The Dark Knight (movie)

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The Dark Knight
Directed byChristopher Nolan
Produced byChristopher Nolan
Charles Roven
Emma Thomas
Screenplay byChristopher Nolan
Jonathan Nolan
Story byChristopher Nolan
David S. Goyer
Based onCharacters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics
StarringChristian Bale
Michael Caine
Heath Ledger
Gary Oldman
Aaron Eckhart
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Morgan Freeman
Music byHans Zimmer
James Newton Howard
CinematographyWally Pfister
Edited byLee Smith
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
July 14, 2008 (New York City)
July 18, 2008 (United States)
July 25, 2008 (United Kingdom)
Running time
152 minutes
CountryUnited States
United Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
Budget$185 million[1]
Box office$1.005 billion[2]

The Dark Knight is a 2008 British-American superhero movie directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the movie is the second installment of Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale and supported by Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Morgan Freeman. In the movie, Bruce Wayne / Batman (Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart) form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City, but are menaced by an anarchistic mastermind known as the Joker (Ledger), who seeks to undermine Batman's influence and throw the city into anarchy.

Nolan's inspiration for the movie was the Joker's comic book debut in 1940, the 1988 graphic novel The Killing Joke, and the 1996 series The Long Halloween, which retold Harvey Dent's origin. The "Dark Knight" nickname was first applied to Batman in Batman #1 (1940), in a story written by Bill Finger. The movie was the first mainstream feature to partially utilize IMAX 70 mm cameras, with Nolan using them for 28 minutes of the movie, including the Joker's first appearance. Warner Bros. initially created a viral marketing campaign for The Dark Knight, developing promotional websites and trailers highlighting screenshots of Ledger as the Joker. Ledger died on January 22, 2008, some months after he completed filming and six months before the movie's release from a toxic combination of prescription drugs, leading to intense attention from the press and movie-going public.

Considered one of the best movies of its decade and one of the best superhero movies of all time, the movie received critical praise for its screenplay, visual effects, musical score, themes, performances (particularly Ledger), cinematography, action sequences and direction. The movie also set numerous records during its theatrical run. The Dark Knight appeared on 287 critics' top-ten lists, more than any other movie of 2008 with the exception of WALL-E, and more critics (77) named The Dark Knight the best movie released that year. With over $1 billion in revenue worldwide, it became the fourth-highest-grossing movie at the time, and highest-grossing movie of 2008; it also set the record for highest-grossing domestic opening with $158 million, a record it held for three years. At the 81st Academy Awards, the movie received eight nominations; it won the award for Best Sound Editing and Ledger was posthumously awarded Best Supporting Actor. The Dark Knight Rises, the final movie in the trilogy, was released on July 20, 2012.

Plot[change | change source]

The movie begins with the Joker and his gang of clowns robbing a mob bank. The other clowns shoot each other so that there are fewer people so they can get more money per person. The manager of the bank takes out his shotgun and shoots one of them. The Joker takes off his mask and kills the last clown, leaving all the money for himself. He then drives away in a school bus.

The crime mob in the city is very mad at the Joker for robbing the bank. The Joker comes to them and says he wants to kill Batman. Meanwhile, Gotham city's District Attorney Harvey Dent tries to shut the mob down by tracking down the money. A businessman named Lau finds out about this and takes the money out beforehand and goes to Hong Kong so that he cannot be caught. Batman, whose real name is Bruce Wayne, flies down there himself, kidnaps him, and takes him back to Gotham City.

The Joker says he wants Batman to take his mask off and show the world who he is, and that if he does not, people will die. Commissioner Loeb dies from drinking acid in his drink and the judge that was at the mob trials is killed. The Joker then hires some men to kidnap police officers and take their uniforms. At Loeb's funeral, Joker's men attempt to shoot the mayor. Police officer James Gordon tackles the mayor and is shot and apparently killed.

Dent then calls a press conference to ask the people there if he should reveal Batman. After they say yes, Dent says that he is Batman and has the police arrest him. They put him on a truck to send him to jail. The Joker and his men drive a truck that badly damages the truck Dent is riding in. The real Batman comes in and attempts to save Dent but wrecks his motorcycle-like Batpod when the Joker stands there, since Batman has a rule that he will not kill anyone. Gordon, who is revealed to have faked his death, arrests the Joker.

In jail, Batman questions the Joker. The Joker eventually reveals that his men captured Rachel Dawes, Batman's old childhood friend and Dent's girlfriend, and Dent. He has put them in warehouses far away so that Batman cannot save both of them himself. They are near bombs that will go off and kill them. The Joker tells Batman where each person is. Batman goes to save Dawes while Gordon and his men go to rescue Dent. However, when Batman gets to Rachel's location, he only sees Dent, because the Joker switched the addresses. Batman gets Dent out, but the bomb goes off and Dent scars half of his face. Gordon is too late to save Dawes.

The Joker gets out of jail. He gets his phone call and dials a cell phone that is wired to a bomb, which blows up the police station. Afterwards, he visits the hopsital where Dent is staying. Dent is driven crazy because of Dawes' death. The Joker frees Dent and tells him to take revenge. Dent goes around flipping coins and decides whether he will kill them or keep them alive. He starts going after the various police people who leaked information to the Joker to make it possible for him to kidnap and kill Dawes.

The Joker then announces that the city is his. The people in charge load up two ferries with people to get them out of the city. The Joker has wired both boats with explosives and has given each boat the detonator to the other one, saying that he will blow up both boats at midnight if one boat does not blow up the other.

Batman finds the Joker in an abandoned building. He uses a sonar system (created by Lucius Fox) to defeat the Joker's men and stops him from destroying both ferries. He then leaves the Joker hanging. The Joker is very impressed, stating that Batman cannot be corrupted into breaking his own rule. A SWAT team then captures the Joker.

At the end of the movie, Batman finds that Dent has kidnapped Gordon's family. When Batman arrives, Dent flips his coin to decide their fates. Before he can see the result of his next coin flip, Batman tackles Dent off the edge of the building, letting the vigilante plummet to his death. With Dent dead, Gordon says that if word gets out that Dent killed all these people, all the work he did will have been lost. Batman offers to take the blame for all the murders. Gordon, who is originally against it, agrees. He destroys the Bat-Signal and orders the police to hunt Batman down. Batman takes off into the night while Gordon's son does not understand the reasoning for why Batman must be hunted. But Gordon explains "because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian; a watchful protector; a Dark Knight."

Cast[change | change source]

Ledger died from a drug-overdose before the movie was released in July 2008.
The cast and crew at the European premiere, July 2008

Release dates[change | change source]

Country Premiere
 Australia July 16, 2008
 Taiwan July 16, 2008
 Argentina July 17, 2008
 Bolivia July 17, 2008
 Chile July 17, 2008
 Greece July 17, 2008
 Hong Kong July 17, 2008
 Malaysia July 17, 2008
 Peru July 17, 2008
 Philippines July 17, 2008
 Singapore July 17, 2008
 Thailand July 17, 2008
 Uruguay July 17, 2008
 Brazil July 18, 2008
 Canada July 18, 2008
 Colombia July 18, 2008
 Indonesia July 18, 2008
 India July 18, 2008
 Mexico July 18, 2008
 Panama July 18, 2008
 United States July 18, 2008
 Venezuela July 18, 2008
 Denmark July 22, 2008
 Belgium July 23, 2008
 Egypt July 23, 2008
 Iceland July 23, 2008
 Italy July 23, 2008
 United Arab Emirates July 24, 2008
 Ecuador July 24, 2008
 United Kingdom July 24, 2008
 Croatia July 24, 2008
 Ireland July 24, 2008
 Israel July 24, 2008
 Kuwait July 24, 2008
 Lebanon July 24, 2008
 Lithuania July 24, 2008
 Netherlands July 24, 2008
 New Zealand July 24, 2008
 Portugal July 24, 2008
 Serbia July 24, 2008
 Slovenia July 24, 2008
 Slovakia July 24, 2008
 Bulgaria July 25, 2008
 Estonia July 25, 2008
 Finland July 25, 2008
 Latvia July 25, 2008
 Nigeria July 25, 2008
 Norway July 25, 2008
 Romania July 25, 2008
 Sweden July 25, 2008
 Turkey July 25, 2008
 South Africa July 25, 2008
 South Korea August 6, 2008
 Czech Republic August 7, 2008
 Hungary August 7, 2008
 Poland August 8, 2008
 Japan August 9, 2008
  Switzerland August 13, 2008 (French speaking region)
 Spain August 13, 2008
 France August 13, 2008
 Kazakhstan August 14, 2008
 Russia August 14, 2008
 Ukraine August 14, 2008
 Austria August 21, 2008
  Switzerland August 21, 2008 (German speaking region)
 Germany August 21, 2008
 Armenia August 28, 2008
 Vietnam August 29, 2008

Filming[change | change source]

The movie was filmed in Chicago and in Hong Kong. Some scenes were shot in London. During the filming in Chicago, Nolan decided to blow-up abandoned Brach's candy factory (which was Gotham Hospital in the movie).[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Dark Knight (2008)". Box Office Mojo. September 8, 2008. Retrieved September 8, 2008.
  2. "The Dark Knight (2008)". Box Office Mojo. September 29, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  3. "Brach's Candy Factory". American Urbex. August 29, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2013.

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Preceded by
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Box office number-one movies of 2008 (USA)
July 20, 2008 – August 10, 2008
Succeeded by
Tropic Thunder