Batman (1966) Movie Poster Image

Batman (1966)

Campy, goofy '60s movie may not appeal to today's kids.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Overweight women are the target of a joke: They are too busy scarfing down vast quantities of food to notice the panic of those around them attempting to flee the restaurant.   

Positive role models

Though there are "good guys" and "bad guys," the characters are too cartoonish to be positive role models. 

Violence

Occasional cartoonish violence and comedic pratfalls. Fight scenes in which physical contact between the brawlers often is covered by the TV series' famous on-screen exclamations ("POW!"). At one point, Robin and the viewer are briefly led to think that Batman has been blown up; he's quickly shown to have survived. While hanging from a helicopter above the ocean, Batman is attacked by a clearly fake shark biting his thigh. 

Sex

Batman goes on a date with a woman; they kiss, and the woman slips into a slinky robe. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The Penguin smokes a cigarette through a cigarette holder. Bar scenes. Batman makes reference to "alcoholic delusions." 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Batman is the 1966 movie spin-off of the popular TV show from that time. This is the campy and silly Batman and not the noir superhero-with-a-dark-side portrayed in recent decades. This movie has goofy fight scenes with plenty of comedic pratfalls, and viewers are briefly led to believe Batman has been blown up; he's quickly shown to have survived. The Penguin always has a cigarette, held in a cigarette holder. Overweight women are the target of a joke: They're too busy scarfing down vast quantities of food to notice the panic of those around them attempting to flee the restaurant. Batman goes on a date with a woman; they kiss, and the woman slips into a slinky robe. 

What's the story?

The stars of the 1960s TV series jumped onto the big screen for this Dynamic Duo adventure in which an inventor and his "dehydration machine" are abducted by a quartet of supervillains: Catwoman (Lee Meriwether), the Joker (Cesar Romero), the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), and the Riddler (Frank Gorshin). The quartet plots to hold the United Nations Security Council for ransom. The foreign dignitaries will be dehydrated (reducing them to powder) but rehydrated if the ransom is met. In pursuit, Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) engage the villains in goofy fight scenes, though physical contact between the brawlers is often covered by the movie's famous on-screen exclamations ("POW!"). Viewers are briefly led to believe that Batman has been blown up; he's quickly shown to have survived.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Fans of the old TV show will welcome the opportunity to experience once again all the series' hallmarks. They're all here: the unforgettable Neal Hefti theme music, the spinning bat sign, the pop-art exclamations, and Robin's "Holy ... !" hyperbole. Viewers unfamiliar with the TV series will have to judge the movie on its own merits, which are few. BATMAN contains none of the mock tension and suspense that was such a major component of the original TV series. The sparse usage of the TV show's silly narration also undercuts the comedy. The talents of the zany villains from the TV series are wasted, as they're seen merely scheming instead of showing their bizarre quirks.

At some points, Batman becomes an out-and-out comedy (as when our hero combats a rubber shark), further ensuring that kids used to the tightly scripted and intelligently plotted animated series, animated movies such as Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, and the grimly heroic live-action Batman Returns will have little use for this quaint, ironic fossil from another era.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to other Batman films. How does the Batman character seem different to you?

  • Which version of Batman do you prefer, and why? 

  • What are some of the ways in which the fight scenes between Batman and the various "bad guys" are made to be more comical and cartoonish than other forms of violence shown in movies and TV shows? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 30, 1966
DVD/Streaming release date:April 15, 2003
Cast:Adam West, Burgess Meredith, Lee Meriwether
Director:Leslie H. Martinson
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Superheroes
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Batman (1966) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Ratings

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate.

Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byfenixataris182 April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old February 7, 2014

I hate it...

One of the worst movies ever!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byCelticGirl February 28, 2011

One of the best movies ever!

What do you mean, "won't appeal to today's kids"? This is one of the best movies I have seen. There is minimal violence, and Batman and Robin are, of course, trying to save the world. Drinking is portrayed as bad, with Robin saying to Batman,"You risked your life to save that riffraff in the bar?" Batman then tells him that the "riffraff" are humans too, and that they may be salveged. This movie has very funny diolouge in some places, which made me laugh outloud! It is one of the greatest movies that a little kid could see. I highly recamend it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models