Batman and Robin: the Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection
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Batman and Robin: the Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection

3.5 2
     
 
Where the 1943 Batman debut had a certain charm and a supremely despicable villain in J. Carroll Naish, this sequel misfires six years after the first 15 chapter serial and doesn't hold up as well as the original on DVD. The plot is a good one and despite some fine work by the B movie cast - Lyle Talbot as Commissioner Gordon (he of Chick Carter, Detective fame

Overview

Where the 1943 Batman debut had a certain charm and a supremely despicable villain in J. Carroll Naish, this sequel misfires six years after the first 15 chapter serial and doesn't hold up as well as the original on DVD. The plot is a good one and despite some fine work by the B movie cast - Lyle Talbot as Commissioner Gordon (he of Chick Carter, Detective fame) and Robert Lowery as the Batman (horror fans take note, Lowery was in The Mummy's Ghost and Revenge Of The Zombies ) director Spencer Gordon Bennet just can't seem to put it all together. Where the first film had the caped crusader and his boy wonder helping the police surreptitiously, they are fully cooperating with the Commissioner here, in his office and at his beck and call. The biggest problem is that their nemesis, The Wizard, is not as diabolical as a future Marvel Comics character of the same name (the leader of The Fantastic Four's powerful enemy, The Frightful Four), especially in light of the fact that The Joker was already an established villain in the comic book series and, had he been the antagonist instead of the Wizard, there would have been the opportunity for some fun elements absent in this outing. Actor Leonard Penn (also from producer Sam Katzman's aforementioned 1946 Chick Carter, Detective flick) just doesn't put any malice into his Wizard character, none of the relish needed to seep through the secretive wardrobe. Eric Wilton, as butler Alfred, gets to play Batman in a deception created by the dynamic duo, which gives him a footnote in movie trivia history, one could say. There are lots of mind games between The Wizard and Batman, a plot device that wears pretty thin, but there are also plenty of amusing electronic gadgets at The Wizard's disposal and a pretty cool Bat Cave to boot. On home video or DVD the chapters get tedious where the previous entry from 1943 could hold one's attention and, despite the addition of a sub-plot where The Wizard also becomes The Invisible Man, this quickie really feels like it was made to entertain in short bursts at a movie theater in the late 40s. Some critics liked Robert Lowery better than his predecessor, Lewis Wilson, in the dual roles of Bruce Wayne and Batman, however the actors from both serials do a fine job and get into the character better than Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney ever could in their attempts to play the superhero. It is actually quite sad that producer Katzman and director Bennet didn't realize the iconic figure they were dealing with because with a little extra effort the assembled cast and this decent script idea could have made for a very entertaining movie. It's too bad Michael G. Wilson, son of the original Batman, Lewis Wilson, and co-producer of Quantum of Solace, didn't watch this serial prior to the 2008 James Bond entry because the glaring error of not having a masterful villain is why both Quantum and this Batman And Robin have less sustain. The Dark Knight worked so well because Heath Ledger's Joker was every bit the equal of Christian Bale's Batman.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/22/2005
UPC:
0043396105218
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
4:21:00

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Batman and Robin: the Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not one of the best classic-serials..but we loved it when it first came out because we could see BATMAN & ROBIN in "live"action..this is one of two BATMAN serials. Both are ok, but not the best production or script as other serials made.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago