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Film / Batman: The Movie

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"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"

Batman: The Movie is a full-length feature film directed by Leslie H. Martinson and released in 1966. It is based on the then-popular Batman TV series, which itself was based on a series of popular comic books. It came out towards the end of the first run of the series' first season.

The movie stars Adam West and Burt Ward as our Dynamic Duo as they rush to prevent The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler and the Penguin (played respectively by Cesar Romero, Lee Meriwether, Frank Gorshin, and Burgess Meredith) from taking over the world. Hilarity Ensues.

This movie is technically the very first example of a superhero feature film (not theatrical, that would be 1943's Film Serial The Batman) from a major Hollywood studio, preceding Richard Donner's Superman by 12 years. Previous efforts to bring DC and Marvel characters to the big screen were limited to matinee serials, cartoons, and the 58-minute indie film Superman & the Mole Men, which at less than an hour, would be considered a short.

For the 1989 movie directed by Tim Burton, see Batman (1989).

Bat-Tropes Include:

  • Affectionate Parody: Just like the show.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Robin is truly sad when he realizes the rehydrated Guinea Pigs were permanently turned into anti-matter and thus Killed Off for Real.
  • Alliterative Name: The characters are particularly wordy when describing one another such as Batman calling the villains "pompous penguin" or "feline fatale", etc.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Yes it looks like spandex, but keep in mind that Batman wasn't even hurt by that shark, despite the length of time it was biting on his leg and the fact he was lifted into the air, with nothing else to support the animal's weight.
  • Artistic License – Military: Neither the model nor the full-scale version of the submarine is of a class that can launch Polaris missiles. Rule of Funny is in effect.
  • Aside Comment: Robin's "Support Your Police" line is delivered directly at the camera to show he's addressing the audience.
  • Assassination Attempt: The villains plan to "de-hydrate" the United World Security Councilnote  and throw the world into chaos, which initially seems to be some kind of assassination. This expectation is subverted when it turns out water can be applied to rehydrate them, turning their plot into a hostage scheme.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: Ye Olde Benbow Taverne.
  • Bar Brawl: Going on in the Taverne when Catwoman (dressed in her Miss Kitka disguise) walks in. Well, two of them, actually, on each side of the room with people eating casually in between.
  • Bat Deduction:
    • At its finest. The Dynamic Duo, Commissioner Gordon, and Chief O'Hara are attempting to figure out who loosed the exploding shark on the Caped Crusader:
      Batman: Pretty fishy what happened to me on that ladder.
      Gordon: You mean, where there's a fish, there could be a Penguin.
      Robin: But wait! It happened at sea! "Sea...?" "C" for Catwoman!
      Batman: Yet — that exploding shark was pulling my leg!
      Gordon: The Joker!
      O'Hara: It all adds up to a sinister riddle... Riddle-er. Riddler?!
  • Bat-thos: All over the place, but the finest is probably Batman and Robin somberly lamenting the Heroic Sacrifice of a random porpoise that swam in front of a torpedo meant for the dynamic duo (offscreen, of course).
  • Batman Gambit: Ironically, pulled off by the Penguin.
  • Bat Signal: Literally, of course.
  • Battle Butler: Alfred gets to drive the Batmobile and wear a mask...while making sure his driver's license is safely in his front pocket, of course.
  • Beeping Computer: The Bat Computer does this while operating.
  • Behind the Black: Despite standing right next to him, Robin can't see Batman hiding behind a pile of pipes.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Catwoman, Penguin, the Joker, and the Riddler. Penguin is the main mastermind and "captain" of the submarine, Riddler helps with planning and problem-solving, and Catwoman seduces Bruce Wayne. And the Joker is...just sort of...there. The only thing he contributes other than being a lackey is the goofy springboard they intend to trap Batman with.
    • Actually, Joker contributes to the cause by being the one who keeps Commodore Schmiddlapp in the dark as to what's going on, and (strangely enough) reins in the other villains' wilder impulses (telling Riddler to keep riddles out of his messages, breaking up the argument with Penguin and Riddler at the beginning, etc.). He's also the only villain who keeps his head when Batman attacks the submarine with depth charges during the climax, giving the order to surface. And Joker makes it clear to Penguin that he's not just another Mook when Penguin yells at him for leaning on the submarine's control panel.
      Joker: Don't sound so bossy, if you please!
  • Big Electric Switch: Activates the Instant Bat Costume Change device between the poles going down to the Batcave.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The song being sung at the nightclub Bruce Wayne takes Miss Kitka to is Plaisir D'Amour, and in spite of the pretty melody is actually about heartbreak and loss. The line that plays when Batman flashes back to it at the end of the film literally means "The pain of love lasts but a moment, the grief of love lasts a lifetime."
  • Blatant Lies: When Commodore Schmidlapp questions The Joker on his sickly complexion, The Joker says it's due to his duties as a steward keeping him below decks most of the time.
    • What makes this doubly hilarious — apart from Joker being more than just a bit pale — is that this is the only thing the otherwise oblivious Commodore thinks is amiss.
  • Bomb Disposal: Famously gives Batman some trouble.
  • Bookcase Passage: The entrance to the Batcave.
  • Broken Aesop: When reconstructing the world leaders, Robin suggests that they alter their personalities for the betterment of the world. Batman shoots the idea down with a "who are we to play God"-esque line. Cut to after they've done it successfully and it turns out the world leaders have apparently had their native languages switched around. Batman is perfectly fine with it and said it's a good thing for the exact reason he shot down Robin's suggestion. To be fair, there is a difference: Robin suggested doing it deliberately, which Batman refused, but when it happened anyway by random chance, Batman lets it slide. After all, who is to say the mix-up was not part of a divine plan?
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Bruce Wayne and Miss Kitka are kidnapped by the rest of the United Underworld and held as bait to lure Batman into a trap. Unbeknownst to the kidnappers, Bruce is Batman, so Batman cannot show up and save them.
  • Camp: Raised to an art form.
  • Captain Oblivious: Commodore Schmiddlapp really takes the cake. How do you not figure out something's wrong when you're on a boat and never allowed to leave your own room while the only service is a clown in a purple suit?note 
  • Catchphrase:
    • Robin's usage of "Holy _____!"
    • On the DVD menu screen, viewers get to hear:
      Robin: Holy interactive menus, Batman!
      Batman: Yes Robin, must be some kind of high tech navigational device; ingenious.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Some days you just can't get rid of one...
  • Cats Are Mean: Scheming about clawing Batman sure isn't nice.
  • Cats Hate Water: As Catwoman is sure to remind us. In this case, however, it's more than justified as the submarine is in danger of flooding, meaning the villains would drown.
  • Chronic Villainy: When the other villains yell at Riddler to stop leaving clues, he retorts that he just can't help himself because trying to outwit Batman is his life's greatest pleasure.
  • Clark Kenting: Catwoman/Miss Kitka, though the combination of Catwoman’s mask and Kitka’s Russian accent does make it plausible to not connect the two together. However, this also assumes that Batman and Robin have never seen Catwoman unmasked, which is unlikely since she has been previously caught and imprisoned.
  • Composite Character: Weirdly enough, the Riddler acts a lot more Joker-like than the Joker does, even though the Joker himself is present, albeit not in a major role. Justified, as Riddler is like this in the show as well, and this movie came before the two characters were more fleshed-out and individualized.
  • Computer Equals Tapedrive: The Bat Computer has large tape drives. At least one has an Expo Label.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: A man in such a garb is running down a dark alley in the opening credits.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The Batcopter crash landing at Foam Rubber Wholesalers' Convention.
    Robin: A giant cake of foam rubber! What are the chances?
    Batman: I'd say the odds against it would make even the most reckless gambler cringe!
  • Cool Bike: The Batcycle.
  • Cool Boat: The Batboat and Penguin's pre-atomic submarine.
  • Cool Car: The Lincoln Futura Batmobile.
  • Cool Garage: The Batcave.
  • Cool Plane: The Batcopter.
  • Cool Sidecar: The Batcycle has one.
  • Copycat Cover: The most recent DVD/blu-ray cover resembles the design of its succeeding films, suggesting that the film is supposed to be Darker and Edgier than it is.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: The United World Security Council. Once they are reduced to powder they become an Amazing Technicolor Population.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Catwoman says a variant of this phrase about the Penguin's Unspoken Plan. "I say it's crazy, but let's try it anyway."
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Shark Repellent Bat Spray, among other things.
    • He also has Repellent Bat Sprays for Manta-Rays, Barracudas, and Whales. In his helicopter.
  • Dating Catwoman: Played for Drama. Bruce Wayne's love interest in the film, Miss Kitka, is actually a disguise for Catwoman. Bruce deeply falls for Kitka, and so when he finds out she's been a criminal this whole time, he's absolutely devastated.
  • Deadly Dodging: During the big free-for-all fight at the end, Batman ducks under a punch from the Joker, which hits the Riddler who was behind him and sends Riddler tumbling in the sea.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Adam West and Burt Ward do a bit of snarking in the commentary track.
  • Deathtrap: The Exploding Shark, The Magnetic Buoy, The Spring-Loaded Jack-in-the-Box, and of course, A Bomb.
  • Dedication: "ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We wish to express our gratitude to the enemies of crime and crusaders against crime throughout the world for their inspirational example. To them, and to lovers of adventure, lovers of pure escapism, lovers of unadulterated entertainment, lovers of the ridiculous and the bizarre — To funlovers everywhere — This picture is respectfully dedicated. If we have overlooked any sizable groups of lovers, we apologize. —THE PRODUCERS"
  • Demoted to Extra: While Catwoman, the Penguin, and the Riddler all play critical roles in the plans against Batman, the Joker is essentially a glorified henchman. His only major responsibility is servicing Commodore Schmidlapp and providing the springboard for the jack-in-the-box trap.
    • Upon repeat viewing, fans should note that Joker (strangely) acts as almost the peacemaker and mediator for the group, keeping their baser impulses in check and keeping them from killing each other. So though his role here is drastically different from how he's usually portrayed, Joker's front and center for all the important scenes and takes a hand in plotting just like the rest; he's no mere lackey by any means.
  • Deus ex Machina: Batman and Robin are magnetically trapped and unable to move as a torpedo hurtles toward them. All seems lost before we cut to the Dynamic Duo driving away on their boat as they somberly explain that a porpoise popped out of nowhere and bravely swam in the way of the torpedo, saving their lives.
  • Dirty Old Man: Alfred seems very, umm, reluctant to turn off the Bat-surveillance when Bruce is making out with 'Miss Kitka', although this could also just be him following his orders more strictly than Robin is willing to.
  • Dogpile Of Doom: There's a scene where the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin, and their accompanying goon squad burst in on Bruce and Kitka (the disguised Catwoman) to kidnap them. Bruce (who can't use his full fighting prowess for fear of exposing his Batman identity) manages to deck a few Mooks before they Zerg Rush and dogpile him. The Penguin opts to climb to the very top of the pile so that he may squawk in triumph and open his umbrella, because at this point in this crazy-ass flick, why the hell not.
  • Driving a Desk: The Batmobile and Batboat.
  • Dull Surprise: The normally hammy Riddler seems utterly shocked that his riddling missile takes down the Batcopter.
  • Dunking the Bomb: Batman is repeatedly thwarted in his effort(s) to do this with a Cartoon Bomb.
  • Dutch Angle: Every shot of the crooks' hideout is crooked.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: As in the series proper, the Batcave is a sizable garage filled with the Dynamic Duo's vehicles, gadgetry, and scientific equipment.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After the "Freaky Friday" Flip that seems to defy the Status Quo Is God, Batman and Robin going out inconspicuously through the window. Then we see The End superimposed in the screen. A second later, they add the word living and a question mark: ''The Living End?"
  • Enforced Method Acting: Possible in-universe example when Penguin is posing as Commodore Schmidlapp. His awe at seeing and standing in the Batcave does seem genuine.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: After dehydrating his 5 "guinea pigs," the Penguin remarks to Catwoman to be careful scooping up their remains as "Each of them has a mother."
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Even the other villains think Riddler and his riddle-compulsion is a little out there.
    • You will never see the Joker angrily say, "You're mad, Riddler," when pushed too far anywhere else.
    • After dehydrating a bunch of mooks, as his men collect the powder, Penguin goes out of his way to admonish them to be careful not to miss any specks of them, as "every one of them has a mother". This actually leads to a Mood Whiplash later in the film for those who remember this scene.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Riddler, Joker, Penguin.
  • Evil Laugh: Astonishingly, just like in the series itself, The Riddler outdoes the Joker in this adaptation, partly because Frank Gorshin was hammier than Cesar Romero.
  • Excuse Me, Coming Through!: With a bomb!
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: While Batman, Robin, Gordon, and O'Hara are trying to figure out what four supervillains plan to do together, Batman realizes that said supervillains have enough ambition to take over the world.
  • Expo Label:
    • Just like the series, everything is labeled, down to "Abandoned Elevator," "Bat Ladder," and "Closed Circuit TV."
    • On the DVD, the menu has everything labelled as "Bat Extras!" "Bat Scenes," and "Bat Movie!"
  • Expospeak:
    • The Press Conference and conversation following in Commissioner Gordon's Office.
      Catwoman: United? We're about as united as the United World Council on Gotham East River.
    • Batman hilariously narrates his own attempts at escape from the magnetic buoy.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • The United World Security Council takes the cake, unable to notice the criminals' entrance or the fact that the members are disappearing one by one.
    • Commodore Schmidlapp doesn't even know he's been captured.
  • Faux Action Girl: Catwoman can plan and scheme with the best of them, but when it comes to actually fighting Batman, she'd just as soon sit this one out. She does sneak up on him during the climactic fight scene and shove him off the boat, though...
  • Femme Fatale: Ms. Kitka/Catwoman manages to play on Bruce Wayne's love and honor to make him fall right into the villains' trap.
  • Fictional United Nations: The United World, a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of the real United Nations.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In the end, Batman's attempt at rehydrating the United World Security Council ends with a "mixing of minds," an Ironic Echo to Robin's suggestion to do that on purpose to try and accelerate progress to world peace. Batman shoots the idea down, citing the fate of the five Guinea Pigs as proof that they shouldn't try to tamper with the laws of Mother Nature.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Catwoman masquerades as a writer from the Moscow Bugle named Kitayna Ireyna Tatanya Kerenska Alisoff...but suggested that Bruce call her KITKA for short. He even comments that it's a charming acronym.
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire movie.
  • General Failure: The only plot-carrying action that we see Vice Admiral Fangschliester do is sell a pre-atomic sub to a Mr. P.N. Gwynne, who doesn't even leave a full address. When not talking to Batman, he is shown playing tiddlywinks with his aide.
  • Glad I Thought of It:
    • Penguin only orders torpedoes fired after Riddler suggests it first.
    • Also inverted: Batman says that Robin remarked about how a sea-going vessel couldn’t just vanish, when it was he who said it himself earlier at the press meeting.
  • Got the Whole World in My Hand: The United Underworld emblem of an octopus squeezing the Earth.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: United World Security. Though Penguin does have to knock a bunch of them out with sleeping gas, there are no guards at all in the meeting room. They're still worried about guards at this point, so apparently there's an elite group of guards that they found a path around. Also, if the end of the movie is any indication, the villains could have gone through the window and bypassed every guard.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: At one point, The Joker and The Riddler have a laugh-off as tensions flare.
  • Harmless Voltage: The Joker uses electric joy buzzers on the Penguin and the Riddler.
  • Heroic BSoD: Batman is stunned into a thousand-yard stare for quite a long time once Catwoman is revealed to be Kitka.
  • Heroic Dolphin: A porpoise jumps in front of a torpedo to save Batman and Robin and dies off-screen.
  • Hidden Wire: As well as hidden cameras. Where those devices are planted is quite the puzzle.
  • High-Class Glass: The Penguin uses one to complement his top hat, tuxedo, and cigarette holder.
  • Hit Flash: Onomatopoeia flashes on the screen during much of the film's climactic battle royale atop the submarine.
  • Hologram: The disappearing yacht.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite the fact that he and Alfred are specifically supposed to be watching Batman's date to make sure nothing happens to Ms. Kitka, Robin turns off the view-screen in the Batmobile during the make-out session because it would be dishonorable to play voyeur to their romance. Particularly dumb since he had just, moments earlier, started a ruse to lure the villains into striking.
  • Hope Spot: The United World Security Council appears to have been successfully rehydrated without any problems...until they start talking.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: The recently escaped Bruce Wayne walks nonchalantly back to Wayne Manor and tells Dick they have a "Fish Hatchery Demonstration" to attend. He also brushes off Commissioner Gordon to go back to Police Headquarters to await Batman's call.
  • Idiot Ball: The nuns, the marching band, and the mother from the "bomb disposal" scene. Robin deciding not to keep tabs on Bruce out of modesty. Batman not recognizing his sworn enemy Catwoman snogging him, even though she lets out her trademark purr and makes a bunch of cat puns, including her fake name. The villains repeatedly falling for the "we hear an explosion, let's assume they're dead" mistake. The United World Security Council continuing to bicker and dicker as their members are being turned to powder one by one.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Adam West, Burt Ward, and Lee Meriwether had to be sewn into their costumes.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The villains accidentally manage to shoot down the Batcopter with a ballistic missile, which isn't at all intended to hit an airborne target and indeed was not what they were trying to do with it.
  • Improvised Zip Line: During the battle on the submarine, the Penguin uses his umbrella to slide down a wire and knock down Batman with a kick.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: The Penguin's bomb is a black orb with a burning fuse going down, as opposed to something a little more realistic.
  • Innocent Bystanders: Exaggerated Trope, as everywhere Batman goes to dispose of a bomb in the third act, a new group of innocents appears to prevent him from disposing of it. Whether it be a pair of nuns, a group of tourists, a family of ducks, or a restaurant full of people, it looks like some days you just can't get rid of a bomb.
  • Insane Troll Logic: All of the Bat Deductions, not to mention that throughout the film Batman takes rash actions based on what the audience knows, but he himself could not know for certain. This is especially true when it comes to depth charging the submarine.
  • Instant People: Just Add Water!: Anyone dehydrated into powder can instantly be restored to full size if water is applied to them. This helps the Penguin sneak goons into the Batcave, but it ends up deconstructed when heavy water is used, causing the mooks to disintegrate upon contact with Batman. It's further deconstructed when the powders of the world leaders are mixed together, leaving them all speaking different languages upon adding water.
    • The scene where the mooks disintegrate is also an example of Artistic License – Physics and Artistic License – Biology, as even if it were possible to bring the mooks back to life with heavy water, it wouldn't cause the effects seen in the movie.note 
  • Instant Sedation: The Penguin's knockout gas and Batman's Bat-Gas.
  • Invisible President: Lyndon B. Johnson "appears" in a high backed chair to wish the Duo luck in restoring the World Leaders.
  • Kick the Dog: Batman cites the United Underworld's use of a helpless shark as their pawn as proof of them having no good among them.
  • Knockout Gas: Batman and the Penguin each use a gas that causes instant unconsciousness (called Bat-Gas and Penguin Gas, respectively).
  • Large Ham: The entire cast is an example of some kind, and it's one of the movie's main selling points.
  • Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Bruce and Kitka's making out prompts Robin to turn off the screen displaying the hidden camera's view. Not to mention a kissing couple in the opening credits. Also, in a fairly extreme example, Batman refrains from dropping the Cartoon Bomb on a couple in a rowboat.
  • Leitmotif: Each of the villains has one.
  • Legion of Doom: The United Underworld is an alliance of the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman joined together to take over the world with their combined wile.
  • Lzherusskie: In-Universe example as Catwoman poses as an Intrepid Reporter from Moscow.
  • Made of Explodium: Played with concerning the shark and the unseen octopus. They explode, but only because they've had explosives cruelly implanted in their stomachs.
  • Magical Computer: The Bat Computer. How Robin can tell the position of buoys from a readout made entirely of blinking lights is quite a mystery.
  • Male Gaze:
    • There's a topless female statue in the hall of the United World; it can be difficult not to notice how many shots include it.
    • Not to mention the entire office building rooftop of bikini-clad women jumping up and down and waving at the Bat-copter as it flies overhead. Robin's smirk says it all.
  • Merchandise-Driven: The use of the Batcopter, Batboat, and Batcycle were meant to sell toys and other tie-in products. Not to mention that the film was made in order to help sell the series overseas. The movie also justified the expense in building these vehicles, which were seen in the TV series after the film mostly through stock shots reused from it.
  • Mobstacle Course: The famous bomb run.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Things momentarily take a very sombre tone when the Penguin's rehydrated pirates vanish, and Batman confirms that they're very much gone forever (see Never Say "Die" below). This is amplified by the fact that earlier in the film Penguin takes pains to mention that every one of those men has a mother. This also means that, technically, the usually non-deadly Batman and Robin have just unwittingly killed a number of people.
    • Also, when Batman finds out that Catwoman and "Kitka" are the same person at the end of a fun fight scene. The music stops, and Batman slowly looks up with a shellshocked look in his eyes. Robin tries to console him, but Batman dismisses him and reminds him they need to focus on saving the day and bringing justice to Gotham.
  • Mood-Swinger: The Riddler goes from icily calm and rational to absolutely giggling nuts in a moment throughout the movie.
  • Mooks: The appropriately named "Guinea Pigs."
  • The Movie: For the 1966 Adam West series of the same name. The main characters and their four antagonists all hail from the show and continue to appear in the series after the events of the film.
  • Mundane Utility: Rather than use the Polaris missiles as weapons or an extortion threat,note  the baddies let the Riddler shoot them off to skywrite riddles for Batman and Robin.
  • "Nations of the World" Montage: At the climax, the entire world waits to see whether Batman and Robin can rehydrate the members of the stand in for the United Nations Security Council, after their dehydrated piles of powder got mixed together. "Success, success! They've done it! They've done it!"
  • Never Say "Die":
    • After the Penguin's minions are destroyed during the Batcave battle:
      Robin: Antimatter? You mean...they won't be coming back?
      Batman: No, Robin...not in this universe.
    • On the other hand, inverted for O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
      Bruce Wayne: I swear to heaven if you hurt her I will kill you all!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The face of the President of the United States is hidden by his high-backed armchair while he strokes his beagle.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The United World Building in Gotham as a stand-in for the United Nations Building in New York.
  • No Conservation of Mass: Dehydrating a fully grown adult male produces about a pound of powder and maybe two pounds of water. Rehydrating them takes about as much. Where the other 98% of their mass goes is anyone's guess.
  • No OSHA Compliance: It's not lingered on, but a single switch is the only difference between the Batcave's water dispenser pumping out clean drinking water and "the heavy water we use in recharging the atomic pile" — the same atomic pile into which a woman fell to her death in the very first episode of the TV series.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Both the United World Security Council and the United Underworld.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Catwoman says this to the Penguin after the United Underworld captures the United World delegates, just before they learn that Batman and Robin are pursuing the submarine in which the villains are escaping.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: In the various fight scenes, the Riddler looks nothing like Frank Gorshin, the actor who plays him the rest of the time.
  • Officer O'Hara: Chief O'Hara.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Just as the Dynamic Duo are magnetically stuck to a buoy with a missile headed right towards them, the scene suddenly cuts to them driving away in the Bat-Boat as they solemnly discuss how tragic it was that a heroic porpoise swam between them and the missile, giving its life to save theirs.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: The "Guinea Pigs," rehydrated with heavy water, are highly unstable and easily dispatched, vaporizing with one blow.
  • Only Sane Man: Penguin Mook Mr. Bluebeard makes this trope hilariously evident when he gives Catwoman a look of utterly disturbed bewilderment during one of her signature purring fits.
  • Out-Gambitted: Penguin manages to attack the Dynamic Duo inside the Batcave and then steals the Batmobile. Due to the homing beacon hidden in the Batmobile beforehand, he just ends up leading Batman to his lair.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The bomb scene is one of the most iconic (and funniest) film examples, as it just keeps going on and on as Batman keeps running into obstacles like a woman with a baby carriage, a group of nuns, a Salvation Army band, a family of ducks...
  • Paper-Thin Disguise
    • The Penguin, during his masquerade as Commodore Schmidlapp, not to mention the masks worn by any of our villains or by Robin.
    • Catwoman and especially the Riddler continually put their masks on and take them off in each others' presence, which makes you wonder why they bother to wear them around each other at all. At one point, the Joker can be seen wearing a purple domino mask (that matches his suit!) for no reason.
    • Who could forget "Mr. P.N. Gwynne?"
    • Justified with Catwoman, since Batman hasn't actually seen her with her mask off yet and thus neither he nor the police know that "Ms. Kitka" and Catwoman are one and the same. Furthermore, since Kitka dresses up a lot and wears a lot of hats / hairstyles, she really is somewhat unrecognizable.
  • Parasol of Pain: The Penguin's umbrella not only functions as a umbrella, it's also a cigarette lighter, a makeshift sword, a club and a knockout gas dispenser.
  • Pet the Dog: Batman dodges goons all over the surfaced submarine to save Catwoman's cat. Which she threw at him.
  • The Plan: The Penguin gets to the Batcave. In turn, Batman finds Penguin's submarine.
  • Plunger Detonator: The Riddler uses a small one to detonate explosives and blow open a door into the United World building.
  • Potty Emergency: While not a literal example, the whole sequence of Batman trying to dispose of the bomb plays out in much the same way.
  • Pretty in Mink: Ms. Kitka wears a fur-trimmed coat on her date with Bruce.
  • Properly Paranoid: Penguin correctly anticipates that the Dynamic Duo will figure out how they made the Commodore's yacht vanish and investigate. While it wasn't an intended trap, he realizes they have a perfect opportunity to try and kill Batman and Robin in the open.
  • Purple Prose: Just about everyone talks in a way that sounds like scripted dramatics.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Commodore Schmidlap, always waiting on his tea. Another represents the United Kingdom at the United World Security Council. He even says "pip pip!"
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Burgess Meredith had created Penguin's wak wak! to camoflauge his coughs from smoking Penguin's omnipresent cigarettes.
  • Reduced to Dust: Commodore Schmidlapp's "instant whiskeymaker" can be used to remove all of the water from living creatures, reducing them to dust.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The premise for The Movie and the Batman (1966) TV series is that only Batman can fight supervillains. Zigzagged when Batman quickly refuses Robin's idea to better the world by making a "Freaky Friday" Flip with the United World Organization Security Council, arguing that they shouldn't try to tamper with the laws of Mother Nature. Then happens exactly that, (but arguably, the Status Quo Is God still applies) and Batman takes responsibility just before going out inconspicuously through the window.
    Batman: Who knows, Robin? This strange mixing of minds may be the greatest single service ever performed for humanity! Let's go, but, inconspicuously, through the window. We'll use our Batropes. Our job is finished.
  • Relocating the Explosion: Unable to defuse the bomb, Batman runs around with it until he can find somewhere it can explode harmlessly.
  • Reverse Polarity: Batman does this to his Bat Radio to destroy some torpedoes.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Hecate, Catwoman's black cat.
  • Rocket Ride: The Penguin's jet pack umbrellas are large enough to be ridden like a witch's broomstick by each member of the United Underworld.
  • Selective Magnetism: The buoy has a magnetic pull that can pull in the Dynamic Duo's utility belts with enough force to completely restrain them, but seems to have no influence on anything they pull from the belt, the torpedo, or their boat parked directly next to the buoy.
  • Sexophone: Plays while Bruce and Kitka are on their date, concluding with her asking if she should Slip into Something More Comfortable.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After the United Underworld kidnaps the United World Security Council and escapes to their submarine, Robin says that they'll escape via Short Island Sound (AKA Long Island Sound).
    • After the British United World delegate has been mixed with the Soviet, he uses his shoe to pound angrily on the desk during his rant — as Nikita Khruschev had notoriously done at the UN.
    • The Penguin's muttered line while piloting the submarine: "Run silent, run deep", which is the title of a famous WWII submarine film.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Ms. Kitka uses this line before appearing in a long pink nightgown.
  • Spoof Aesop: While climbing up the wall of Ye Olde Benbow Tavern, Batman pauses to remark to Robin that they won't be viewed as conspicuous due to the many drunkards hanging around the wharf (see Unusually Uninteresting Sight). Robin later takes the lesson a little too far by suggesting it'd have been a good thing if Batman had let the entire tavern blow up, with Batman having to remind him that alcoholics aren't totally irredeemable and shouldn't die in an explosion.
  • Spy Catsuit: Catwoman wears a black catsuit, fittingly enough.
  • Status Quo Is God: Zig-Zagged because the premise for The Movie and the Batman TV Series is that that incarnation of Batman only is useful to fight supervillains (and nothing more). He cannot change anything more in his world. Robin's idea to better the world by making a "Freaky Friday" Flip with the bickering United World Organization Security Council is quickly rejected by Batman. Then when this happens... The Security Council is still bickering between themselves, but each one of them is bickering in a different language. Batman realizes that Status Quo Is God and he and Robin go out inconspicuously through the window.
  • Stealth Parody:
    • On the DVD, Adam and Burt play it like this. Which, if you think about it, makes absolute sense. I mean, come on: insane Bat Deduction, impossible to believe stupidity (Commodore Schmidlap and the fake boat), the blatant moral lessons (the whole drunk speech), and shark repellent? And that's just a few of the more ridiculous things.
    • Further cemented in a book about the TV series, where one of the writers explained that they were aiming for Multiple Demographic Appeal: Kids who liked comicbooks would think Batman was cool, while those who were too cool for comics and understood irony would think Batman was hilarious.
  • Stock Footage: The Polaris missiles' launching. Scenes of the new Bat-Vehicles shot in the movie were also incorporated in the following seasons of the TV series. In one shot of the Polaris, the editors have attempted to make it look different by flipping the image so the fact that it's the same as the previous one will be less noticeable. Unfortunately, this just means that the word Polaris on the missile appears with all its letters facing the wrong way around.
  • Stop Trick: The guinea pig pirates' "dematerialization".
  • Sue Donym: The Penguin's nearly impenetrable alias of "P.N. Gwynne". Even Batman gets annoyed that the Navy actually fell for that one.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Despite Bruce Wayne's escape during Act Two and the imminent arrival of the GCPD (or rather Batman and Robin), United Underworld's strike on the United World building proceeds as planned. Even with their base about to be abandoned, Riddler rightly points out they can't postpone the operation. Their strike accounted for the Gotham River tide; they have to go now, otherwise their submarine won't be able to get through the channel.
  • Take Our Word for It:
    • A porpoise hurled himself in front of that last torpedo. Really.
    • There are a lot of bad guys on the sub in the climatic fight, but the only indicators of this is that they say so and there's a lot of yelling. Only one person is shown fighting Batman or Robin at a time. This goes beyond regular Mook Chivalry; the other bad guys aren't even in the shot waiting for their turn to attack; they're just not in the shot at all.
  • Take Over the World: Believed to be the United Underworld's minimum objective. Two villains with no powers teaming together must be trying to take over the city. Add one more, they're going for the country. All four? The world.
    • Ultimately subverted, as it turns out that despite all the zaniness the villains' plan essentially comes down to kidnapping a bunch of ambassadors and demanding a hefty ransom for them.
  • Taking the Bullet: The porpoise throwing itself in front of a torpedo to save the Dynamic Duo.
    Penguin: There ought to be a piscatorial statute!
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With their respective egos and personality quirks, United Underworld spends just as much time bickering amongst themselves as they do fighting Batman and Robin.
  • Tempting Fate: See Nothing Can Stop Us Now! under Stock Phrases above.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Catwoman's cabin and periscope are marked with a pink ribbon (as opposed to a cat).
  • Tested on Humans: The Penguin's test of the De-Hydrator on the "Guinea Pigs".
  • Title: The Adaptation: The theatrical poster and on-screen title of the film is merely Batman. Home video releases and TV listings have the film titled as Batman: The Movie, as does IMDb.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Exagerrated with Batman’s unwillingness to rid himself of the Cartoon Bomb if it were to kill any living thing. Batman utters the famous line, “Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb,” after refusing to throw the bomb at a family of ducks.
  • Threatening Shark: A shark attacks Batman as soon as he touches the water while on the Bat-ladder. And then it explodes, as it was booby trapped by the Penguin.
  • To the Batpole!: Batman and Robin have hidden poles that allow them to slide into the Batcave.
  • Trick-and-Follow Ploy: While carrying the Penguin in the Batmobile, Batman has car trouble and stops. The Penguin then gasses the Caped Crusaders and escapes in the Batmobile. Batman and Robin jump up (they had earlier taken Anti-Penguin Gas pills) and Batman reveals that the whole situation had been a cunning plan to get the Penguin to escape and lead them to the United Underworld headquarters.
  • Trivial Tragedy:
    • Both Batman and Robin mourn for a porpoise that had saved them from the Penguin's torpedo, itself an extremely jarring Deus ex Machina the audience only learns about after the fact.
    • In the climax, Batman is utterly devastated when he learns his beloved Miss Kitka is really Catwoman. His Heroic BSoD is Played for Laughs thanks to just how thin Catwoman's disguise was.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Catwoman rehearses the speech she'll use to gain Bruce Wayne's confidence. Cut to Bruce Wayne's response to "Ms. Kitka".
  • Un-Paused: The United World Security Council members are dehydrated while they're arguing with each other around a conference table. While dehydrated their molecules are mixed together, separated and thoroughly scrambled. When they're rehydrated they immediately pick up where they left off.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lampshaded by Robin and justified by Batman so we can learn An Aesop:
    Robin: When you think, Batman, with those four supercrooks hangin' around, it's amazing somebody hasn't already reported this place to the police!
    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.
    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!
    • Specifically, the two overweight women eating cheeseburgers in Ye Olde Benbow Taverne don’t seem to give a single fuck about the the masked man running down the stairs and out the door while carrying a bomb over his head.
  • Verbal Tic: Penguin's quack and Catwoman's purr. When The Riddler reveals his plan, each of them responds in rapid success with interjections that territorialize each one's personal idiom: The Penguin uses the Britishism "Capital!" while Joker responds with the theatric diva expression "Delicious!" and Catwoman, of course, calls the plan "Purrrrrfect!"
  • Villain Ball: All the villains hold it, but Riddler uses both hands, as even the other villains advise him not to add his riddles to their ransom notes. But it's worth noting that Riddler's regarded as the clear brains of the foursome and actually comes remarkably close to killing the Dynamic Duo twice, and it's not his riddles that cause him to fall short either time. First, his kidnapping scheme proceeded perfectly and his trap worked just as well, as a hapless henchman later discovered; the flaw in the plan was that Riddler and the others simply didn't know that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Similarly, when his Polaris missile unintentionally takes out the Batcopter, the only thing that saves the lives of the heroes is the fact that they crash-land at the Foam Rubber Wholesalers' Convention.
  • Villain Has a Point: During their cabal's first scene together, Catwoman finds Joker, Penguin, and Riddler bickering and their egos clashing. Catwoman blasts her colleagues; they're suppoused to be the United Underworld, after all. Riddler (and eventually the others) grudgingly concedes she's got a point. They're about to execute the greatest criminal scheme of their careers — one that that will become the stuff of legend if they triumph — and it'll all be for nothing if they don't all swallow their pride.
  • Villain Team-Up: The four antagonists of the film normally work alone, but for this one time, they've decided to combine their efforts to defeat Batman.
  • Villainous Harlequin: The Joker. Kinda.
  • Voodoo Shark: The costume change lever on the Batpole. It explains the change in costume when they slide down, but it sure doesn't explain how.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: Penguin quacks whenever he's woken up.
  • Weirdness Censor
    • Why no one has reported the United Underworld activities. Batman blames alcohol in a low end neighborhood.
    • The United World Security Council not noticing the villains entering the room. You could chalk it up to them being distracted by their arguments.
    • Commodore Schmidlapp doesn't recognize the Joker, mentioning only that he looks deathly pale. The Joker hand-waves this by explaining that he hasn't gotten much sun from being in a submarine all the time.
  • "What Now?" Ending: The Living End?
  • World of Ham: Between the four main villains, their "yoho"ing henchmen, and both Batman and Robin hamming it up in places (sometimes you just can't get rid of a bomb!), this movie is a ham feast!
  • Would Hit a Girl: For the only time in the 60's series. At the end of the big submarine fight, Batman has Catwoman cornered, and he pulls his arm back, clearly ready to sock her right in the jaw. However, seeing her unmasked and realizing she's Miss Kitka throws him into a Heroic BSoD that leaves him too shocked to throw the punch.
  • Written Sound Effect: A staple of the Adam West era. Although it only shows up for the final battle.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Penguin during Act One, when he realizes that Batmnan and Robin will investigate the buoy and that United Underworld ans unwittingly given themselves a prime opportunity to kill them.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Batman 1966


Launched Out by a Spring

When a Mook is launched out over the ocean by a giant spring, the sound effect used was the sound of a Star Trek: The Original Series photon torpedo firing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / StockSoundEffects

Media sources: