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The Official Batman 1943 & 1949 Serials Thread


T-800 User
Jan 6, 2009
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I'm going through both serials right now, it's just fascinating looking back and see the very first live action Batman.
I have both sets on dvd watched them both a times each, good for what they are but lack of actual rogues gallery really hurts them.
The art work on the DVDs is phenomenal. I think it's funny that they went with the 90's Robin design despite it not being in the serials. Although, those actors are wearing leggings.
As a kid (mind you I'm 24 and saw these on VHS over an over in my youth) I loved them. for the 1943 serial I only had tape one though and for YEARS never saw how the rest of it played out and was left with the cliffhanger for years. When they released these on DVD to coincide with Batman Begins I went crazy and teleported back to my childhood watching it. I eagerly rewatched parts 1-7 despite knowing it by heart to relieve it all again.

Recently I found tape two on VHS on Amazon and for $3 I couldn't resist completing the final piece of the puzzle I had long sought after in my youth. Hell as I type this all I just remembered I put my avatar as one of my favorite scenes (visually speaking). Despite how ridiculous they are to anyone who has never seen them before now I still love these as if they were done by Nolan himself.
I saw these a few years ago, and any true Batman fan owes it to themselves to see them, even if they're not particularly good on any level. They're fun as curiosities, and I'm fond of the roughness and simplicity of them (qualities Batman lends himself to more than any other superhero mainstays), but they're goofier than I'd prefer to see. I'm not talking about production value or anything like that - I took them for what they were, didn't expect major motion pictures - but more that I couldn't take Batman or Robin or Gotham or anything else seriously. But then, by the time I saw them, these weren't for me, they were for kids. Again, I enjoyed them as curiosities, and I'm glad I saw them.

Interestingly, Frank Miller has said that these serials are his favorite interpretation of Batman in live action.
I think the first one is quite fun, mostly due to Lewis Wilson presence.

Also, a dvd set with both serials has been released recently. It's called Gotham city serials. And t's quite cheap. I got it for 10 €
Johnny Duncan played a great Robin in the 1949 serials, which I grew up watching. He will be missed by Batman fans.
Still working on the '43 serial on Youtube, it's interesting. It certainly is a product of its time as Batman & Robin are government agents fighting this Japanese villain, which is horribly racist though done so badly because they get an Irish actor who admits to playing every ethnicity possible save for Irishmen ironically enough. Yet, he didn't sound Japanese. He sounds more like a nasally, bad Peter Laurie impersonation. Though I love his lair. This carnival-like ride to show you the barbarism of the Japanese and Tojo imperialism. You would never think a Japanese villain hides out there, and it just sits in a Japanese ghost town. Lewis Wilson is a handsome Bruce Wayne and I actually liked the minimalist, yet poor Bat's cave of just a cave he stuck a desk in, cause to be fair in '43 you have no computers or anything, so a desk makes sense.
archive.org is a great source for public domain old movies, serials and radio shows. You can download or stream Batman and Robin, Captain America, and the best superhero serial ever made - Captain Marvel - from there. You can also listen to old radio shows such as Superman or Blue Beetle (great to listen to while walking the dog!)

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