Tim Burton's noirish take on the comic book legend stars an unlikely but effective Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, aka the Caped Crusader, aka the Dark Knight (though perhaps not the darkest... ). Out go the camp gimmicks of the celebrated TV series and in comes Anton Furst's sublime Oscar-winning Gotham City set design and Jack Nicholson as a splendidly unhinged Joker. Kim Basinger provides smouldering love interest as reporter Vicki Vale and it all goes down to a funksome soundtrack by Prince.
Tim Burton's dark and brooding Eighties take on the comic-strip hero's exploits was a box-office sensation, taking $250million in the US on a $35million cost, plus $750million in toys and games.
Surprise choice Michael Keaton scores strongly as a pointy-eared Batman, but it really is Jack Nicholson's show. His bravura performance as The Joker, with his grotesque, acid-scarred clown face and green hair, easily takes top honours.
The gleaming Gothic sets, special effects and Prince's soundtrack are awesome. Nicholson's salary, based on a percentage of the film's gross, added up to a record $60million.