Between 1943 and 1949, Batman appeared in two live-action, black and white movie serials. Produced by Columbia Pictures, the serials appeared in cinemas, with each serial running for 15 consecutive weeks.

But what are the Batman movie serials?


What are movie serials?

Image: ©Columbia Pictures/DC Comics

For those who have just walked in…

Movie serials are live-action stories (similar to feature films) which are told via a series of chapters. During the early days of cinema, serials would play in movie theatres, with a new chapter appearing each week.

Comic book characters appeared in a number of serials during the 1940s and 1950s. Batman was the focus of two of these serials.


The Batman movie serials in order

The two Batman movie serials are:

  • Batman (1943)
  • Batman and Robin (1949)


Who directed the Batman movie serials?

Lambert Hillyer directed Batman (1943), while Spencer Gordon Bennet directed Batman and Robin (1949).


What is the premise of Batman 1943?

Image: ©Columbia Pictures/DC Comics

In Batman 1943, the Dynamic Duo square up to Dr. Daka – the leader of a criminal sabotage ring which is operating in Gotham City. The story plays out across 15 chapters, and ends with Batman and Robin foiling Dr. Daka’s schemes.


Who are the cast of the 1943 Batman serial?

Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft are the lead characters in Batman, playing Batman and Robin respectively.

The cast of Batman 1943 is as follows:

  • Lewis Wilson – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Douglas Croft – Dick Grayson/Robin
  • William Austin – Alfred Pennyworth
  • J. Carrol Nash – Dr. Tito Daka
  • Shirley Patterson – Linda Page


What are the chapter titles for Batman 1943?

  • 1) The Electrical Brain
  • 2) The Bat’s Cave
  • 3) The Mark of the Zombies
  • 4) Slaves of the Rising Sun
  • 5) The Living Corpse
  • 6) Poison Peril
  • 7) The Phoney Doctor
  • 8) Lured by Radium
  • 9) The Sign of the Sphinx
  • 10) Flying Spies
  • 11) A Nipponese Trap
  • 12) Embers of Evil
  • 13) Eight Steps Down
  • 14) The Executioner Strikes
  • 15) The Doom of the Rising Sun


What is the premise of Batman and Robin 1949?

In Batman and Robin, the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder are pitted against The Wizard – a masked villain. The story is told across 15 chapters, with The Wizard’s identity kept a secret until the end of the serial.


Who are the cast of the 1949 Batman and Robin serial?

Robert Lowery and Johnny Duncan are the lead characters in Batman and Robin, playing Batman and Robin respectively.

The cast of Batman and Robin 1949 is as follows:

  • Robert Lowery – Bruce Wayne/Batman
  • Johnny Duncan – Dick Grayson/Robin
  • Eric Wilton – Alfred Pennyworth
  • Lyle Talbot – Commissioner Gordon
  • Jane Adams – Vicki Vale
  • Leonard Penn – The Wizard


What are the chapter titles for Batman and Robin 1949?

  • 1) Batman Takes Over
  • 2) Tunnel of Terror
  • 3) Robin’s Wild Ride
  • 4) Batman Trapped!
  • 5) Robin Rescues Batman!
  • 6) Target – Robin!
  • 7) The Fatal Blast
  • 8) Robin Meets the Wizard!
  • 9) The Wizard Strikes Back!
  • 10) Batman’s Last Chance!
  • 11) Robin’s Ruse
  • 12) Robin Rides the Wind
  • 13) The Wizard’s Challenge
  • 14) Batman vs. Wizard
  • 15) Batman Victorious


What is the best Batman movie serial?

Neither of the Batman movie serials are considered strong examples of live-action Batman stories, although the serials do have their fans. In terms of which is the best Batman serial, according to IMDb the Batman movie serials are ranked as follows:

  • Batman (1943) – 6.4/10
  • Batman and Robin (1949) – 6.1/10


Are the Batman movie serials the only serials based on DC Comics characters?

In total, there are ten serials based on DC Comics characters, and these cover Captain Marvel, Blackhawk and Superman, amongst others. If you would like more information about the DC Comics movie serials, check out my post: How many movie serials are based on DC Comics characters?


I hope this information about the Batman movie serials has proved useful. Should you wish to know more about the Batman movie series in general, then please take a look around I’ll Get Drive-Thru, or check out one of the recommended reads below.

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