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Best Shot: Batman (1966)

Happy 75th Anniversary to the world's favorite f***ed-up orphan billionaire!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot returns on the evening of July 15th with a special free-for-all episode in which you choose whichever Batman feature film you want to look at and post your choice for its Best Shot. We link up. It's our way of celebrating Batman's 75th birthday. I opted to start at the beginning. No, not Tim Burton's high gothic smash but the special feature edition of the 1960's TV series, which was filmed after season 1 wrapped (the props were reused for follow-up seasons)

BATMAN (1966)

Batman (1966) has a ton of sight gags. I'm not claiming that any of them are particularly well-executed but my favorite bar none is Batman's lunatic run holding a lit bomb that he can't find a place to dispose of. It's what would happen if you crossed Batman with a Mr Bean skit. But that joke isn't freeze frameable since it's all in the montage / length. Since this is the only Batman feature that's an intentional comedy (someone will cover Joel Schumacher's movies I'm sure) I had to choose something humorous for my best shot. Nothing is funnier in 60s era Batman than the OCD labelling of everything. It's not enough to have everything shaped like the Bat symbol and called 'Bat-this' and 'Bat-that' but the Bat-name must also be displayed in big letters ON the item in case the hero forgets who he is or what props are (but remembers how to read). Even the four villains (Catwoman, Joker, Riddler and The Penguin) get in on the act with their own labelled shelves in their submarine HQ.  

In the movie's opening maritime rescue setpiece Batman dangles from the Bat-Copter on the Bat-Ladder (yes, there's a label on the last rung) when suddenly he emerges from the water with a shark dangling from his leg nine years before Jaws made that a universal nightmare. Batman tries to go all Lara Croft on its ass, but lacking her mad shark-punching skills many years later, Batman needs Robin to save him (but he's not in a hurry about it since he's Adam West and he likes to make each sentence into 3 sentences.)

Best Shot

Hand.    Me Down.    The Shark Repellent Bat Spray.

Robin climbs down the Bat-Ladder (no one is piloting the Bat-Copter. Just saying). Instead of just handing his Sugar Daddy the Bat Spray Shark Repellent --  it's not like the shark is going to leap legs for Burt Ward's chicken legs when it's already got an Adam West thigh --  the Boy Wonder pauses to be all acrobatic about it and hangs upside down to pass over the spray.

It's super dumb and I love it. 

[Gluttons for punishment can check out a few more shots I loved after the jump]

half of this movie is shot with canted angles. LOL. And this one looks even more diagonal thanks to Catwoman's legs.It seems shocking now but the Joker isn't the big bad...No, this one is very BATMAN RETURNS and focuses on Catwoman and Penguin. Burton even rips off some of the hokiest of Penguin props
Robin just isn't sure he's ready to go through with this"Holy Almost!" yes, even bad movies have recurring visual motifs and colorful cylinders from Shark Repellent to these flasks here play crucial roles

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Reader Comments (11)

I grew up in the wrong era.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

I had a crush on Robin.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

What Pedro said.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

What Pedro and eurocheese said.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Get it Julie Newmar!

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Holy mackerel, Batman!
I loved to watch the series as a kid. So much fun.
Tell me there's a gif of that bomb running scene from the first pic.
I really need it!!!

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

Let me get this "straight"... you guys are gay for Robin?

I'm gonna pull in another direction, then, and likey Catwoman, even though the '60s Catwoman doesn't even begin to compare with Michelle Pfeiffer's, off course - but for the era it's a pretty decent Catwoman, certainly better than Halle Berry's embarrassing Catwoman 40 years later...

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Nat: Why can't we get a modern Robin? Oh, right, because Hollywood hack producers want to hire people as old or older than Burt Ward AND go over the origin. I get that the idea of Robin as a "son figure" has, between Burt Ward, Chris O'Donnell and the ridiculously subtext laden panels like the scene of them sharing the same bed or "Robin, what have I done to you", pretty much been destroyed in the eyes of the mainstream, but I'd rather no adaptation than one that continues to perpetuate the "more lover than son" idea as more than just one off gags.

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Ulrich -- the problem with the 60s catwoman is only that it was never a concrete interpretation with 3 different actresses in the space of 3 years having a go at her. But i love Julie Newmar.

July 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I love The Riddler's formal attire! Such a well dressed murder of supervillians.

July 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMario

Mario -- totally. ha. i didn't even think about that but they're all in suits!

July 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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