"The Dark Knight Rises" (2012) is one of the most anticipated on-screen adaptations of DC Comics' Caped Crusader. Before you flock to cinemas for the latest Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale flick, here are some rare photos from LIFE on the set of Batman, the 1966 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
They sure don’t make superhero shows like they used to. These days, we’ve got hunky Hollywood actors in bulky metal suits doing high-risk action scenes with their stunt doubles, or via CGI. Gone are the goofy days of fake punches with KAPOW! and KABLAM! flashing on the screen with well-timed crescendos and chicken-slapping sound effects.
Lucky we found these rare photos of Batman, the 1966 incarnation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Fingers’ eponymous comic hero. Starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin, here’s a retro look into The Dark Knight’s lighter days:
“It’s all over the place. Madness! Supermadness! The entertainment world offers it on all sides, and the public gobbles it up. Batman conquers TV. Kids swing Batman capes in the back yard, and Bat products are everywhere… Batman swooped from the comic books to the TV screen only a few weeks ago and is already among the top 10 sows, one of the great sudden successes in entertainment history. The hero is still his spooky but saintly self, a Dracula with a halo who pops out of his Bat lair to foil enemies with mysterious weapons. Adults can take it as a joke or lap it up like kids. Either way, Batman wins.”
“The boom in bedlam springs, of course, from man’s old love of the bizarre and the fantastic. But it also reflects today’s restless, volatile spirit. Pop art and the cut of camp have turned Superman and Batman into members of the intellectual community, and what the kids used to devour in comics books has become a staple in avant-garde art. Any way you slice it, the new supermadness is breaking the laws both of gravity and logic ad providing a useful escape hatch from the booby hatch. In a world that often looms confused and loony, it helps clear the air to see it portrayed that way.”
Film-making technologies have certainly brought us a long way from these cartoon-y episodes, and with a cast comprising of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, and Morgan Freeman (phew!), you know you’ll be in for a thrilling Batmobile ride. But it’s cool to look back on the roots of all that action, when thrills came with every turn of a page, or slap of a chicken.
Sourced from LIFE.