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Release Date: July 16, 1943

Status: Released

Running time: 4h 20m

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Japanese master spy Daka operates a covert espionage-sabotage organization located in Gotham City's now-deserted Little Tokyo, which turns American scientists into pliable zombies. The great crime-fighters Batman and Robin, with the help of their allies, are in pursuit.

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This Movie Is About.


Batman is a 1943 American 15-chapter theatrical serial from Columbia Pictures, produced by Rudolph C. Flothow, directed by Lambert Hillyer, that stars Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as his sidekick Robin. The serial is based on the DC Comics character Batman, who first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. The villain is an original character named Dr. Daka, a secret agent of the Japanese Imperial government, played by J. Carrol Naish. Rounding out the cast are Shirley Patterson as Linda Page, Bruce Wayne's love interest, and William Austin as Alfred, the Wayne Manor butler.

The serial's story line involves the Batman, a secret U.S. government agent, attempting to defeat the schemes of Japanese agent Dr. Daka operating in Los Angeles at the height of World War II. Serving Daka are his American henchmen.

Batman is notable for being the first appearance on film of Batman and for debuting story elements that quickly became permanent parts of the Batman character's mythos, such as the "Bat's Cave" and its secret entrance through a grandfather clock inside Wayne Manor. The serial also changed the course of how Alfred's physical appearance was depicted in future Batman stories. At the time Batman was released in theaters, Alfred was drawn as a portly gentleman in the comics. Subsequent issues suddenly depicted Alfred as slim and sporting a thin moustache, following actor William Austin's appearance.

The serial was commercially successful and in 1949, four years after World War II, spawned another Columbia chapter serial, Batman and Robin. The entire first Batman serial was re-released theatrically in 1965 as An Evening with Batman and Robin, and proved very popular (some theatres showed the chapters as a Saturday matinee). Its success inspired the action-comedy lampoon series Batman (and its 1966 theatrical feature film spin-off) starring Adam West and Burt Ward.


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