Batman Returns

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"You don't really think you'll win, do you?"
"Things change."

Batman Returns is a 1992 American action comic book film that pits the Batman against the Penguin and Catwoman, both of whom have their own agendas and a past to resolve.

Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Daniel Waters
The Bat. The Cat. The Penguin.taglines

The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot[edit]

  • [to Max Shreck, after kidnapping him] Hi. I believe the word you're looking for is "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!" Actually, this is all just a bad dream. You're at home in bed, heavily sedated, resting comfortably... dying from the carcinogens you personally spewed in a lifetime of profiteering. Tragic irony, or poetic justice? You tell me.
  • [to Shreck] I wasn't born in the sewer, you know. I come from... [indicates to a broken skylight, then turns to Max] Like you. And like you, I want some respect. A recognition of my basic humanity. But most of all...I wanna find out who I am. By finding my parents, learning my human name. Simple stuff that the good people of Gotham take for granted!
  • [addressing his penguin army] My dear penguins, we stand on a great threshold! It's okay to be scared; many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish all God's children! First, second, third and fourth-born! Why be biased?! Male and female! Hell, the sexes are equal, with their erogenous zones BLOWN SKY-HIGH!!! FORWAAAARD MARCH!!! THE LIBERATION OF GOTHAM HAS BEGUN!!!!! [the penguins start deploying]
  • [Fighting Batman] You're just jealous because I'm a genuine freak and you have to wear a mask!

Catwoman/Selina Kyle[edit]

  • I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier.
  • I'm Catwoman. Hear me roar.
  • [Falls into the back of a dump truck filled with gravel.] Saved by kitty litter... [Looks at the burn mark left by Batman] Bastard.
  • [to Penguin, rejecting his advances] I wouldn't touch you to scratch you.
  • [when she and Bruce Wayne realize each other's secret identities] Oh my God...does this mean we have to start fighting?


[One of Penguin's men hands him a grimy Christmas stocking as he and Shreck start talking about what they can do together]
Penguin: Ah, what have we here?... [takes out a flask, opening it and pouring an eerie green liquid out that dissolves a slab of stone] A batch of toxic waste, from your "clean textile plant". There's a whole lagoon of this crud in the back! [sets aside flask]
Max: That could've come from anywhere.
Penguin: What about the documents that prove you own half the firetraps in Gotham City?
Max: If there were such documents, that's not an admission. I would have seen to it they were shredded.
Penguin: [grins] Good idea... [shows shredded papers stuck back together] A lot of tape and a little patience make all the difference. By the way, how's Fred Adkins, your old partner?
Max: Fred? Fred's actually...I believe he's on extended vacation. He's, uh, he's good.
Penguin: [chuckles sinisterly] "Good"... [pulls out a severed hand, goes into scary voice] "Hiya, Max! Remember me?! I'm Fred's hand! Yeah, you wanna greet any other body parts?!" [normal] Remember, Max: you flush it, I flaunt it.
Max: You know what, Mr...Penguin...Sir? I think perhaps I could help orchestrate a little welcome-home scenario for you. And once we're both back home, perhaps we can help each other out.
Penguin: You won't regret this, Mr. Shreck. [shakes Max's hand with Fred's severed one and leaves Max holding it]

[After escaping from a botched rally, Penguin returns to his underground lair. The place is packed with penguins, who rush to greet him]
Penguin: My babies...did you miss me?
Red Triangle Thin Clown: Great speech, Oswald!
Penguin: [punches him aside with his umbrella] MY NAME IS NOT OSWALD! IT'S PENGUIN!! I AM NOT A HUMAN BEING!!! I AM AN ANIMAL!!! COLD-BLOODED!!! CRANK THE A.C.!!! WHERE ARE MY LISTS?! BRING ME THE NAMES!!! [a henchman passes him some papers, which he gives to everyone] Ah! It's time...These are the names of the firstborn sons of Gotham City, just like I was. And like me, a terrible fate waits for them: tonight, while their parents party, they'll be dreaming away in their safe cribs, their soft beds. And WE WILL SNATCH THEM, CARRY THEM INTO THE SEWER, AND TOSS THEM INTO A DEEP, DARK WATERY GRAVE...!
Red Triangle Fat Clown: Erm...Penguin? I mean, killing sleeping children...isn't that a little, uh...?
Penguin: [shoots clown with gun umbrella] No! It's a LOT "uh"! [kicks the dead henchman into the sewage river]

[Bruce Wayne has come to Max Shreck's fancy-dress Christmas ball without a costume]
Max Shreck: Ingenious costume, let me guess. Trust-fund goody-goody.
Bruce Wayne: Feeling good, huh? Yeah, well, you almost made a monster of the Mayor of Gotham City.
Shreck: I am the light of this city...and I am its mean, twisted soul. Does it matter who's Mayor?
Wayne: It does to me.
Shreck: Yawn.

[Penguin has crashed Max Shreck's Christmas ball]
Penguin: You didn't invite me, so I crashed! [laughs]
Gotham Mayor: What do you want?
Penguin: Right now, my troops are fanning out across town - for your children! [crowd gasps] Yes! For your first-born sons! The ones you left helpless at home, so you could dress up like jerks, get juiced, and dance...BADLY! I've personally come for Gotham's favorite son, Mr. Chip Shreck! You're coming with me, you great white dope, to die way down in the sewer!
Max: Not Chip! If you have an iota of human feeling, take me instead!
Penguin: I don't. So no!
Max: I'm the one you want! Ask yourself. Isn't it Max Shreck who manipulated and betrayed you, eh? Isn't it Max, not Chip, who you want to see immersed to his eyeballs in raw sewage?
Penguin: Okay, you've got a point. I'll let the little prince live for now. [hits Chip and gestures to Max] Now, in the duck!

Max: [after being pulled out of the water by Catwoman] I don't know what you want, but I know I can get it for you, with a minimal fuss. [she lashes her whip at him] Money. Jewels. A very big ball of string. [tries to run away, but she captures him with her whip and pulls him back to her]
Catwoman: Your blood, Max.
Max: My blood, I gave at the office.
Catwoman: A half-pint. I'm talking gallons.
[Batman comes in]
Max: Let's make a deal. Now that I've got my blood, what I can do for you?
Catwoman: Sorry, Max. A die for a die.
[More exploding rockets and Batman comes flying into the scene]
Max: You're not just saving a life, you're saving...
Batman: [pushes him away] Shut up. You're going to jail.
Catwoman: [to Batman] Don't be naīve! The law doesn't apply to people like him or us!
Batman: Wrong on both counts. Why are you doing this? Let's just take him to the police...then, we can go home...together. Selina... [Max is shocked] don't you see? We're the same. We're the same...Split right down the center. [pulls off his mask, revealing his identity as Bruce Wayne] Selina, please.
Catwoman: [choked up] Bruce...I would - I would love to live with you in your castle...forever, just like in a fairy tale. [Batman caresses the back of her head, but she claws him on the cheek] I just couldn't live with myself, so don't pretend this is a happy ending!
Max: Selina? [Catwoman faces him and takes off her mask] Selina Kyle? [pointedly] You're fired! [to Batman] And Bruce. Why are you dressed up like Batman?
Catwoman: Because he is Batman, you moron!
Max: [produces a gun] Was. [shoots Batman in the chest, knocking him down. Catwoman reacts to the shooting] Don't!
Catwoman: You killed me. The Penguin killed me. Batman killed me. That's three lives down - you got enough in there to finish me off?!
Max: [last words] One way to find out. [shoots Catwoman twice]
Catwoman: [pretends to die, but laughs] Four...five... [swings whip around, then cracks it loudly] Still alive! [the shocked Max shoots her twice again] good girls go to heaven... [Max fires the gun again, but it is empty; laughs] Two lives left. I think I'll save one for next Christmas. [Batman gets up] But in the meantime...How about a kiss, Santy Claus? [kisses Schreck in the lips with a stun gun in between them while holding a live power line]
[After an explosion, Batman clears away the debris to find Max dead and Selina gone. Penguin reaches for an umbrella, but the umbrella turns out to be a kiddie umbrella with stuffed animals]
The Penguin: [last words] Ugh! Shit! [drops it] I picked the cute one! [gagging] The heat's getting to me. I'll murder you momentarily...But first, I need a cold drink of iced water. [gags, then falls and drops dead]
[Six emperor penguins waddle up to him and slide his body into the water]

[Last lines]
Alfred Pennyworth: [after Selina Kyle's apparent death] Well, come what may. Merry Christmas, Mr. Wayne.
Bruce Wayne: [sadly] Merry Christmas, Alfred. Good will toward men...and women.
[As they leave, the Bat-Signal appears in sky, which is then seen by Catwoman]


  • The Bat. The Cat. The Penguin.


About Batman Returns[edit]

  • I just have all these memories of her — letting a live bird fly out of her mouth and learning to use the whip and jumping around rooftop sets in high heels,” Burton said. “The work and just the performance were very, very impressive.
  • I think I upset McDonald’s. [They asked] ‘What’s that black stuff coming out of the Penguin’s mouth? We can’t sell Happy Meals with that!'
  • I think the studio just thought it was too weird — they wanted to go with something more child or family-friendly. In other words, they didn’t want me to do another one.
  • We got to be back home [filming in Burbank] so that made me happy. It was quite the cast with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito and everyone. It wasn’t as satisfying to me when I saw it, but maybe that’s because the bar was set so high on the first one. I think I only watched it one time. I knew we were in trouble in talks for the third one when certain people started the conversation with ‘Why does it have to be so dark?’ ‘Why does he have to be so depressed?’ ‘Shouldn’t there be more color in this thing?’ I knew I was headed for trouble and that it wasn’t a road I was going to go down.
  • Remember, I came in when the audience was disturbed by Danny DeVito as the Penguin, and then Michelle Pfeiffer — which was still fabulous and maybe a little too S&M for some people.

External links[edit]

  Creators     Bob Kane · Bill Finger  
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