Fantasy / Film / Serials / Superheroes / Television

Who was the first Batman in the movies?

Bat caveWho was the first movie Batman? Most will remember that TV’s Adam West starred in a jokey big-screen spin-off in 1966, which pre-dated the darker Tim Burton version by a couple of decades.

But you need to go back 20-plus years before West for the original. Lewis Wilson is the name to earn you the points here – he played the Caped Crusader in a 15-part serial back in 1943. This being war time, the villain was a Japanese criminal mastermind, Dr Daka (or in some episodes Prince Daka), played by J Carrol Naish.

As was the case with most serials, budgets were tighter than the hero’s tights – don’t expect a Christopher Nolan spectacle here – and the plot, especially the resolution of some of the end-of-episode cliffhangers, will have you chuckling at times.

Sadly, there’s no 1940s Batmobile, but there is a spooky “Bat’s Cave” – and Daka has a pit of crocodiles to dispose of his enemies. So that’s all good.

Batman and Robin

Six years later, there was a follow-up, Batman and Robin, with Robert Lowery in the lead role. This time, the dynamic duo face The Wizard, who has developed a device to remotely control vehicles.

Again, it’s lots of low-budget fun – worth a look if, like me, you enjoy this sort of thing, or if you want to bore your friends with your movie trivia knowledge.

One thought on “Who was the first Batman in the movies?

  1. Pingback: How old is Batman? | PieceOf Pink Pie

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