Adam West's Batman vs the modern "Dark Knight" version - which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Michelle66, Oct 31, 2010.

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  1. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As a kid, I enjoyed the wonderful color palette of the 60's Batman and saw it as a decent show to watch after school.

    But, sometime in the 80's, I caught it again and finally realized just how hilariously funny it was, and how Adam West played the character brilliantly.

    Then, we got the Dark Knight comic book series, the Tim Burton & Joel Schumacher films, and finally the most recent Christopher Nolan reboot.

    Every incarnation of the character is readily available on home video, except the 60's TV series, which rumor has it, DC Comics has tried to distance itself from. The old show seems to have become the bast**d child in the whole Batman canon that many modern fans wish had never been made.

    While I've seen all of the movies, and have the series uncut on DVD-R :)shh:), I have come to the conclusion that the 60's show is my favorite presentation of the character. I find a new joke each time I watch an episode and think Adam West plays both Bruce Wayne and Batman perfectly (especially in the first season). (Adam didn't need body armor!)

    I'm curious as to which version of the character the people around here prefer (although I'm sure I'll be in the minority).

    Why do I think the tone of the Adam West series had the best balance? Well, you had villains doing bad things, but they weren't homicidal maniacs. (Both of the main baddies in the newer films want to kill as many people as they can.)

    What's more, Adam's Batman seemed to care about those he was sworn to protect. He'd never miss the chance to pass out good driver bumper stickers, or caution Robin about pedestrian safety. Collateral damage doesn't seem to bother Christian Bale's Batman at all.

    Each take on the character is a product of the times. But, I'm curious as to why so many fans of the modern take are so opposed to the 60's version. (Fans of the old show can generally enjoy the newer movies, but it doesn't seem to go the other way.)
  2. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    I think the biggest gripe I have with the Adam West series was the BIFF, BAM, BOOM and even POW stuff. :D

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  3. benjaminhuf

    benjaminhuf Forum Resident

    I haven't seen the Adam West one since I was a kid, but I loved it at the age of 5 in 1969 or so.

    But the new ones seem to be--and maybe I'm wrong here--about becoming almost like the bad guy/terrorists so that we can defeat the bad guy/terrorists. Seems like an idea I don't really agree with if that's it, but maybe I'm missing something. I feel the same way about the TV show 24. Liked it a lot initially, but then I began to clue in to what it was all about...

    So, I think I may prefer the old one. I love it when Eartha Kitt lights off the "hair bomb" and destroys the hairstyles of the stuffy ladies--that's the only bit I've seen recently on youtube.
  4. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    Nope, you aren't missing a thing, Christopher Nolan was making a point about "terrorists" and other subjects we'd be better off not talking about on this forum. And it really did feel like making a point that was really outside the good guy/bad guy frame of older "Superhero" movies. However, this is the modern trend with so-called "Superheros."
  5. Jackson

    Jackson Senior Member

    MA, USA
    I prefer Adam West's Batman.
  6. htbomb

    htbomb Hot Rod

    Adam West and the '66 Batmobile forever. I've enjoyed all of the movies since then except, perhaps ironically, the one starring Adam West (what works on TV doesn't always translate well to the big screen). Batman is my favorite superhero and I like all the variations.

    BTW many of the various Batmobiles are available from Mattel Hot Wheels.

  7. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Grand Junction, CO
    I'm so glad that modern TV and motion picture interpretations of comic books
    and scifi have left the "campiness" behind and are written for more sophisticated
    audiences. I found the 1960's version of Batman painful to watch even as a child.
  8. PageLesPaul

    PageLesPaul To be a rock and not to roll...

    Lithia, FL USA
    This one...

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  9. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan on Sabbatical

    Central PA
    I had to suffer through the '60s Batman and the whole culture of "oh, it's just a kids book" treatment. Even kids can tell when they're not being treated seriously. Miller's revision in the comics translated into Nolan's films was finally the respect for the characters they deserved.

    Although, seeing Beetlejuice play the Dark Knight - and rockin' it! - was a pretty big thrill as well.
  10. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Well, if you've got an extra $150,000 lying around, you can buy a licensed replica of the 60's Batmobile from this place:

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  11. rene smalldridge

    rene smalldridge Senior Member

    Sometimes I grow weary of being subjected to "seriousness" and "big statements".
    Gimme Adam West and Bam - Pow!!
  12. SBurke

    SBurke Nostalgia Junkie

    Philadelphia, PA
    That is so cool. Makes me want to buy a lottery ticket. :)

    I like Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" best. Looking back on the ones I've seen, I don't think any of the movies quite matches it. The first Keaton was pretty cool (and I was totally into it that summer, but then again, I was 16). The recent ones have been pretty good too, but I didn't like them quite as much as they were praised. Funny how Batman seems to be upstaged by his villains.

    I don't even know what the Schumacher films are -- are those the Clooney and Kilmer flops? Never saw them, never will, willingly.
  13. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

  14. Lonson

    Lonson Just a Lucky So-and-so

    Very surprised that at the time of this writing the West and Nolan versions are neck and neck. There's a wide gulf between them in my enjoyment.
  15. ringosshed

    ringosshed Forum Resident

    san diego
    I did my thesis at college on Batman. The title was A Batman For All Seasons. Comparing
    the 60's Batman ( which I prefer ) to the Dark Knight is like comparing The Monkees to the Beatles. If anyone has not yet seen the animated series they should check it out.
    Great animation and stories.
  16. benjaminhuf

    benjaminhuf Forum Resident

    Thanks for confirming that I'm more or less on the right track with the new ones. But you're right--it's potentially thin ice, and other than saying that I'll just shut up now.
  17. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Actually, I've read in the past that the Batman TV series makes up one of the three "Big B's" of 60's popular culture (with the Beatles and (James) Bond comprising the other two).

    The series' impact was profound. It created a craze that Bob Kane himself credited as saving the comic book from cancelation, and it gave a much-needed hit to the floundering ABC network. (And according to Adam West in his autobiography, might have even saved the network from collapse.)

    Actually, the series treated the character with much more respect and realism than it was getting in the comic book at the time. The Batman comic book of the early to mid 60's was full of childish science fiction stories with crazy aliens, and such memorable villains as "Polka Dot Man".

    About the only time Batman was a dark and mysterious character was in its first year of publication. After Robin came on board, the stories became fanciful action yarns with the heroes fighting on oversized props much of the time. By the time the sixties rolled around, the only thing the character had in common with the '39 version was the name.
  18. direwolf-pgh

    direwolf-pgh Well-Known Member

    ditto. the bam! pow! wham! made it fun. batman/all the villians being serious on film doesnt work for me.
  19. kevintomb

    kevintomb Forum Resident

    Im not sure I get your comparison honestly. The dark knight is mature, and mostly realistic, the 60s one was embarrassing to watch as a kid even. What criteria are you using to compare them? Are you liking comical and campy silly humor over an adult tone?

    Im not even sure we can compare these to each other as one was obviously made in a very juveline silly way, and the other to appeal to adults.

    Dont get me wrong, the 60s silly one is quite enjoyable in a "way", but its not even mildly comparable to the dark knight. Both are at extremes of mood, and maturity.
  20. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    detroit, mi
    Christian Bale here...
  21. GT40sc

    GT40sc Senior Member

    Eugene, Oregon
    ...age 6 in 1966, wore a bath-towel "cape" every tuesday and wednesday, even had to watch it at a friend's house because we didn't have a TV then...

    Adam West is Batman to me...
  22. benjaminhuf

    benjaminhuf Forum Resident

    It is kind of like comparing apples and oranges. They are very different.

    I voted for the West version, and I enjoy its campy fun, but Nolan certainly has done something big with the concept. I think he's a good director, but from what I've seen of it (and I haven't seen it all yet) it's not my favorite film by him. My two favs by Nolan are Memento and The Prestige. I think his more commercial stuff maybe isn't quite as good. Just my 2 cents.
  23. BigManAndy

    BigManAndy Active Member

    Adam West, that Batmobile is just incredible!

    The Nolan/Bale era Batman's I can't even finish.
  24. jfmlaugh

    jfmlaugh Forum Resident

    Michigan, US
    Love Adam West as Batman!! Adam West could come back and be Old Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond - they should make that live action series or special. We could get Micky Dolenz to play the musicmeister or some other muscial villian.
  25. Robert Campion

    Robert Campion New Member

    I guess I've got that spirit that says a certain amount of silliness can be sophisticated. (Sounds like a song.)

    I'm most familiar with the Adam West movie ('cause you can buy it!). Lots of great bits in there. It drags a little. I think it's about 100 minutes. It'd be a masterpiece at 80.

    Wasn't Adam West just perfect?
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