If you’re excited about “The Dark Knight,” which arrives in theaters Friday, you should check out an earlier Batman movie that not only features The Joker, but also makes room for The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and Robin The Boy Wonder.

If you’re excited about “The Dark Knight,” which arrives in theaters Friday, you should check out an earlier Batman movie that not only features The Joker, but also makes room for The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and Robin The Boy Wonder.

This 1966 film features Adam West in the batsuit — and it’s a comedy. It was originally filmed as the pilot for the well-remembered “Batman” TV series, and released to theaters after that show became a big hit. The show isn’t on DVD because of long-running rights disputes, but the movie is available on an extras-laden disc, and it’s well worth a rental.

The amusingly complicated plot has Batman’s archenemies kidnapping the members of the United Nations, dehydrating them into colorful powders and holding them for ransom. Naturally, Batman saves the day — though not before having a romance with Catwoman, without realizing who she really is. (Some detective!)

Trivia note: Cesar Romero, who played the Joker, refused to shave his mustache, so the white makeup was applied right over top of it.

The DVD includes commentary from West and Burt Ward, behind-the-scenes bits and a special feature on the Batmobile.

Will Pfeifer writes about new DVDs on Tuesdays and older ones on Fridays. Contact him at wpfeifer@rrstar.com or 815-987-1244. Read his Movie Man blog at blogs.e-rockford.com/movieman/.