Batman Returns

Batman Returns

Synopsis of Movie

“Meow.”

Jack Nicholson’s much-praised Joker didn’t make a return appearance in Batman Returns, but with Danny DeVito’s Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman and Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck lighting up the screen, the ever-smiling one was hardly missed. Michael Keaton did return as the title character, as did director Tim Burton, whose knack for exotic, imaginative visuals continued in this Bat-sequel.

As the movie opens, two Gotham socialites (played by Paul Reubens and his Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure co-star Diane Salinger) drop their bad-tempered and hideously disfigured baby into the nearest river, where the child is taken in by a flock of Gotham Zoo penguins. Thirty-three years later, the child has grown into The Penguin, and he wants to know why his parents abandoned him.

The Penguin makes his Gotham debut at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony presided over by tycoon Max Shreck, who has designs on Gotham’s electricity supply. The Penguin and his gang of circus clowns, strongmen, etc., kidnap Shreck and try to blackmail him into helping find the deformed creature’s parents. Shreck has an even better idea, mounting a PR campaign to get The Penguin elected mayor.

Shreck’s shy secretary Selina Kyle stumbles onto his evil plans, and to silence her, Shreck pushes her out a high-rise window. Miraculously, Selina is nursed back to life by a gang of stray cats, who lick her wounds. The reborn Selina stitches together a black leather costume and takes to the night as the sharp-clawed Catwoman.

Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne/Batman digs up the dirt on The Penguin’s shady past, which puts him squarely on The Penguin’s hit list. Catwoman joins forces with the bad-tempered Penguin, but at the same time, she’s beginning to fall in love with Bruce Wayne, and she still wants revenge on Max Shreck. When The Penguin sends an army of missile-outfitted penguins out to destroy Gotham, the lines are drawn for a four-sided climactic battle.

Even darker in spirit than the first Batman, this sequel may have not been suitable for young children, but that didn’t stop them from flocking to see their caped hero in action. Batman Returns was another mammoth success in the film franchise, which continued on in 1995’s Batman Forever. In the meantime, Warner Bros.’ Batman: The Animated Series brought the films’ “Dark Deco” look to the small screen, kicking off a new line of Batman cartoons that continues today.

Movie Release History

1989 - Batman
1992 - Batman Returns
1995 - Batman Forever
1997 - Batman & Robin

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
sci-fi/fantasy
action/adventure

Movie Studio

Warner Bros., PolyGram

Cast

Batman / Bruce Wayne  Michael Keaton
The Penguin / Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot  Danny DeVito
Catwoman / Selina Kyle Michelle Pfeiffer
Maximillian 'Max' Shreck  Christopher Walken
Alfred Pennyworth  Michael Gough
Mayor  Michael Murphy
Ice Princess   Cristi Conaway
Charles 'Chip' Shreck   Andrew Bryniarski
Commissioner James Gordon   Pat Hingle
Organ Grinder   Vincent Schiavelli
Josh   Steve Witting
Jen   Jan Hooks
Sword Swallower   John Strong
Tattooed Strongman  Rick Zumwalt
Poodle Lady   Anna Katerina
Acrobat Thug One   Gregory Scott Cummins
Knifethrower Dame   Erika Andersch
Fat Clown   Travis McKenna
Thin Clown   Doug Jones
Terrifying Clown 1   Branscombe Richmond
Mr. Cobblepot  Paul Reubens
Mrs. Cobblepot  Diane Salinger
Mrs. Cobblepot's Doctor   Stuart Lancaster
Happy Man   Cal Hoffman
Happy Woman   Joan Jurige
Adorable Little Girl   Rosie O'Connor
Paperboy  Sean M. Whalen
Aggressive Reporter Erik Onate
Shreck Security Guard   Joey DePinto
Gothamite 1  Steven Brill
Gothamite 2   Neal Lerner
Gothamite 3 Ashley Tillman
Gothamite 4  Elizabeth Sanders
Mugger  Henry Kingi
Female Victim  Joan Giammarco
Volunteer Bimbo  Lisa Coles
Security 1   Frank DiElsi
Security 2   Biff Yeager
TV Anchorman   Robert Gossett
Crowd Member  Adam Drescher
Emperor Penguin  Robert N. Bell
Emperor Penguin Niki Botelho
Baby Penguin  Niki Botelho
Emperor Penguin  Susan Rossitto
Emperor Penguin   Margarita Fernandez
Emperor Penguin   Denise Killpack
Emperor Penguin  Felix Silla
Emperor Penguin Debbie Lee Carrington

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