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Batman and Robin: The Complete 1949 Serial Collection
DVD disk
03.22.2005 By: Indiana Sev
Batman and Robin: The Complete 1949 Serial Collection order
Director:
Spencer Gordon Bennet

Actors:
Robert Lowery
Johnny Duncan
Lyle Talbot

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
These are 15 black & white Batman and Robin serials (ranging from 15 to 30 minutes each) that they played before feature films in the1940’s. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger and a reminder to come to the theater the following week to see if the two heroes can get out of their latest jam.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For fans of the Batman comics this must have been heaven back in the 40’s; going to the theater every weekend to see your favorite superhero battle crime in Gotham City as he “cleverly” tries keeping his secret identity of Bruce Wayne from Vicki Vale and the general public. He was probably trying to keep his gay relationship with live-in boy-toy Dick Grayson (Robin) a secret as well. These two have never been more ambiguously gay than they are in these serials. It’s hilarious! Sure the acting is weak (the actors playing Robin and Commissioner Gordon went on to star in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE) and the plotlines are ludicrous but that doesn’t matter for the die-hard fans of the caped crusader who love anything Batman-related. For that reason and because these adventures are so cheesily entertaining I can say that this series is worth a look at on DVD.

There are so many funny elements to these that it’s hard not to enjoy them on some level. First of all, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson (a dead ringer for a young Michael Rooker) live in a regular suburban house instead of the mansion that we’re used to seeing - very odd. Instead of the Batmobile, these crime-fighting and livelong “partners” drive a regular car – even odder. Instead of trying to score a date with Vicki, all Bruce does is make playful quips at her; their flirting is so minimal and innocent it can barely be described as flirting – this adds more fuel to the fire that these costumed dudes are in love with one another. Through the entire 15 episodes, their foe is a man named The Wizard, a silly man in an all-black costume and hood. You’re not going to get the big-name villains like The Joker or The Penguin this time around. Again, these aren’t complaints I have, I kind of dig that these serials are a little different from the usual Batman movies and TV episodes we’re used to. Also, it’s ten times better than that abomination of a movie with the same title, BATMAN & ROBIN, directed by Joel Shumacher. In the end, these serials put me in the shoes of those little kids, sitting in the movie theaters on Saturday afternoons in 1949, experiencing some cliffhanger fun with their favorite heroes. It’s not so much the quality that’s important here as it is the nostalgia it brings upon, whether you were that little kid or not, it comes through. For Batman fans, I couldn’t recommend this enough!
THE EXTRAS
Nothing more than Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This is rent-able fare if you and your buddies want to laugh-it-up Mystery Science Theater 3000-style at the silliness of it all and buy-able for all Batman-aholics worldwide. Either way, you’ll get an out-of-shape Batman and his curiously gay partner running around town with half-assed criminals and an even lamer villain. Fun times, gang…
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