4 of the best on-screen versions of Alfred, the superhero butler

4 of the best on-screen versions of Alfred, the superhero butler

4 of the best on-screen versions of Alfred, the superhero butler

Batman is undoubtedly one of the great superheroes, the subject of countless movies, TV shows, comic book runs, video games and other adaptations.

However, there is an argument to be made that he would be nothing without his trusty butler, Alfred.

Having previously featured other cultural representations of butlers and housekeepers here on the Aurora blog, here we look at four of the best on-screen incarnations of Alfred Pennyworth.

Alan Napier, 1966

Alan Napier had the honour of being the very first actor to portray Alfred on screen, appearing in the fondly remembered live-action Batman television series in the 1960s and the spin-off movie in 1966.

Continuing a literary tradition of butlers and servants knowing everyone’s secrets, Alfred was the only character in the series who knew the true identities of Batman (Bruce Wayne), Robin (Dick Grayson) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon).

Michael Gough, 1989-1997

This was when Alfred really arrived on the big screen. Michael Gough played him in a series of four films between 1989 and 1997, including Tim Burton’s original Batman, which was the top-grossing film of the year in 1989 and the fifth highest-grossing film in history at the time.

Gough ably portrayed Alfred’s unfailing loyalty and commitment to Bruce Wayne, as well as his dry wit, which often adds some welcome levity to proceedings.

Michael Caine, 2005-2012

One of Britain’s greatest actors played Alfred in the most commercially successful and critically appreciated run of Batman films to date: Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Michael Caine’s character is in many ways the emotional heart of these three blockbusters, often showing concern for the impact Bruce’s constant battles against tyrants and villains are having on his health and personal life.

He also gets one of the best lines of any Batman film, saying of the Joker: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

Jeremy Irons, 2016-2017

The latest movie version of Alfred was played by another British acting legend. Jeremy Irons took on the role in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the following year’s Justice League.

These films weren’t as critically lauded as the Nolan versions, but Irons gives a great performance and gets a number of fun moments, even getting to remotely pilot the Batplane.

As exciting as it looks to be Batman’s butler, our cleaners here at Aurora are perfectly happy focusing on their job of keeping all sorts of business premises clean and tidy.

Take a look at our services.


Image courtesy of: Manfred Werner

Posted by: Becky Cheall