My Favorite Scores: Batman (1989)

Batman Poster

While I loved what Christopher Nolan has done with Batman series, I still hold a special place in my heart for the 1989 Tim Burton movie. His Batman kicked off a new re-interest in comic-book inspired movies and television shows – some great (Batman: The Animated Series), some good (The Flash, 1990’s version) and some bad (the 1990 Captain America movie).

My favorite parts of Burton’s movie are when we get to see Batman without the mask; in other words, when we can see Bruce Wayne in his true persona, without the airs he puts on to fool the general public. There are three scenes that really capture those moments:

  1. Bruce checking the tapes [watch here] – A great back-to-back view of the duality of Bruce Wayne
  2. Bruce hanging upside down [here, at the 16:45 min mark]– Ok, so maybe he’s taking the bat thing a little too seriously
  3. Bruce in Crime Alley – I’ll be the first to admit that this scene has one gigantic flaw: Batman, the worlds greatest detective, doesn’t realize that Vicky Vale is following him. However, if you can ignore that, then this is a great scene. There’s no talking, but plenty of emoting, as Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) looks tortured over this parents death, and the life that he’s adopted as a result. As stated on

[Bruce Wayne (played b Michael Keaton)] displays a full range of emotions, showcasing a man barely able to cope with his double identity. It slowly tears away at his sanity, as he tries to lead a normal life while still being an avenger of the night. Elfman’s soundtrack is the perfect accompaniment, displaying the full range of emotions, themes and tones portrayed throughout the film. It’s a dark reimagining of classic movie scores whilst still being entirely original. And it’s that originality that makes this so wonderful to hear.

Elfman’s “Flowers of the Past” (simply titled “Flowers” on the album release) is the perfect accompaniment to the scene below. Like Bruce Wayne, it’s moody, conflicted, and ultimately heroic.

Danny Elfman – Flowers


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