Batman: The Movie is the very first Batman film (if you don't count the movie serial). It came out in 1966.
Batman and Robin, the Dynamic Duo, find out their four arch-enemies, Catwoman, the Joker, Penguin, and Riddler, have teamed up. The villains are holding Commodore Schmidlapp captive, although the Commodore is unaware of this. The villains went to use a disguised Catwoman, to seduce Bruce Wayne, so they can kidnap him. Also, the villains are planning on getting rid of the leaders of the United Nations, so they can be the new leaders of the world.
From the plot summary I gave, this film might sound off-putting or ridiculous. However, the plot is good, because it combines an exciting adventure story with fun-loving antics and entertainment. The film manages to be exciting, as well as very clever and humorous. Arguably, the cleverest thing about the plot is getting four villains involved in one plotline and managing to make it work. Seeing them try to upstage their two costumed enemies is epic and a lot of fun. Of course, watching Batman and Robin, along with some help from Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara, is a joy to watch.
The film has a truly wonderful cast. Adam West is my favorite Batman actor. Although lots of talented actors have played the character, Adam West had a wholesome charm and an adorably heroic and pure of heart take on Batman, that's hard not to love. Despite the film being comedic, Adam West's Batman is genuinely loveable and inspiring. In addition to bringing sentimentality to the character, Adam West brings a lot of energy and entertainment to the role. When you think about it, a guy dressing up like a bat is silly and Adam West makes that silliness more visible, but in a good way.
Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton, and Stafford Repp were greatly cast as Batman's aids in fighting crime and they're all very likeable and charming. Reginald Denny does a really good job at playing the clueless, but friendly Commodore.
The actors playing the villains are true scene-stealers. Julie Newmar wasn't able to play Catwoman in the film. Thankfully, Lee Meriwether is a good substitute for the Princess of Plunder. One thing I like about her performance is that she acts like she's a cat. She even makes random cat noises, which leads to a henchman making a confused face.
Burgess Meredith is a fantastic Penguin. Penguin tends to be a very enjoyable villain and Mr. Meredith's incredibly dedicated and one-of-a-kind performance is perfect for the Penguin. He's a delight to watch in every scene he's in. His classic laugh is amazing and his body language and vocal tones are excellent. Danny DeVito and a lot of voice actors have done a great job as the Penguin, but it'll be hard to ever top Burgess Meredith.
Cesar Romero is a deliciously over-the-top, amazing, delightful Joker. The Joker is supposed to be a maniac, who's having the time of his life. Mr. Romero puts so much energy and enthusiasm into his performance, that he's very believable as the classic version of the Clown Prince of Crime. Most people tend to prefer the more modern Joker actors, but when I think of the Joker, Cesar Romero is the one, in particular, who comes to mind.
Frank Gorshin arguably gives the best portrayal of a comic book villain to the big screen, as the Riddler. Mr. Gorshin's physical movements, along with his gleeful voice and laugh are so amazing, that it's hard to put into words. Every scene he's in is a memorable delight. Frank Gorshin's Riddler is so amazing, that he might as well be the dictionary definition of scene-stealers. They say nothing's impossible, but I think it's practically impossible for anybody to be a better Riddler than Frank Gorshin.
This film was made a long time ago and didn't have the budget modern superhero films do. Despite that, I love how the costumes look. One of the main things that made me love Batman as a kid was his blue and gray costume. (Yes, I was a pretty superficial kid. XD) Sadly, the other live-action films changed the colors of the costume. The blue and gray design is my favorite, so this is my favorite out of all the live-action costumes. I wish I had a costume like that.
The villains' costume also look incredible. If I were ever to wear a tuxedo, I would want it to resemble Penguin's tuxedo. I love his sharp suit and the purple top hat. Joker's costume is also incredible looking and is deliciously stylish.
The music fits the fast-paced, adventurous tone of the film. It's memorable, charming, and a lot of fun to listen to. It helps add to the mood of the scenes, especially the action scenes.
Batman: The Movie is a delightfully upbeat and fun adventure film, thanks to the clever writers and the outstanding cast. I recommend it to people who enjoy lighthearted adventure stories and appreciate unique acting. This film may be over 50 years old, but the film's entertainment value is priceless and the inspiring morality of Adam West's Batman has left a permanent impact on my heart.