Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Ruebens and Diane Salinger, who was Simone in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, do the ol’ cameo-for-a-pal gig as the Penguin’s parents. Ms. Salinger has also appeared in Ghost World, Charmed, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
[Screenplay writer Daniel] Waters “came up with a social satire that had an evil mogul backing a bid for the Mayor’s office by the Penguin,” Waters reported. “I wanted to show that the true villains of our world don’t necessarily wear costumes.” The plot device of Penguin running for Mayor came from the 1960s TV series episodes “Hizzoner the Penguin” and “Dizzoner the Penguin”.
Something about the filmmaker’s eccentric, surreal, childlike images seems to strike a deep chord in the mass psyche: he makes nightmares that taste like candy.
(David Ansen. “A Gotham Gothic.” June 22, 1992. Newsweek.)
Burton’s given this borderline schizoid an equally unsettled love interest: Catwoman also has a double life. Formerly Max Shreck’s gawky, lonely secretary, Selina Kyle, she’s hurled out a window by her boss when he discovers she’s on to his nefarious scheme, and emerges from near death as the whip-cracking, man-hating avenger Catwoman.
Waters’s script never makes the rules of Selina’s back-and-forth switches into Catwoman clear, but what twisted, dirty fun Pfeiffer has with this role! …
They’re doomed lovers for the age of alienation, turned on by each other’s kinkiness.
Mmm, no. Not really. Ingesting mistletoe is way worse. You can check it out, but I’m pretty sure the numbers will back me up.
Even back in the days when Batman lived in comic books, his world was a little darker than, say, Superman’s. There was a shade of film noir in Gotham City, in contrast to the deco 1930s optimism of Superman’s Metropolis.
(Roger Ebert. “Batman Returns.” June 19, 1992. Chicago Sun-Times.)
Click to enlarge the note. It reads, “Dear Penguin, The children regret they’re unable to attend.” I would have definitely guessed that Batman’s chosen handwriting style was printing in all caps, but I could not have predicted the personalized stationery. He is full of surprises.
I wish I could hand out World Peace and Unconditional Love, wrapped in a big bow.
You can’t go wrong with Christopher Walken! Crank it up while you’re wrapping gifts.
For a movie that almost didn’t get made, Batman Returns did well for itself. It is a commercial sequel, yes, but as an entertaining and visually delighting film it’s a supreme success which rises head and shoulders above the dross and dreck like “Shrek the Halls.” A highly tolerable holiday film.
Tags: batman, batman returns, burtonverse, Christopher Walken, danny devito, images, Max Shreck, michelle pfeiffer, Patron saints, Pictures, quotes, screencaps, Selena Kyle, stills, the penguin, tim burton