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|The costume worn by Jack Nicholson as The Joker in the 1989 Tim Burton classic Batman. This complete outfit consists of suit, shirt, waistcoat, gloves, necktie and shoes. It is a memorable ensemble from this landmark movie and has been custom mounted on an accurately sized caricature mannequin for display. It seems more has been said about Nicholson’s performance, salary and on set activities than almost any other aspect of the film, despite that, Batman became one of the biggest movies of its time.|
|Such was the hype and expectation for Batman in the summer of 1989. Many remember “Batmania”, that the production’s unit publicist was offered (and refused) £10,000 to give up the first images of Jack Nicholson as The Joker. The costume designers Bob Ringwood and Vin Burnham had a daunting job to try and bring the comic book villain to the big screen. At the time, Ringwood commented that the character is “always drawn like he is 17 feet tall, so narrow and thin and Jack has a stocky sort of body, but Jack is the Joker, he’s a naughty man and he’s such fun, I can’t imagine anyone else playing the Joker”.|
|Ringwood undertook to make fairly standard costumes more flamboyant and elaborate by selecting outrageous colours. Purple was apparently particularly in fashion that year and the team obtained samples of hundreds of fabrics and patterns. The costumes were woven in Scotland and even the gloves and shoes were specially made under direct supervision of the wardrobe department. The basic nature of the Napier character before he goes mad was drawn out in Joker’s outfits. There is a hint of purple in the character at the start of the film and the vibrant threads and colour motifs are exaggerated after the transformation.|