precious minutes on a build-up, it just goes straight to the action. Why can't more comic-book movies do this?


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