Batman and Robin (serial)

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Batman and Robin
Batman&RobinSerialDVDCover.jpg
DVD cover art
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by
Based on Characters 
by Bob Kane
Bill Finger
Starring
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Ira H. Morgan
Editing by Dwight Caldwell
Earl Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • May 26, 1949 (1949-05-26) (United States)
Running time 15 chapters (264 minutes)
Language English

Batman and Robin is a 15-chapter serial released in 1949 by Columbia Pictures. 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 serials were re-released as Video On Demand titles, by Rifftrax, the alumni project of Mystery Science Theater 3000's - Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett - as. As of February 2014, they are up to the installment "Batman: The Wizard Strikes Back", and will be releasing the entire serial series.[1]

Plot[edit]

The Dynamic Duo face off against the Wizard, a hooded villain with an electrical device which controls cars and a desire to set challenges for the Dynamic Duo, whose identity remains a mystery throughout until the end.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Screen capture.

"As usual on a Katzman production," note Harmon and Glut, "the low budget showed everywhere in money-saving shortcuts, and inadequacies." The Batman costume had a poorly fitting cowl and the Robin costume added pink tights to cover the "hairy-legs" of both the actor and stuntman. The Batmobile is again excluded, but instead of a limousine, as in the first serial, the duo drive around in a 1949 Mercury.[2]

Several mistakes and failures of logic occur in the serial. One example of this is that the film shows the Bat-Signal working in broad daylight. Another occurs when, despite the fact that the heroes' utility belts had been replaced by normal belts with no pockets or pouches for this serial, in order to escape from a vault, Batman pulls the nozzle and hose of an oxy-acetylene torch from his belt to cut through a steel door (the tanks for the torch are not shown); to compound this mistake, it is a full-sized oxy-acetylene torch that would have been impossible to carry unseen on his person. Harmon and Glut suggest that this was probably scripted to be a miniaturised 3-inch torch, as used in the comics, but the film-makers improvised in following the directions for a "blowtorch".[2]

Release[edit]

Home media[edit]

  • The serial was released on DVD in 2005, timed to coincide with the theatrical release of Batman Begins. Unlike its predecessor, Batman and Robin: The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection has been given a restoration. The original negative seems to have been been given a new High-definition scan and remaster, as the full-frame, black and white image is very sharp with deep blacks. There's one flaw present throughout the serial: thin little splices, which may date back to the cutting of the original negative. There are no missing frames, but these little flashing lines are noticeable. The audio is good for its age.
  • Rifftrax released a Video On Demand of the first installment of the short on July 16, 2013, featuring a running mocking commentary from Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. The second episode was similarly released On August 7th, 2013, and the third was released on September 13, 2013.[3]

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Batman Takes Over
  2. Tunnel of Terror
  3. Robin's Wild Ride
  4. Batman Trapped
  5. Robin Rescues Batman
  6. Target - Robin!
  7. The Fatal Blast
  8. Robin Meets the Wizard
  9. The Wizard Strikes Back
  10. Batman's Last Chance
  11. Robin's Ruse
  12. Robin Rides the Wind
  13. The Wizard's Challenge
  14. Batman vs. Wizard
  15. Batman Victorious

Source:[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.rifftrax.com/search/apachesolr_search/batman?filters=type%3Ashort
  2. ^ a b Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut. "10. The Long-Underwear Boys "You've Met Me, Now Meet My Fist!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 240–242. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9. 
  3. ^ http://www.mst3kinfo.com/?p=16136#comments
  4. ^ Cline, William C. "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 249. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bruce Gentry (1949)
Columbia Serial
Batman and Robin (1949)
Succeeded by
Adventures of Sir Galahad (1949)