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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
595 ( 106)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vicki Vale didn't go up the cathedral in original drafts of the climax, but Kim Basinger was eager to expand her role and worked with Jon Peters to write her character into the climax. See more »

Goofs

Batman says that hairspray, lipstick, and perfume all worn by the same person will kill them because The Joker has poisoned them, yet Vicki Vale is likely to be wearing all three of those things throughout the entire movie and yet she is completely immune to The Joker's poison.

The Joker only recently poisoned new products. Make-up products (depending on how often you use them) can last for months. She (and other women in Gotham) are fine, as long as they only use the stock that they had already bought, before the Joker poisoned the new products. 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

On the 4K remastered disc, a Government of India Film Certification certificate is seen on screen following the closing credits roll. 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

Spoofed in Karma - Ich komme wieder (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Vicki Waiting
Written, Produced and Performed by Prince
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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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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