Reviews Batman 1943 Surprisingly good! Much better than I could expect. It is very well filmed and there are very nice action scenes, particularly for a production from the 40’s: footage of fighting, climbing, spying, falling down, disguising… Although lightly plump, Lewis Wilson not only did a good job as the dark knight but also had one of the best representations of Bruce Wayne ever in my opinion, as the fake playboy. Batman was already frightening on the eyes of the criminals, as he intimidated them (the bat’s cave has been created for this movie serial, though it was not his back office yet, but kind of a psychological torture and interrogation room, accessed through the clock). Batman fights a lot, most of the time against two or three thugs, but he is far from the skillful martial artist he would become in future versions; indeed, he receives lots of punches and loses the fights a lot of times, not dying by luck. There was already a charming black car, though it was not properly a batmobile, but a 1939 Cadillac, generally driven by Alfred. Douglas Croft was a typical Robin, and although his visual was true to the character, we got accustomed to the hair and the mask of Burt Ward decades afterwards, making his upright curly hair and his pointed-nose mask a bit strange. Batman and Robin were already skillful investigators, but there are two very important differences in their way of working against crime: first of all, chief of police has Bruce Wayne as a partner in law enforcement, although he does not know Batman’s secret identity and has a dubious position on his vigilantism; besides that, the dynamic duo works much time spying without their masks, as Bruce and Dick, using the superhero personas much more for combat. This version of Bruce Wayne had great acting skills, like Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent, and could disguise himself deceiving even people who know him very intimately. There are other differences from more recent versions concerning other main characters. Instead of commissioner Gordon or chief O’Hara, Gotham police counted on chief Arnold. Linda Page was Batman’s love interest, before the creation of Vicki Vale and other crushes. Butler Alfred appeared for the first time not as fat but as slim, what became his usual representation ever since. The main criminal here was a Japanese scientist, in a quite obvious usage of the character in order to support USA foreign policy (what always happened with the most famous superheroes, not only due to that World War); unfortunately the way characters referred to him was often racist and xenophobic against the Japanese people. The repetition of the same formula – criminals phone to the victim pretending to be someone else and setting up a meeting, but Batman and Robin suspect and go there to save the day – bores a little, as it is too much recurrent and the movie serial is too good to insist in a so simplistic solution. The same may be said about the too many times villains believe that they have killed Batman; once or twice it is OK, but in every episode?! As a matter of fact, the movie serial is nice and entertaining, but it would be better if edited shorter as a feature-length film. It worth be watched, anyway, for sure.
thebatman1 commented :
To think only 4 years after the creation of The Batman some one was smart enough to bring us a Movie version.Although in itself not a masterpiece considering budget and all other details I couldn’t wait to see this version of The Batman.As a kid I had seen photos of this and the 1949 versions and couldn’t wait.Over 20 years later and upon the release of the 89 Batman Movie someone was smart to release both 43 & 49 versions on VHS. One of the sad parts of all this is the lack of information & back photos of most of the serials produced by the studio’s from that time.The 43 version is a great representation of the camaraderie between Batman (Lewis Wilson) & Robin (Douglas Croft) the costumes are far better and much more true to the comics over the 49 version. A cool blooper in the 43 version is watching a whole pack of cigarettes tumble out from The Batman’s right glove while descending from a fire escape…… you have to look for the episode. Buy watch and Enjoy!