Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson & Kim Basinger
(NOTE: From now on, I'm going to include a trailer for the film. I hope you like this idea!)
In the first of the Warner Bros. Batman series, Bruce Wayne is fighting crime in Gotham City, terrorizing the city's criminals as "The Bat". Batman's first nemesis is born when he drops Jack Napier into a vat of chemicals, discoloring his skin and hair. Henceforth known as The Joker, he poisons the city's hygiene products, all while trying to convince the public that it isn't he, but Batman that they shouldn't trust. Photojournalist Vicki Vale is trying to uncover the truth.While researching, she falls in love with Bruce... and in turn, The Joker falls in love with her.
The film is very outdated, but only 20 years after its release, it can be considered historically significant. It was a complete turn-around from its predecessors in the superhero film genre, which can more simply by summarized as the Superman film series. Aside from Superman, there were very few notable films in the genre (though one made it onto The List - Danger: Diabolik). Burton made Batman a much darker style than Superman, with its artistic achievements much more prominent than its script.
The art direction for this film certainly has that Burton-esque quality to it, with exaggerated lines in the architecture, but the subject matter is much less in the fantasy realm than many of his other films (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow... even Pee-Wee's Big Adventure). This new blend of fantasy with a New York-like Gotham City allows us to be drawn in to an almost familiar world.
- Art director Les Tomkins for a style that has been the inspiration for the following five Batman films
- Music composer Danny Elfman for an exciting and immediately recognizable theme
- Jack Nicholson for being The Man
One-and-a-half thumbs up for a great time, despite a mediocre script.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki Vale, but broke her collarbone while filming a horse-riding scene with Michael Keaton. The scene was subsequently written out of the script. Tim Burton suggested replacing Young with Michelle Pfeiffer but Keaton, who was in a relationship with Pfeiffer, believed it would be too awkward. She went on to portray Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992). Jon Peterssuggested Kim Basinger and she was cast.
- Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Spacey, Patrick Swayze, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Selleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
- Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Robin Duke, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Denny Dillon,Christine Ebersole, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah,Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway Barbara Hershey, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, Kay Lenz,Jessica Lange, Lori Loughlin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Virginia Madsen, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Catherine O'Hara, Tatum O'Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Lea Thompson, Kathleen Turner, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Vicki Vale after Sean Young, the original choice, departed.
- Jack Nicholson received a percentage of the gross on the film, and due to its massive box-office took home around $60 million. As of 2003 it is still the single-movie record for actor's salary.
- The Batmobile was built on the chassis of a Chevy Impala.
- For its first video release, the film was graded slightly lighter as cinema audiences had complained that it was filmed so darkly that they could hardly see what was going on.