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Batman and Robin - The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection

4.1 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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(Mar 22, 2005)
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$32.00 $1.89

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robert Lowery, John Duncan, Lyle Talbot, Jane Adams. One of the most beloved serials of all time, this incarnation of the Dynamic Duo battled the villains of Gotham City one week at a time in the theaters! Includes all 15 episodes on 2 DVDs. 1949/b&w/4 hrs., 23 min/NR/fullscreen.

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

  • 15 episodes on two discs

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Lowery, Johnny Duncan, Jane Adams, Lyle Talbot, Ralph Graves
  • Directors: Spencer Gordon Bennet
  • Writers: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, George H. Plympton, Jerry Robinson, Joseph F. Poland
  • Producers: Sam Katzman
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 263 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007G89FU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman and Robin - The Complete 1949 Movie Serial Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
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!
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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 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 a guilty pleasure.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Just finished playing this DVD and it lived up to its expectations. Typical classic moments include Batman's cowl (Face Mask) being to large for Batman's (Robert Lowery) face, with the result that it slips down past his eyes and he regularly compensates by having to raise his face to the sky to see underneath the eyeholes. An absolute classic moment!!!

As well as this when the Dynamic Duo go one to one with the bad guys in a fight they more often than not get duffed up.

The Batcave consists of a filing cabinet to store their costumes (where else) and a microscope to play the part of a laboratory.

I could go on and on but buy or rent this DVD as it merits a wider audience to appreciate it "hamminess" and appeal to a more innocent time. Loved it.
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