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Film / Batman and Robin Serial

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No, not that Batman & Robin.

The sequel to Batman's film debut, the 1943 movie The Batman, Batman and Robin was released in 1949 by Columbia Pictures and served as a sequel serial, consisting of fifteen chapters in a similar way as the original. Robert Lowery played Batman, while Johnny Duncan played Robin. Supporting players included Jane Adams as Vicki Vale and veteran character actor Lyle Talbot as Commissioner Gordon.

The plot dealt with the duo facing off against the Wizard, a hooded villain whose identity remains a mystery throughout the serial until the end. The serial covers their adventures in attempting to thwart the Wizard's nefarious deeds.

See also The Batman for the original Batman film. This along with the film serial before it also inspired the 1960s TV series.


The Batman and Robin serial provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Canon Immigrant: Vicki Vale's brother Jimmy.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Vicki Vale's brother Jimmy finds out Batman is Bruce Wayne. Guess who doesn't survive to the end of the episode?
  • Everybody Laughs Ending
  • His Name Is...: This happens to a news reporter who is about to reveal the Wizard's identity. Fortunately, he got better.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: The Wizard, courtesy of cheap flashing LEDs.
  • Informed Attribute: "Stately" Wayne Manor seems to be a six-room single-floor house, not a mansion.note  Prof. Hammil, by comparison, has an absolutely gigantic estate and a sprawling, elegantly appointed home with its own secret passage, but it's never once mentioned.
    • Similarly, the narration refers to Batman and Robin as "glamorous figures that vanish as suddenly as they appear" — while they're stumbling very conspicuously out of their Mercury in costumes best suited for kids' party entertainers.
  • Name and Name
  • Non-Indicative Title:
    • Episodes "Robin's Wild Ride" and "Robin Rescues Batman" are bald-faced lies. Robin never has a wild ride,note  and he certainly doesn't rescue Batman at any point in the episode. "Target—Robin!" implies the Wizard hasn't targeted Robin until this episode. He's always targeted the dynamic duo. The reason for this is that the episode titles were written far in advance of the actual scripts, to entice theater owners into exhibiting the series. The screenwriters paid little attention to the episode titles when they were doing the actual writing.
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    • Averted, of sorts, with The Wizard. The name does not come from a magical wizard like Merlin, but it's actually a reference to Thomas Edison, "The Wizard of Menlo Park."
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: The Wizard's "hypnotic eyes" are flashing LEDs.
  • Plot Twist: The series had been hinting strongly that the wheelchair-ridden Professor, who used some device to make himself walk normally, was the Wizard. It was his valet's twin brother instead.
  • Spoiler Title: Episode 15, "Batman Victorious."
  • Techno Wizard
  • Thememobile: Like the first serial, the budget didn't allow for a separate Batmobile, so Batman and Robin drive around in Bruce Wayne's Mercury. Lampshaded when Vicki Vale asks Batman if Bruce Wayne knows that Batman is using his car.
  • Traintop Battle: It wouldn't be an action-adventure serial of any kind without one.
  • The Valet Did It
  • A Wizard Did It: Literally, except not.


Example of: