Lee Meriwether & Eartha Kitt – Batman (1966 TV Show)
I group these two ladies together since they both played Catwoman in the same show and in the same style for the most part. The seductress who always had her eye out for Batman but was distracted by some other selfish desire she was chasing. The truth is, as well played with purring voices and sleek walking styles, Catwoman is a throw away villain in this series.
There really isn’t much to her other than making puns on cats and reverberating her r’s when she speaks. Most of the time she is only featured in ensamble villain team ups when they all gang up on our caped heroes. Seldom does she really have a reason to be there or any kind of interesting arc with Batman. More importantly, there’s a missing relationship with Bruce Wayne. It’s just not there.
The keystone to this character is supposed to be her duality of good and evil. Deep down she has a good heart and wants to do the right thing, but she is torn over the fact that she is forever wronged when she does. Basically, she’s the female incarnation of a cynical Batman. Doing the right things only led her to be wronged and made her switch sides – at least, that’s how she’s supposed to be.
But that relationship is supposed to go off on Batman and tempt him to “run away with her” and the two of them to be happy together. Not touched on a-once this whole time. Yes, she makes sexual advances to him, but that’s just the 60’s folks.
Michelle Pfieffer – Batman Returns (1992)
Alright Tim Burton, what in the world are you smoking my man? Let’s jump ahead and then back track for a second. Catwoman, once she’s created, is spot on in this movie. She’s constantly backstabbing whoever she’s working with because she’s been wronged by Christopher Walken’s evil business man character of Max Scheck and she’s entangled with Bruce Wayne in a love and hate relationship as both of them try desperately to hide their secret identities.
Not only is there a relationship between Bruce and Selina but there’s another one between Catwoman and Batman. And the two relationships are completely different. It’s almost incredible how well performed this is.
You completely forget that the two of them are in a relationship when the latex comes off… (don’t read into that too much. Haha). The point is, it seems as though the writers forgot about it too at some points as their relationships only cross at the end of the film and never really get settled.
They both get shot and then she electrifies herself to death while making out with Christopher Walken. But she can’t die, because she has 9 lives. The superstition of a cat life because she had died once before (fell 50 stories out of a window because Christopher Walken realized she cracked his porn password). And then she was licked, yes licked, back to life by the tongues of about 37 street cats.
Are we seeing the completely different dynamics being played he? It’s absolutely insane. Regardless, what Pfieffer does is what Catwoman should be for the most of the film. She’s the typical gold digger woman, using her feminine appeal to get what she wants from the rich good looking man in the batsuit and her homework done by the fat ugly dude.
Halle Berry – Catwoman (2004)
And many people that Warner Bros learned their lesson after Batman & Robin. Hahahaha. Nope. This incarnation really isn’t considered to be the “true” Catwoman as Halle Berry plays “Patience Phillips” and not Selina Kyle.
She is, however, also killed for finding out some evil business man’s plot to do something stupid and bad and completely illogical that will only temporarily gain some money for him. And then, yes, she’s brought back to life by magical cats. Ancient, God-infested cats.
So she wakes up and then suddenly is a superhero with a life lesson to teach the world – there is no absolute good or evil: the code of the cat. And I thought Tim Burton was crazy. Sometimes I wonder if people read these synopsis’s aloud when pitching to the exec boards. And her mission during the whole film is to stop a company from releasing a defective make up product. Are you kidding me?
Look, the only slightly redeeming factor about this movie is that Halle Berry is in a skin tight leather/latex suit the whole time. The only character aspect they get correctly, is the not fully a good guy or bad guy (girl – whatever) aspect – although terribly executed.
This is one of those movies that really didn’t need to be made, but if approached correctly could have been… eh, nevermind I changed my opinion half way through that sentence. It was going to suck no matter what. Paying so much attention to the “evil man holding down the innocent woman” is no way to bring in your key comic book demographic – 13-28 year old males. I’m sorry, it’s just poor business.
Either way, this movie was destined to fail because of it’s approach and terrible story. Stick to what’s been working in the comic books for all these years and you might be able to work something magical to happen. But you can’t just slap Halle Berry in a cat suit and think it won’t get old after 15 minutes.