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This DVD set was a great buy. True, they are actually re-releases from A&E's Biography broadcasts, but to have them all here in one set with the extras was fantastic, to say the least! The set is broken down into 2 DVDs. The first is the history of the original 1966 Batman show along with the individual Biography episodes of Adam West, Cesar Romero and Julie Newmar. One wonders why Frank Gorshin and Burgess Meredith weren't included along for the ride to help round out Batman's main enemies from the Rogues' Gallery? But, whatever.... The second disc has a lot of extras in terms of original broadcast commercials, promos, both screentest teams (Ward/West vs. Deyell/Waggoner), more promos and some Bat-Trivia. Lots of fun and interest for Bat-Fans. Now if only Warner Bros. and 20th Century-Fox could get their act together and release the original series on DVD and Blu-Ray as well, not to mention also seeing Filmation releasing the 1968 Saturday morning Batman animated series! BAT-FANS AWAIT!
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Holy documentaries!Sept. 21 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a Batman's fan dream! Never mind that the documentaries have some footage in common. And yes, they could have included more. But with four documentaries plus an extra DVD full of TV spots and tidbits that only a real fan could appreciate, who's complaining? This is a 5-in-1 package no fan of the television series should be without, with three specific documentaries about the actors (Adam West, Julie Newmar and Cesar Romero), one about the series as a whole and a second disc full of extras.
Of all the documentaries, the one I liked best was the Julie Newmar one. Even if her parents were home movie buffs (something I can only assume), it is still hard to believe that there exists so much footage of Julie from her childhood to her twenties! She seems to have as much footage of her early years as any celebrity child, except, to my knowledge, she wasn't one. It is great to be able to see little Julie in the swimming pool, in her dance classes, then again as a teenager, and even the aspiring actress starting a new life in a new town.
All the documentaries include excerpts from other movies and projects the actors were involved in before and after "Batman". Cesar Romero was the only one of the three who had long made a name for himself prior to the television series and had already secured a place in movie history. Relatives and acquaintances are interviewed and it is touching to hear Adam's children speak fondly of their father.
The real treat on DVD 2 are the screen tests of Adam West, Burt Ward (who got the parts), Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell. Both the Batman costume and the sets were different from the ones they would eventually use in the series. The Batcave looks darker and smaller, being more reminiscent of the 40's serials and comic books. I'm glad they chose Adam and Burt instead of Lyle and Peter, though their tests are interesting to watch. This is a must for Batman fans. I just hope they don't take too long to release what we are all waiting for: the series, of course!
83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Where's the TV series?Nov. 22 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
Well, as the first reviewer pointed out, the biographies of the stars looked like they were made for TV. Yes they were. Kevin Burns made them for A&E's BIOGRAPY series. The reason Yvonne is not in this is because she has some disagreement with something, maybe Burns himself? I don't know. The TV series needs to be released in UNCUT form and in box sets by season. Then after the DVDs are released, CDs of the great Nelson Riddle and Billy May music need to be released. Is my review helpful?--No. This just a good place to push for the release of the TV series from 1966. I mean, come on already!
51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Great researchOct. 25 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
Kevin Burns has done excellent research work on the scifi fantasy shows on the sixties. His previous project has involved "The Fantastic Worlds of Irwin Allen," and now he turns his attention to the Bat-Craze of the sixties.
I have to confess that when I heard about this DVD, I thought I finally could get read of those "Holy Batmania" videos I purchased ten years ago, that had qreat deal of Bat "odds and ends" from over the year.
Burns calls in Bill Mumy to be the narrator for the Batmania special, and Mr. Mumy proves to be a great commentator for this documentary, and again Burn proves his that he knows his Batstuff.
While many wonderful extras are here. Including the screen tests for Adam West and Burt Ward, the alternate ones with Lyle Waggoner, the bumper bits for the Batmania wrap arounds in the late eighties (and all of this is great), I found myself noticing a few absentee spots such as the Batgirl Yvonne Craig ad for equal opportunity pay that was done in the early seventies, the ABC 1967 tv special, which had Adam West and Burt Ward discussing the new fall lineup, and the Yvonne Craig/Ambush Bug screen test,which shows up in the old videos.
Than it dawned on me, it seems that there's been a kabash on most of the Batgirl stuff, probably due to legal situations, we can only guess at.
Maybe there can be a Batmania 2 DVD, in a few years to come.
But as someone else pointed out, this DVD will have to do, until Fox and Warners can hammer out a deal to release the Adam West series out on DVD. And it is well done, with three other full length documentaries on Adam West, Cesar Romaro, and Julie Newmar. Who's left? Burt Ward
Hopefully, Mr. Burns (not the Ken one), can do research on some other sixties and seventies programs that haven't had their specials of documentaries yet. But, it's hard to beat the sixties for their pure campiness and fun. Mind you, this was before tv and pop culture turned dark in the eighties.
So go ahead and get this BatDVD, add it to your Batcollection, and remember back when the Caped Crusader was fun, fun, and more fun.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great Job! Now let's get the TV series on DVD already!!Oct. 31 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
This is a pretty decent documentary on the much beloved T.V. show that so many of us enjoyed as youngsters way back when. It covers all of the often repeated, better known anecdotes from behind the scenes as well as some more obscure tidbits and information about the show and the lives and careers of some the principal actors. The liberal doses of archival footage, like the screen tests and convention videos, are simply fascinating! Thanks to what looks like a great deal of time and effort put into the research and production value, there's definitely a lot on this DVD for us Batfans to discover and enjoy.
The DVD is split up into four different documentaries whose subjects are: The Show, Adam West, Cesar Romero and Julie Newmar (where's Burt and Yvonne??). I don't know why they did this as it just allows for a certain amount of repetition and makes it seem like the producers are artificially padding the overall runtime. On the other hand, it's not too bad and there must have been a reason for it, I suppose, like perhaps they were originally made to be broadcast on television. Overall, it is very enjoyable and I definitely got my money's worth! The real problem is that the original T.V. series is not available on DVD yet! What's up with that?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and very well done set of documentariesMarch 27 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
Holy Batmania! is a 2-DVD set of documentaries about the iconic ABC television show and its actors. This famous series ran from January 1966 to March 1968. With this set you get to see and hear how this series was conceived through interviews with some of the cast members, creators, including Executive Producer William Dozier, some of the writers, screen tests from 1965, network promos, syndication promos, theatrical trailers, TV spots, a trivia game, the Batman craze, and much more. I found the stories that were shared were very interesting and fascinating.
The two DVDs are broken down this way:
Disc 1 contains four 44-minute documentaries:
1. Batman: Holy Batmania! - a documentary about the series itself 2. Adam West: Behind The Cowl - a documentary about the career of Adam West 3. Cesar Romero: In A Class By Himself - a documentary about the long career of Cesar Romero, who played The Joker on the series. 4. Julie Newmar: The Cat's Meow - a documentary about the long career of Julie Newmar, who played The Catwoman for the first two seasons of the series.
Disc 2 contains screen tests of Adam West and Burt Ward and also of Lyle Waggoner and Peter Deyell, who were the runners-up for the roles of Batman and Robin. This disc also contains the Network Presentation from 1966, network promos for all three seasons, syndication promos from 1983 and 1989, theatrical teasers and trailers for Batman: The Movie (1966), TV spots from 1989, a Bat-Marathon and Bat-Trivia (1989).
I found the documentary about Julie Newmar to be probably the most interesting (not by much, though), but all of them are excellent and very well done. I think viewers will gain a new appreciation for Cesar Romero as The Joker. In the last twenty years or so he's sort of been forgotten about when it comes to actors over the years who have played The Joker. It seems like when people compare who's the best movie Joker of all time, they always compare Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger and forget about Cesar Romero and the fact that he was in Batman: The Movie (1966). Either they forget about him or they've never heard of him or they just dismiss him as campy. Sometimes animated Jokers and the men who have voiced them get thrown into the contest, such as Larry Storch, Kevin Michael Richardson, and Mark Hamill. Personally, Cesar Romero is my favorite Joker of all time. He was 58, 59, 60, and 61 years old when he played him. Amazing. He was the most animated, lively and energetic Joker and had by far the best laugh, in my opinion.
All in all I feel this set is worth purchasing even though it doesn't contain any of the actual episodes from the series. For those of you who are waiting for the entire 120-episode series to be released on DVD, there is some squabbling going on between several parties as far as rights and legal issues are concerned. But this set will quench your thirst for the classic '60s TV series for the time being. Highly recommended.