Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' initial Batman film series. The film stars Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton in the title role, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, and Jack Palance. In the film, Batman deals with the rise of a costumed criminal known as "The Joker".
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Approaching its 200th anniversary, Gotham City's mayor fears that the high level of criminal activity will deter citizens from attending the celebration. He orders District Attorney Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams) and Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle) to make the city safe again, in hopes of revitalizing local business. Dent, in turn, targets mob boss Carl Grissom, who sponsors much of the criminal activity within Gotham and has paid off a significant segment of the police force. But in recent days reports about the acts against criminals by a mysterious and elusive dark vigilante nicknamed as the "Batman" has attracted the attention of both the police and the local media. Newspaper reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) and the photojournalist Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) are attempting to investigate.
Meanwhile, Carl Grissom (Jack Palance), on discovering that his mistress is involved with his second-in-command Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), sets up a trap to kill him with the corrupted cop Max Eckhardt (William Hootkins) in a raid at the Axis Chemicals plant. During the shooting between the police and the criminals, Napier manages to kill Eckhardt, when suddenly Batman arrives on the scene helping out the cops by fighting off the thugs. But while taking down the criminals, Batman accidentally knocks Jack Napier into a vat full of chemical waste and flees from Gordon's men as Napier is thought deceased. Batman, as the viewer discovers, is actually the billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), an orphan who lives alone in the large mansion Wayne Manor, with his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough) in attendance. At a fund-raising party, Bruce meets and falls for Vicki Vale and starts off a relationship with her, much to Knox's envy.
Napier, in the meantime, has actually survived the accident at the chemical plant but is horribly disfigured, with chalk-white skin, emerald-green hair and a permanent ruby-red grin after a botched reconstructive surgery attempt. Already erratic, the trauma has apparently driven him completely insane. Calling himself "The Joker", he kills Grissom and usurps his criminal empire making the Axis plant his headquarters. His first scheme is to spread terror in the city by creating hygiene products that makes victims laugh to death when used in certain combinations, laced with a deadly chemical known as "Smilex", causing the citizens to become paralyzed with fear of buying any products, unknowing if there's Smilex in them or not. Making war on several fronts, the Joker then sets a trap at the Gotham Museum of Art for Vicki Vale, with whom he has become smitten, as his henchmen vandalize the surrounding artworks. At this point, Batman storms in and saves Vicki by fighting off Joker's thugs and leaving with her on the Batmobile. After entering into his lair, the Batcave, the caped crusader gives the secret of the Joker's Smilex combinations to her, so that she can publish them as prophylaxis on Gotham newspapers.
Incensed at Batman eluding him while taking Vale and ruining his poisoning scheme, the Joker vows to eliminate the myst