It may not be the best movie, but it’ll teach you how to survive a shark attack.
Above is a vintage Japanese poster for Batman the movie, which we discussed in detail here. If you haven’t seen this insane campfest, just stop everything you’re doing and rent, borrow or steal it. It gives new meaning to the term “jumping the shark.” Batman premiered in Japan today in 1967.
Battery will get you everywhere.
Cover of the National Enquirer published today in 1966, with a feature on Adam West, who was banking serious dollars on television’s campy superhero series Batman. By the way, we often see West referred to as the original Batman, but that isn’t true. This guy is the original Batman.
Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.
Is the original Batman movie cheesy? Well, let's just say that’s like calling a truffle mildly flavorful. In one scene Batman needs to dispose of a smoking bomb. He runs along a wharf, but no matter which way he speeds with this thing he cannot unload it. Everywhere, innocent people are obliviously threatening to become collateral damage. Nuns stroll, lovers neck, marching bands play, women walk with babies. The Caped Crusader is blocked on all sides as he runs every which way like mad, and the scene just goes on and on. Thwarted at last by a school of ducks, he sighs and says to himself—but also to his audience—“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb.”
More than any other, that line sums up Batman. Plot? Sure, there’s a plot. Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler join forces to rid Gotham of the Dynamic Duo. Cast? Absolutely. You’ve got Lee Meriwether, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Cesar Romero, and the immortal Adam West as Batman. But don’t worry about that stuff—just watch the film. Its cynicism-free humor is almost unrecognizable as such in our modern, jaded age, but even so, it will knock you out of your chair laughing at least once. We guarantee it. And if it doesn’t? Well then, you’re a soulless zombie. Batman was released in the U.S. today in 1966.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong
, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
1912—First Parachute Jump Takes Place
Albert Berry jumps from a biplane traveling at 1,500 feet and lands by parachute at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. The 36 foot diameter chute was contained in a metal canister attached to the underside of the plane, and when Berry dropped from the plane his weight pulled the canopy from the canister. Rather than being secured into the chute by a harness, Berry was seated on a trapeze bar. It's possible he was only the second man to accomplish a parachute landing, as there are some accounts of someone accomplishing the feat in California several months earlier.
1932—Lindbergh Baby Is Kidnapped
The twenty-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, is kidnapped from the family home in East Amwell, New Jersey. Over two months later the toddler's body is discovered in woods a short distance from the home. A medical examination determines that he had died of a massive skull fracture. A German carpenter named Bruno Hauptmann is arrested, tried, and convicted for the crime. He is sentenced to death and executed in April 1936.
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