As a kid, Batman was a favorite superhero. When Tim Burton came out with his take on the comic book character, I was impressed. And Christopher Nolan’s vision of The Batman played so well by Christian Bale was a worthy updating of the iconic figure.
It will probably seem silly to you, but I still have this soft spot for the campy 1960’s TV version of Batman.
Recently, my wife and I were watching an old movie. It was probably on the Turner Classic Movie channel. I happen to pick it out because I thought my wife would enjoy it. It’s unlikely I would have ever watched it if not for the fact that I try to keep an eye out for something she would like. Old classics are films I’ve been trying to catch up on, but you really couldn’t define this as a movie “not to be missed.”
The film was the 1959 film It Started With a Kiss starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds. But to my surprise, the movie also “starred” a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car that became the basis on which the 1966 Batmobile was created. The car really was an important character in the film, and I immediately recognized the resemblance to the TV Batmobile. Later I did some internet searching and quickly found the history of the car.
It’s was wonderful to add a bit of “back-story” to that famed character, the Batmobile.
The show’s ZAP and POW graphics that flashed on the screen when Batman was in a fight were so, as the saying went in the 60’s, “Far-Out!” – Batman was a huge hit.
Sure, it was silly and had ridiculous dialogue, but no one can forget the show ending narration, “Tune in tomorrow – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.”
Batman was so popular that big name celebrities would battle to be on the show. It had a few pretty well know actors playing villains that included Burgess Meredith (the Penguin) and Cesar Romero (the Joker). And cameos included Sammy Davis Jr., Edward G Robinson, Dick Clark and Jerry Lewis.
As a kid, I don’t know how much Adam West playing Batman really impressed me as a hero, but there was something about the show that stuck with me. Was it the Batman theme, Da da da da da da da da BATMAN!!!! ? Was it the POP colors during a fight, WHAMM!! – POW! – KRUNCH!!! ? Or maybe it was the car, the Batmobile.
One skill I’ve never picked up is working on cars, repairing the engines. But it’s a thrill when I see certain cars cruising down the road – seeing a work of art on wheels; a red 55’ Ford Thunderbird, a silver Aston Martin (a la James Bond), or maybe a 66 Ford Mustang.
What was it about that campy TV show?…Yep – It was the car – the Batmobile!
Batman: “Come on, Robin, to the Bat Cave! There’s not a moment to lose!”