Join superheroes Batman and Robin in fifteen action-packed episodes of one of the most thrilling adventure serials of yesteryear. The Dynamic Duo careens from one nail-biting cliffhanger to the next as they combat The Wiza... more »rd, a villain with all of Gotham City at his mercy. This action adventure was originally shown in movie theaters in 1949, one chapter at a time, in weekly installments.
Rick B. from GLENVIEW, IL Reviewed on 2/23/2013...
Batman's cowl looks less bat-like than shrew-like, and stately Wayne manor is typical large suburban home, and 'newscasts' are wonderfully plot-dependent, about 15 seconds long each, and starting every time somebody turns on a radio.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Batman on a Low Budget
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/17/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Upon viewing the first chapter, it's obvious that "Batman and Robin" (1949) will not emerge as one of the all-time great serials. With producer Sam Katzman at the helm, it's bargain-basement all the way - right down to the cheap costumes and an incredibly poor excuse for a Batmobile. Despite low-budget shortcomings, there's plenty of hokey fun as Batman and Robin face one contrived cliffhanger after another. The mysterious Wizard makes for an interesting villain, since he never appeared in the comic books. Robert Lowery does a good job as Batman, but John Duncan's Boy Wonder looks like a juvenile delinquent. It's nice to see character actor Lyle Talbot as Commissioner Gordon, even though he has a tendency to activate the Bat Signal in broad daylight. Flaws and all, "Batman and Robin" is an undeniable guilty pleasure."
For completist collectors
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 08/14/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This 1949 serial will be of interest mainly to Batman and/or serial fanatics. It is fun to watch, though much of the fun comes from the improbabilities and inconsistencies. For instance, there's no Batmobile, just a car which can be identified as Bruce Wayne's car. Nobody except Bruce Wayne's girl friend, Vickie Vale, seems to notice this. There are very few good chapter endings here. Most of them are either lame or boring or borderline cheating. The characters are interesting, though. The villianous Wizard's
identity is of course kept secret until the last chapter, and you're given several red herrings to puzzle over, one of which is a bit overly done. A serial based on as popular a comic book hero as Batman should've been much better, but those who really enjoy the genre will probably want this, chiefly because it's one of the two serials featuring the Dynamic Duo."
Fedora Bashin' Fun
Drake | Douglasville, GA USA | 06/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How does Bruce Wayne convert his car into the Batmobile? Why, he simply puts up the rag-top, of course! Yeah, okay, so the 1949 Batman Serial was not exactly "cutting edge" or "mind-blowing" or "good", but it has its charm. The dialogue is ridiculous, the fight scenes are clumbsy, and the costumes are ill-fitting at best, but for some reason, I absolutely love it. This floppy-eared incarnation of the Dark Knight is more a film noir private investigator than the shadowy, rooftop avenger that we know today. He and the Boy Wonder spend less time lurking in the Bat Cave and more time beating up the Wizard's greasy haired, fedora wearing thugs. Oh...and the Wizard! This guy is actually a pretty good villain. He is cloaked head-to-toe, has blank, glowing eyes, appears from time to time as a phantom, and remains a mystery through most of the serial. Pretty creepy dude, if you ask me, and a fitting opponent for Batman and Robin. If you're thinking about buying this one, take off your critic's hat and enjoy this gem for what it is: an old-school Bat-brawl. It's fedora bashin' fun!"
Standard cops-and-robbers; add one star for the second half
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 12/21/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is NOT the campy, politically incorrect 1943 serial with zombies, alligators, and ray guns. Rather, this is the 1949 sequel, which is a straight crime melodrama with good and bad points in about equal measure. On the minus side, the first half doesn't go anywhere, with a sketchy story and unimpressive action (Batman's dangerous leaps are shown in "safe" close shots, for example). The script is uneven, the identity of the masked villain is predictable, and the production values are of the bargain-basement variety. On the plus side, however, decent direction and a hard-working cast smooth over the rough spots, and things get moving in the second half (faster pace, more elaborate stunts).
Both halves average out to an average serial, disappointing for Batman enthusiasts but okay for serial fans and B-movie buffs. Picture and sound quality are very good."
Complete at last
Leganto | USA | 07/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1990s, Columbia released this 1949 Batman and Robin serial on VHS. About 10 minutes were missing from the first chapter. It was with great uneasiness that I awaited the new DVD re-release, and I am happy to say that the missing minutes have been restored.
From reading other reviews and from my own observations, I now see all the holes in the plot and other absurdities that my seven-year-old mind could not grasp when I originally saw this in the theater in 1950. But I don't care. It is still entertaining, and watching it and listening to the Mischa Bakaleinikoff music score bring back fond memories of that remote time.
Now how about the 1943 Batman serial? It is full of political incorrectness that one VHS version almost completely censored and modified. Let's have the real original, unretouched; but maybe with some commentary to help point out the anti-Japanese wartime posturing that was there then."