Batman: The Movie
"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!"
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.
- Absurdity Ascendant: Much.
- Adaptation Distillation: Say what you will about its quality in comparison to other Batman films, but this movie perfectly captured the tone of the original Silver Age comics.
- Alliteration: The characters are particularly wordy when describing one another such as Batman calling the villains "pompous penguin" or "feline fatale", etc.
- Admiral Failure: The only plot-carrying action that we see Vice Admiral Fangschliester do is sell a pre-atomic sub to a Mr. P. N. Guin, who doesn't leave a full address. When not talking to Batman, he is shown playing tiddlywinks with his aide.
- Alcohol Is Poison: Implied by Batman's speech about the "Low End Neighborhood"; as a consequence, Bruce and Ms. Kitka drink "cocoa" on their date.
- 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 to support the animal's weight.
- Aside Glance: Robin's "Support Your Police" line.
- Bad Guy Bar: Ye Olde Benbow Taverne.
- Bar Brawl: Going on in the Taverne when Catwoman (dressed in her Miss Kitka disguise) walks in.
- 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.
- "What has yellow skin and writes?" "A ballpoint banana!"
- "What sits in a tree, weighs six ounces, and is very dangerous?" "A sparrow with a machine gun!" "Yes, 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.
- Behind the Black: Robin couldn't see Batman hiding behind those pipes.
- Big Bad Quartet, though Penguin seems to be calling the shots most of the time.
- Big Electric Switch: Activates the Instant Bat Costume Change device between the poles going down to the Batcave.
- 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 (due to an accident with someone sneezing into the powdered forms). 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.
- Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Literally.
- Camp: Raised to an art form.
- Catch Phrase: Robin's usage of "Holy _____!"
- On the DVD menu screen, viewers get to hear:
Robin: Holy interactive menus, Batman!
- Cartoon Bomb: Some days you just can't get rid of it...
- Catgirl: Catwoman.
- Cats Are Mean: Scheming about clawing Batman sure isn't nice.
- Cats Hate Water: As Catwoman is sure to remind us.
- 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.
- Cool Bike: The Batcycle and Detaching Sidecar.
- Cool Boat: The Batboat and Penguin's Pre-Atomic Submarine.
- Cool Car: The Lincoln Futura Batmobile.
- Cool Garage: The Batcave.
- Cool Plane: The Batcopter.
- Copycat Cover: The most recent DVD cover resembles the design of its succeeding films, suggesting that the film is supposed to be Darker and Edgier.
- Cosmopolitan Council: The United World Council.
- 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: Anti Shark Repellent Bat Spray, among other things.
- He also has Repellent Bat Sprays for Manta-Rays, Barracudas, and Whales. In his helicopter.
- Dating Catwoman: Again, literally.
- Deadpan Snarker: Adam West and Burt Ward do a bit of snarking in the DVD commentary.
- Death Trap: The Exploding Shark, The Magnetic Buoy, The Spring-Loaded Jack-in-the-Box, and of course, A Bomb.
- Deus Ex Machina: The porpoise (see below).
- Dirty Old Man: Alfred seemed very, umm, reluctant to turn off the Bat-surveillance when Bruce was macking of 'Miss Kitka'.
- Double Entendre: Bruce and Kitka's lines in the carriage about "Climax" and "Going Slower" among many other saucy lines. Given the tone of the film it's hard to tell if this is Getting Crap Past the Radar or just an Accidental Innuendo.
- Driving a Desk: The Batmobile and Batboat.
- Dutch Angle: Every shot of the crooks' hideout is crooked.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Averted. Cesar Romero famously refused to shave his mustache and instead painted over it.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Batcave.
- 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.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Averted. Everything is worse when the Penguin is on the loose.
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: Especially when they explode.
- Evil Laugh: Astonishingly, The Riddler outdoes the Joker in this adaptation. Partly because Frank Gorshin was hammier than Cesar Romero.
- Expo Label: Everything is labeled, down to "Abandoned Elevator" and the "Bat Ladder".
- On the DVD the menu has everything labelled as "Bat Extras!", "Bat Scenes" and "Bat Movie!"
- Expospeak: The Press Conference and conversion 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 Council takes the cake, unable to notice the criminals' entrance or the fact that the members are disappearing one by one.
- Commodore Schmidlap 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.
- Not necessarily Catwoman's fault--the censors of the time wouldn't allow a woman to punch a man.
- Femme Fatale: Ms. Kitka/Catwoman.
- Freaky Friday Flip: In the end Batman's attempts at re-hydrating of the 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 shot the idea down, citing the fate of the five Guinea Pigs as proof they shouldn't try to tamper with the laws of Mother Nature.
- Gambit Roulette: The entire movie.
- Glad I Thought of It: Penguin only orders torpedoes fired after Riddler suggests it first.
- 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 it's the same meeting room as at the end of the movie, the villains could have gone through the window and bypassed every guard.
- Guilty Pleasure
- Harmless Voltage: The Joker uses electric joy buzzers on the Penguin and the Riddler.
- Heroic BSOD: Batman is stunned 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 were planted is quite the puzzle.
- High-Class Glass: The Penguin.
- Hit Flash
- Hologram: The disappearing yacht.
- 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.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes
- 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 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.
- Improvised Zipline: During the battle on the submarine, the Penguin uses his umbrella to slide down a wire and knock down Batman with a kick.
- 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
- Instant Sedation: The Penguin's knockout gas; Bat-Gas.
- Kick the Dog: Batman cites the United Underworld's use of a helpless shark as their pawn as proof of no good among them.
- Koosh Bomb: Such an effect appears when the Penguin's submarine is hit with charges from the Bat-Bazooka.
- Knockout Gas: Batman and the Penguin each use a gas that causes instant unconsciousness (called Bat-Gas and Penguin Gas, respectively).
- Large Ham: Pick one.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Bruce and Kitka's making out prompts Robin to turn the hidden camera off. Not to mention the kissing couple in the opening credits.
- Leitmotif: Each of the villains has one.
- Lemony Narrator
- Lzherusskie: In-Universe example as Catwoman poses as an Intrepid Reporter from Moscow.
- Made of Explodium: The shark, and the unseen octopus.
- Magical Computer: The Bat Computer. How Robin can tell the position of buoys from a readout made entirely of blinkenlights is quite a mystery.
- Male Gaze: There's a topless female statue in the hall of the United World; you can't help noticing how many shots include it.
- 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 mostly through stock shots.
- Mobstacle Course
- The Movie
- Never Say "Die"
Robin: "Antimatter? You mean... They won't be coming back?"
- On the other hand...
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.
- Officer O'Hara: Chief O'Hara.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: The "Guinea Pigs", re-hydrated with heavy water, are highly unstable and easily dispatched and vaporize with one blow.
- Only Sane Man: Mr. Bluebeard, judging by the hairy eyeball he gives Catwoman throughout the film.
- 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.
- The Other Darrin: Lee Meriwether as Catwoman.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: To be fair, the Penguin wanted to be recognized. Not to mention the masks worn by any of our villains.
- The villains (Catwoman and especially the Riddler) continually take their masks on and 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. Guin"?
- 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.
- 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.
- Purple Prose: Both Batman and Bruce Wayne talk in this manner.
- Just about everyone talks in a way that sounds like scripted dramatics.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Commodore Schmidlap, always waiting on his Spot of Tea. Another represents the United Kingdom at the United World Security Council. He even says "pip pip!"
- Red Shirt: The appropriately named "Guinea Pigs".
- Reed Richards Is Useless: The premise for The Movie and the Batman TV Series is that Batman only 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.
- Reverse Polarity: Batman does this to his Bat Radio to destroy some torpedoes.
- Right-Hand-Cat: Hecate, Catwoman's black cat.
- Rocket Ride: The jet pack umbrellas.
- Selective Magnetism: The buoy.
- Sexophone: Plays while Bruce and Kitka are on their date, concluding with her asking if she should...
- Shout-Out: 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.
- Slip Into Something More Comfortable: Ms. Kitka uses this line before appearing in a long pink nightgown.
- Spy Catsuit: Catwoman.
- Status Quo Is God: Zig Zagged because the premise for Batman: 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.
- Stock Phrase
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Catwoman, as Batman and Robin are pursuing the villains' submarine.
- Stop Trick: The guinea pig pirates' "dematerialization".
- Street Full Of Innocents
- Sue Donym: The Penguin's nearly impenetrable alias of "P.N. Guin".
- 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.
- Taking the Bullet: The porpoise throwing itself in front of a torpedo to save the Dynamic Duo.
- Techno Babble Batman talks of "adding ethnic and national functions".
- 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".
- 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 throught 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?
- To the Bat Noun
- To the Batpole
- Troperiffic And how!
- 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!
- Verbal Tic: Penguin's quack and Catwoman's purr.
- 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.
- Villain Team-Up
- 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 Security Council not noticing the villains entering the room. You could chalk it up to them being distracted by their arguments.
- Xanatos Gambit: The Penguin gets to the Batcave. In turn, Batman finds Penguin's submarine.