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The 50 greatest Batman movie moments

Bedtime story

The moment: Lieutenant Gordon, presumed dead at the hands of the Joker, returns to his family and his lightly dozing son. "Did Batman save you?" asks the boy. "This time, I saved him," replies Gordon happily.

Why it's great: A touching moment between father and son, brought to life by Gary Oldman's wonderfully human performance. The slap that his wife gives him when he shows up from the dead is another excellent moment.

Escaping the League

The moment: Bruce Wayne makes his escape from the HQ of the League Of Shadows, sending most of it up in flames as he does so. How's that for gratitude?

Why it's great: Nolan flexes his muscles with Begins' first major set-piece, and he pulls it off with aplomb. By the way, anyone notice the similarities between this scene and the Arctic assault in Inception? Just a thought.

Sealed with a kiss

The Moment: As Max Shreck uses up all but two of Catwoman's nine lives, the feline fatale sparks up a taser and electrocutes the both of them with a particularly wet kiss. What a way to go!

Why it's great: Tim Burton's penchant for the melodramatic hits fever pitch as Shreck pumps round after round into Catwoman, only for her to become more hysterical with each wound. A fitting final show-down between two deliciously grotesque villains.

Man about town

The Moment: Bruce follows Alfred's advice to have a little fun, by turning up to a posh hotel with a pair of models on his arm, frolicking in the pool with them before buying off the protesting manager. How the other half live, eh?

Why it's great: Nolan's films don't devote a huge amount of time to Bruce Wayne's billionaire playboy persona, but this scene (similar to the one inThe Dark Knight where he spirits away the Russian ballet) provides a nice tip of the hat to that public image.

Enter Lucius

The moment: Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox acts as Batman's very own version of Q, supplying the hero with all manner of nifty gadgets whilst keeping one eyebrow firmly raised at his young charge's antics. His exchange with Bruce Wayne over the loan of a bullet-proof suit, for what Bruce insists is a cave-diving excursion, is priceless: "Expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?"

Why it's great: Freeman supplies much of the comic relief in both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and like Michael Caine, his chemistry with Christian Bale is impeccable.

Round of applause

The Moment: Gotham's Mayor has just promoted Lieutenant Gordon to the role of Commissioner, only for the Joker to undermine the moment with a bout of sarcastic applause.

Why it's great: Even the way he claps is unsettling! Cooler still, the whole thing was an ad-lib from Ledger, improvising his way to that Oscar.

Montage time

The moment: Ducard puts Bruce through his paces with the League Of Shadows' patented training programme. And what's the one rule he must never forget? "Always mind your surroundings."

Why it's great: It's odd to think that Nolan's genre-subverting Bat-series would contain anything so conventional as a training montage, but it's in there. Fortunately, the combination of Liam Neeson's toweringly authoritative performance and Hans Zimmer's ever-present strings ensures that this sequence is anything but routine.

Evasive manoeuvres

The moment: Batman Forever might not have had much going for it, but Val Kilmer did get the chance to drive his souped-up Batmobile up a vertical wall. Improbable? Yes. Cool? Undoubtedly.

Why it's great: Bats uses a grappling hook to help the old girl on her way, so, y'know, it's not completely unrealistic!

Blackmail

The moment: Slippery Wayne Enterprises employee Coleman Rees confronts Lucius Fox with his plan to blackmail Bruce Wayne, only for Fox to explain the realities of the situation to him. "Let me get this straight," begins Fox. "You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."

Why it's great: Morgan Freeman gets all the best lines, doesn't he?

Double-act

The moment: Alfred and Bruce mull over the latter's decision to turn himself in, before indulging in a spot of gallows humour. "I suppose they're going to lock me up as well," begins Alfred, "as your accomplice." "Accomplice?" responds Bruce. "I'm gonna tell them the whole thing was your idea."

Why it's great: As the Joker's reign of terror takes hold, and the tension begins to build, this is a welcome bit of humour between the ever-reliable double-act of Caine and Bale.