Friday, August 05, 2011

Who's on First?

Just finished watching a nice video of Adam West talking about, of course, Batman. Having been a kid during the 1960s Batmania, I have a fondness for West as Batman, even if I find the old shows difficult to watch today. But as a comic-book geek of some duration, and perhaps something of a purist, I always cringe when I see West referred to as "the original Batman," because he was in fact the third actor to portray Batman on film.

Here's a photo of the first Batman, Lewis Wilson, in the 1943 serial Batman:

And here's a photo of the second Batman, Robert Lowery, in the sequel serial Batman and Robin, 1949:

And of course here's Adam West in the mid-1960s:

The Batman serials are, by today's standards, pretty slow-paced; and given that they were released on a weekly basis, awfully repetitious to watch back-to-back. (Sort of like reading collections of daily newspaper comic strips with continuing story lines.) But they're worth watching, and readily available on DVD.

Oh, and for the record, here's the first filmic James Bond, Barry Nelson, in a 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royale. However, purist though I may be, I am prepared to make allowances for the fact that Nelson's version of Bond was Americanized, and referred to as "Jimmy Bond." Thus I object only slightly if at all to Sean Connery's being called the first James Bond.