MovieChat Forums > Batman (1989) Discussion > The climb up the cathedral stairs

The climb up the cathedral stairs


I see what you did there, Alfred Hitchcock would be proud.

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Apparently, when they were shooting that, Tim Burton had absolutely no clue ahead of time what the scene was going to be about, since they weren't entirely sure what the climax was going to go be. Jack Nicholson became annoyed at the idea of having to go up the stairs. When he asked Tim Burton about why he had to walk up the stairs, Burton said something along the lines of him figuring it out once they reach the top.

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Did you mean Orsen Welles?

The ending cathedral sequence was highly influenced by Welles 1946 film "The Stranger".

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No, watch Vertigo and get back to me. Even IMDb acknowledges this

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I have seen Vertigo, have you seen The Stranger?

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Also, fight on top of a cathedral at the end of Metropolis (1927).
And of course, there's a lot of German expressionism DNA in the Gotham City of 1991 Batman.

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I've seen Vertigo and The Stranger...and...

...the bell tower looks a lot more like the one in Vertigo...except BIGGER. On steroids. The one in The Stranger had "human chess figure statues" in rotation wielding deadly blades.

But Burton and his writers mix ANOTHER Hitchcock classic into their "Vertigo" climax:

Hitchcock's North by Northwest(1959) which came out the year after Vertigo(1958.)

At the climax of North by Northwest, on the cliffside of Mount Rushmore, hero Cary Grant holds a dangling Eva Marie Saint from one hand while villain Martin Landau steps on Grant's other hand to make them both fall.

At the climax of Batman, at the top of the Vertigo bell tower, hero Michael Keaton(Batman) holds a dangling Kim Basinger from one hand while villain Jack Nicholson(the Joker) steps on Grant's other hand to make them both fall.

Of course, Batman ends differently than either Vertigo OR North by Northwest, but the "seeds are there" and the homage is clear to see.

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