13 COOL THINGS About the 1966 BATMAN Feature Film

The movie came out 56 years ago…

Hey, the Adam West Batman movie opened July 30, 1966 — 56 years ago! Groovy, eh?

Well, guess what: Our columnist and pal Jim Beard — editor of the definitive trio of Batman season guides — is back with another of his Batman ’66 13 COOL THINGS pieces. (You can find the links to his individual season columns below. Click here to order the books. You’ll love ’em!)

Holy box office — here’s Jim!


Let’s all face it: The 1966 Batman feature film is what everybody knows. For the long, dark decades when its TV counterpart couldn’t exist as anything but network or cable offerings, the film was readily available on VHS and then disc. If you look back, most of the general public’s remembrances and quotes come from it, not necessarily the show itself. The movie kept the Adam West Batman alive for years on end.

For my part, I’ve come here today to praise it, not bury it. It deserves many, many accolades. I’m a huge, huge fan—in my opinion it still ranks as the most comic-accurate Batman film of them all… accurate to the comics to that point in time, of course.

Here are 13 things I love about the Batman movie. Warning: You won’t find any Shark-Repellent Bat-Spray here (or “Bat-Shark Repellent”), nor any “Some days you just can’t rid of a bomb!” Those are low-hanging fruit memes for Bat-chumps. What I have here is the real deal, the stuff that stands out to me as the reasons to watch this kooky, campy, corny Batman romp…

Holy Opening Credits! I’ve been captivated by that credit sequence since I was a kid, and still am. How cool they did something so different for the feature, even going so far as to have a completely new musical theme. In all, the credits are pulpy, noir, comic booky, and oh-so fun.

Holy Batcopter Montage! I really dig that Batcopter flyover with those reactions from cops and picnickers, not to mention famous exercise guru Jack LaLanne and a bevy of bikinied beauties!

Holy Known Super-Criminals Still At Large! Commissioner Gordon’s closed-circuit television tour of Batman’s rogues gallery is, to quote the Hateful Harlequin, delicious, as well as the Dynamic Duo’s amazing logic leaps with Gordon and O’Hara to dope out who’s behind all the bad stuff goin’ down in Gotham.

Holy Luscious Lee! I’ve said it ad nauseum, but I’ll take any opportunity to say it again: Lee Meriwether would be considered one of the greatest Catwomen of all if she wasn’t always being dissed for not being Julie Newmar. This movie proves it, over and over again: She’s the cat’s meow.

Holy Batboat Launch! Not only is that Glastron Batboat cool-as-cool, its long single-shot launch packs so much power and style, it blows me away every time I watch it.

Holy Shaming the Seaman! Cracks me up how Batman throws some shade down on Admiral Fangschliester for selling a decommissioned pre-atomic sub to someone who didn’t even leave his full address. You go, Caped Crusader!

Holy Gorshin-a-Go-Go! When the Riddler does his cranking up to full-on craziness during the planning of the millionaire heist, I just want to give Gorshin all the Oscars in the world. “I know the perfect victim…” Yeah, it’s me, chum—you slay me!

Holy Double Entendres! Sure, I was bored by the whole Bruce-Kitka repartee when I was a kid, but boy, if you really listen in to what’s being said, it takes Batman to a whole new level.

Holy Jetpack Umbrellas! The SFX are crude by today’s standards, but the Penguin’s blasting brollies are still so cool, especially that Batmobile sound they make. Holy Halloween, indeed, Boy Wonder!

Holy Millionaire Mauling! Our favorite playboy really shines in the film, and while he risks people noticing his flying fisticuffs are more Batman than Bruce, he gets a few good punches in before the crooks mop the floor with him. And that downright murderous oath he makes! “I’ll kill you all… I’ll rend you limb from limb!” Whew!

Holy Significant Signage! “The drinking water dispenser is clearly marked!” Love that line, one of my most favorite in the film.

Over there. The drinking water dispenser is clearly marked.

Holy New Set of Wheels! The Batcycle and its attached/detached go-cart are still very, very cool after all these years.

Holy Baddies in the Building! From the Riddler’s detonation of the outer door to the Penguin’s spinning gas umbrella, the crooks’ procession through the United World HQ is so much dang fun.

Who are these people? It’s impossible to tell, they’re wearing masks. (Ok yeah it’s Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Lee Meriweather, and Cesar Romero in 1966’s Batman.)


Holy Combo Cackles! Though early on Riddler laughs in the face of a perturbed Joker, they share a collective chuckle down in the submarine later that still sends shivers up my spine—two actors who perfected laughs that’ll haunt our Bat-dreams forever.




JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases, a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting, his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding World, and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. It wasn’t summer break until the movie played during some oddly themed week of similar movies. I love that movie!

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  2. I was there at 4 years old opening weekend Saturday morning at the theatre with my family. It was thrilling watching it all on the big screen.

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  3. I like when the scene when Catwoman starts growling and carrying on and the henchman gives her a side-eye look.

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    • Saw the movie when it came out and saw Adam and Burt when they appeared in person at the theater. It was at the Walt Whitman shopping center on Long Island.

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  4. Great list Jim! I remember my Mom taking me up to my Uncle and Aunt’s house in the days before we had cable to watch the movie on HBO! And then it was indeed a constant renter for me. The pulpish opening gives you more an idea of what a straight Batman film might have been (minus when the startled Duo bumps into one another). And the Bruce Wayne fight is still one of my favorite scenes in ANY Batman film!

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  5. To be honest, as a kid, I was disappointed that the movie didn’t have the iconic TV opening. As an adult, I can appreciate it, though.

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