“Return To The Batcave” is a television movie which was released on 9th March 2003 as part of the CBS “Sunday Night Movies” schedule. The movie reunites some of the surviving cast from the 1960’s Batman series.
The storyline in itself is simple. Someone has stolen the Batmobile, Adam West and Burt Ward go in search for it. Along the way they follow a series of clues which brings back flashbacks from the past which include memories from behind the scenes or moments from episodes. Examples from the flashback moments are: Adam accidentally placing a hand on Yvonne Craig’s breast during filming whilst in there roles of Batman and Batgirl. Also shows Burt being forced to take medicine to make his genitals less visible in his tights, this was because Christian groups wrote in and complained to ABC that the costumes were too tight and provocative. Naturally it was Frank Gorshin (Riddler) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) who had stolen the Batmobile.
Adam West and Burt Ward naturally played as themselves in the movie. When movie flashbacked to the past Jack Brewer was portraying Adam West with Jason Marsden portraying Burt Ward. Notably Yvonne Craig who played Batgirl in the third season of Batman did not appear in “Return to the Batcave” apparently she was asked to appear in the movie however, she turned it down as she thought the script was poor. In my honest opinion of the movie I can to a degree understand what Yvonne meant by this. The movie was fun to see many of the surviving cast reunited and watching some behind the scenes flashbacks and seeing them sort of reminisce past stories. On the other hand the movie did not have the most amazing storyline, it is certainly worth watching but it’s not something you will feel the need to watch over and over again.
So like I said we have Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Julie Newmar playing themselves in the movie the final cast member to be reunited is Lee Meriwether, who of course played as Catwoman in the 1966 Movie. Meriwether played as a waitress in a bar during a scene where Adam West can give the Batusi another dance as he reunites on screen for the first time with Julie Newmar. It is worth mentioning due to the knightmare A.K.A the licensing laws surrounding the Batman television series, any stock footage they wanted to use had to be taken from the 1966 Movie. This resulted in clips supposing to be showing Julie Newmar as Catwoman were actually infact of Lee Meriwether.
Lyle Waggoner who auditioned for the role of Batman in 1966 provided the voiceover narration for the movie. You can also see parts of his audition footage during the story. During another flashback an obsessive actress who had a one night stand with Burt, then tries to kill him, was played out by Nina West – Adam West’s daughter.
If you didn’t know this bit of trivia, Cesar Romero who played the Joker refused to shave off his moustache so they simply plastered on his make-up over it, a scene depicting this is shown in the movie with Bud Watson portraying Cesar. That is an example of the type of trivia/flashback information you get from this movie which makes it a worthwhile watch for massive batfans!
- Adam West as Himself
- Burt Ward as Himself
- Jack Brewer as Young Adam West/Batman
- Jason Marsden as Young Burt Ward/Robin
- Lyle Waggoner as Himself/Narrator
- Lee Meriwether as Diner Waitress
- Frank Gorshin as Himself
- Julie Newmar as Herself
- Betty White as The Women In The Window (Bat-Climb Sequence)
- Brett Rickaby as Frank Gorshin/The Riddler
- Jim Jansen as William Dozier (Executive Producer)
- Ray Buktenica as Robert Butler (Director)
- Andy Umberger as Sam Strangis (Assistant Director)
- Julia Rose as Young Julie Newmar/Catwoman
- Erin Carufel as Yvonne Craig/Batgirl
- Quinn K. Redeker as Vincent Price/Egghead
- Tony Tanner as Burgess Meredith/Penguin
- Bud Watson as Cesar Romero/Joker
- Burgess Meredith and Cesar Romero appeared briefly as themselves within stock archive footage