Batman and Robin: Serial Collection
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Product Description

There's no Batmobile, and Robert Lowery looks a bit, ahem, well-fed as the Caped Crusader, but Columbia Pictures' 1949 black-and-white serial Batman and Robin is up to its cape and cowl in cliffhangers, crime capers, and good old-fashioned rock-em-sock-em action. Directed at a breakneck pace by serial vet Spencer Gordon Bennett, the Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection's 15 episodes pits Lowery's Batman and Johnny Duncan as the Boy Wonder against arch-villain The Wizard, who has designs on a remote-control device that doubles as a death ray. Jane Adams's Vicki Vale is on hand to fall into peril at least once per episode, while Ed Wood regular Lyle Talbot looks on sternly as Commissioner Gordon. Viewers weaned on Tim Burton's dark, sleek interpretation of the Batman mythos will undoubtedly groan over the creaky dialogue and performances (creator Bob Kane was no fan, either), but fans with designs on absorbing every bit of Bat-trivia possible will probably get a kick out of this well-intentioned attempt at bringing the Dark Knight's adventures to screen. The episodes are divided onto two DVDs, which offer no extras. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews:

  • Rent Before You Buy
    The title says it all. Rent before you buy. I watched this in about a day. The chapters are really short. (about 15 minutes) This is the kind of movie you watch when you don't have anything else to do. There are a few suprises in the plot. Vicki Vale's character doesn't help either. Lois Lane is a lot better. I have to say that the two Superman serials starring Kirk Allen and even the other Batman one starring Lewis Wilson and J. Carol Naish is a lot better then this! This is the poorest quality movie serial I've seen!...more info
  • batman and robin
    it is a decent dvd. Acting was okay. I liked it, it had a good villian but they should have used some one like the joker or panquin. The wizard wasnever in the comics but he was a noble villian for batman. Robins costum was okay but batmans was bad. I know it was 1949 not 2005 but his bat ears was not sticking up they were sticking to the side. The bat car was a normal car. When bruce wayan drove it the top was down when batman drove it the topwas up. Like that is much of a disgise. When I got it I knew it made back in 1949 so I wasn't expecting much but it was alot better than i thought it was a good story and it was a good mysterey....more info
  • Not my cup of Bat-tea
    This DVD is just not doing it for me. I gave it two stars for the menu and presentation. But the Films are preaty bad. the Bad guy is lame, and the acting was piss poor. everything about it just smacked of lame. i know it was the 1940's but thats not the problem its just not that interesting. ...more info
  • i want my 60s batman please
    Mainly just wanted to say that obvious effort was put into the digital transfer.Not Casablanca level but very crisp.Nice to see where my favorite Batman serial[ 1960s]got some ideas.I Hope that it comes out in this lifetime to.Adam West Rules!...more info
  • Batman and Robin- The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection......
    Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet, Batman and Robin stars: Robert Lowery, Johnny Duncan, Lyle Talbot, Jane Adams, and Ralph Graves. In this movie serial collection, Batman and Robin face off against The Wizard(a hooded villain whose identity remains a mystery until the end) and his gang of evil hoodlums. While this serial was made on a much lower budget than the first serial, this serial is regarded as the better of the two in terms of acting, plot devices, action and whatnot.

    I must admit, I got this DVD Collection the same time I got the 1943 Serial Collection so I'm just getting around to finishing it now. I love it and am really glad I added it to my collection. Would I recommend it to other Batman fans out there? Most certainly...if only for nostalgia sake and nothing else. True, it's hard to get past a thirty-year old man playing The Boy Wonder when he is supposed to be a young boy among other little flaws but it is a great serial, nonetheless.

    Now, if we could just get the powers to be out there to release the 60s television show in a DVD Collection...I'd be a happy camper. I've got, practically, every last live-action/animated version of Batman there is out there and that would top it. ...more info
  • One of my favorites!
    It's great that this is on DVD! I have a lot of affection for this serial. The cast is enjoyble and it's a highly entertaining blast of fun! ...more info
  • Batman and Robin: the complete 1949 movie serial
    This was purchased just because it is Batman (big fan). The quality of the product (DVDs) is very good. As for the series it self, it is good for a 1949 TV series. I am not disappointed. ...more info
    Okay, okay! I know the budget was almost non existant. But I'm referring to the fun, excitement, and adventure! Something modern day film makers have either forgotten or just prefer the special effects tell the story instead. All the shortcomings mentioned in other reviews are true. However the shortcomings are as human as the people involved. You'll recognize OLD CAP (William Fawcett) from the Little Rascals "When I get my back pension these kids will never have to eat mush again" playing suspect Prof. Hammil. This can be watched almost anytime but my favorite time is on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Robert Lowrey's contrasting portrayal of Bruce Wayne and Batman is still the best on screen performance I've ever seen. So if you're really into Batman and all his incarnations, buy this. I promise youll enjoy it immensly. It is far more entertaining than the 1997 Clooney, O'Donnell version of the same name. ...more info
  • Priceless inanity -at least as good as anything from Ed Wood
    I'll admit I'm not familiar with the 1943 serial. The serials I *am* familiar with (including the creaky Poverty Row Lugosi ones) are really MUCH worse than this, at least for pure **entertainment** value. But perhaps my "entertainment scale" is different - I can't recall such a high knee-slapper/howler ratio in anything other than an Ed Wood movie. The dialogue isn't just stilted - it's moronic on every conceivable level! (After Batman gets the stuffing beat out of him and is picking himself up off the edirt, Robin helpfully points out that the crooks "are getting away in their car". Gee - THAT'S why they call him the "Boy Wonder" (though he looks closer to 30 than 20). Frequently, the actors look as though they are improvising or just saying whatever comes into their head. And although the action is downright FRANTIC (numerous fistfights, burning buildings, spectacular car-off-the-cliff crashes, gunfights, airplanes exploding, etc.), the actual plot never moves forward. Things I learned: radioactive money bursts into flames when removed from it's envelope. Getting a daily beating doesn't affect your handsome good looks. Changing into a bat costume in the back of a convertible doesn't attract any attention. "Remote control" machines run on diamonds. The "Bat Signal" works at high noon. Gotham City doesn't have any buildings - it's out in the middle of the California desert somewhere. Batman's "utility belt" can hold a full-sized acetylene torch, including the tank, without showing. "Wayne Manor" is right next door to the Cleaver's house. The "Bat Cave" is underneath that, but is about the right size for a basement. (And it includes the shadows of rubber bats flitting around, too.) I could go on, but I hope that you get the idea. I was a little worried that I'd be sitting through some "Commando Cody"-style drek, but please, take my word for it - this is some of the best, most riffable material I have EVER seen. My absolute highest recommendation. (If you like that sort of thing, that is!!!)...more info
  • "To the filing cabinet, Robin!"
    This matinee cliff-hanger series is hilarious, even if unintentionally. When the Bat-signal lights up the sky, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson run down to the Batcave and open a three-drawer filing cabinet and remove their carefully folded costumes. When they need to change on the road, Bruce simply puts the top on the convertible and Robing hops over into the back seat to change. They don't seem to worry about driving the same car in both their civilian and super-hero identities, nor do they worry too much about pulling up outside Wayne Manor (a quite modest suburban house) and running up the driveway in their capes.

    Great fun for Batman fans who want to see how far he has come over the years....more info
  • They Stole the DareDevil Poster to make this DVD cover
    Whomever it was who created that box cover Blatantly stole the Fox/Marvel comics DareDevil Image from the movies poster and doctored it up to look like Batman. Fox/Marvel should sue....more info
  • Not too shabby
    Robert Lowery & John Duncan are Batman & Robin who match wits with a criminal known as "The Wizard" who threatens to paralyze all modes of transportation by use of an electronic device. Lots of thrills. Strong story, great plot! Better than George Clooney's version...more info
  • This dvd edition does include more footage
    In response to another review below, someone mentioned that he remembered the first episode being about 10 minutes longer than the VHS release. I have seen both the VHS release and the dvd and can verify that, yes, the first episode of the dvd edition is about 9 or 10 minutes longer. The additional footage helps it make a bit more sense, though nothing critical was left out.

    The picture quality is good for something this old. It's still pretty hokey, but it's good for what it was. It's fun to see Batman in the 1940's, just 10 years after his creation and to see how the character has evolved over the years.

    I wonder why they didn't use the box art from the vhs release?

    I too would like to see the 1943 movie serials released on dvd, and the 1960's Batman television show as well. With the new Batman Begins movie about to open in theaters, what better time?
    ...more info
    The first Batman serial from 1943 was a very good serial of it's day. Dated by today's standards but it did a wonderful job of capturing the look and flavor of the Bob Kane gritty batman. Add to that that it had a strong lead in Lewis Wilson, great villian in character actor J. Carrol Naish, and a talented Director in Lambert Hillyer and it made for a great serial.

    Batman and Robin has none of that, unfortunately. Robert Lowery, much like Dick Purcell in the Captain America serial is FAR too out of shape for the role and he makes Adam West look like Schwarzenegger. Spencer Gordon Bennett was a veteran of directing movie serials but he was strictly less than a "B" director. The film looks cheap in every way. Serials were almost always low budgets but good directors had a way of getting the most out of what they had to work with. Not the case here as all the sets look cheesy, the script is laughable, the acting stiff as a board, and the costumes look like your Aunt Rose sewed them together in her basement the night before the costume party.

    The plot involves some typical 1940's hokum about a remote control device that can take control of any moving vehicle that is stolen by a masked villian known as The Wizard. On top of that the machines needs diamonds to fuel it!!! So we get Batman & Robin trying to track down the wizard and foil all of his plots. The stupid villian had a device that allowed him to spy on Batman but for some reason never used it when Batman was about to bust up one of his schemes.

    John Duncan fares slightly better as Robin than Lowery does as Batman. He at least looks slightly athletic even if the stunt double is completely obvious. Oh and there's no batmobile...not even an attempt to make one. Just the caped crusaders driving around in an off the lot convertible.

    It's not completely horrible. There are some nice cliff-hangers and pretty decent action sequences. The Wizard is suitably scary for kids if a bit over the top. One just wishes that more care and money would have gone into the production to make it at least a B serial....more info
  • it's 1956 at the Roxy
    So here I am with a head cold at home, bought this last week and it arrived this morning, all at once I am 8 years old on a saturday afternoon at the Roxy on Blue Hill ave in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Myself and about 150 other kids lived out our fantasy each Saturday afternoon. If you were one of us, buy this Dvd and relive your childhood!!!!!...more info
  • Complete at last
    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....more info
  • Its not bad at all
    While I love Batman, I didnt know if I Should buy it or not. People seemed to bash this left and right for stupid reasons. Considering it was made in 1949, it was still very entertaining and enjoyable. I recently picked it up and I love it! Its cheesy and has some holes in it, but its fun. I highly recommend it if you like Batman, you wont be disappointed. ...more info
  • Highly recommend......
    I bought this a bit hesitantly, I wouldn't classify myself as a diehard Batman fan, but this was a very enjoyable DVD. Absolutly fun to watch, especially if you like black and white. Something you can let the kids watch, and the adults will like as well!...more info
  • Batman Bloopers
    There were many scenes which kept me tied to my seat but I did notice some bloopers that could have been easily avoided. Maybe it is not fair to compare the 40's Batman style to the 60's, 80's and 90's style as it progresed as time went on. They got a fancy Batmobile, a different way of entering the Batcave, among other advanced changes. One thing that was kept the same, Batman knew the criminals move even before the criminals made their move. Personally, I prefer the cloth outfits in the 60s Batman to the rubber ones in they wore in the 80s and 90s version....more info
  • Give me these guys over rubber suits with nipples anyday.
    Approach serials with this one thought in mind--when they were made, they were the filler before the main event. As a result, no, they didn't have great budgets or highly talented actors. In addition, comic book characters were not approached with the same sense of reverence they are now (perhaps a little TOO much reverence sometimes). There is no batmobile, no Joker or Penguin. Still, this is a fairly typical, and entertaining serial from the 1940's that's a lot more family friendly than some of the other superhero fare being marketed these days. Worth a look, and since it probably won't be around for long, you might want to snatch it up while you can. The sound and picture quality are quite good....more info