- Batman (1966) [TV Series]
Format: Digital (91 min)
3.5 / 5 Stars
Holy guilty pleasure, Batman! Film Score Monthly hits another homerun with their release to the original Batman film. In a rare occurrence (back in 1966) where a film was inspired by a television show (as opposed to the other way around), the "Batman" television series moved onto the big screen with the release of Batman. It was even more bizarre, considering that the television show had only been on the air for one season at the time! Nonetheless, this film took advantage of the show's success, and brought all of the main villains together into one venue. Catwoman, The Penguin, The Joker - they're all there. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to draw the audience, and the film floundered. But it did provide a wonderful canvas for composer Nelson Riddle to hone his Bat-Composing skills, and produce a gleefully energetic and slightly better than expected score.
For the most part, Riddle uses his skills and talents as a big-band leader and arranger to create a punchy, almost jazz-influenced score. Of course, integrating Neal Hefti's classic "Batman" theme was necessary - but it was Riddle who added the punching brass hits which we all know accompanied the "Bam!" and "Thwap!" action title cards. "Just Ring / Yo Ho, Sir / Let's Find Out" is a great example of a cue that covers all of the different scoring styles in the film. From bits of "Mickey-Mousing", to the "Batman" theme, to some classic Riddle action, it's all here.
A few additional bonus cues are included, featuring some source cues as well as an "in-joke" with the 20th Century Fox music department. The only major complaint I have comes from the sound quality. While I'm sure the best sources that were available were used for this album, the mono sound varies from reasonable to slightly muddled. Additionally, the score tends to get a bit monotonous after a while - while it's nice to have over an hour of music, I think this would have made a more enjoyable 30-minute album. Still, this is definitely a guilty pleasure album - Riddle's score is fun, and you'll certainly enjoy enough of it to make it a worthwhile purchase. "Holy credit card debt, Batman!"
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