Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight" at the Putnam Museum & Science Center -- September 16.

Saturday, September 16, 2 & 6 p.m.

Putnam Museum & Science Center, 1717 West 12th Street, Davenport IA

With September 16 officially Batman Day, the annually celebrated recognition of DC's hallmark superhero, Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center will host two screenings of writer/director Christopher Nolan's landmark Batman film The Dark Knight, the two-time Academy Award-winner that – until the recent advent of Barbie – held a 15-year record as the highest-grossing domestic release in Warner Bros. history.

Co-written by Nolan's brother Jonathan, 2008's The Dark Knight it is the sequel to 2005's Batman Begins and the predecessor to 2012's trilogy-ended The Dark Knight Rises. Its plot follows Batman (Christian Bale), police lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who form an alliance to dismantle organized crime in Gotham City. Their efforts are derailed, however, by the Joker (Heath Ledger) an anarchistic mastermind who seeks to test how far the Batman will go to save the city from chaos. The ensemble cast includes such Oscar nominees and winners as Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, and Eric Roberts, and The Dark Knight was the first major motion picture to be filmed with high-resolution IMAX cameras. Christopher Nolan also avoided using computer-generated imagery unless necessary, insisting on practical stunts such as flipping an 18-wheel truck and blowing up an entire factory.

Ledger died from an accidental prescription drug overdose seven months before The Dark Knight's July premiere, leading to widespread interest from the press and public regarding his performance. When it was released in July, Nolan's movie received acclaim for its mature tone and themes, visual style, and performances—particularly that of Ledger, who received many posthumous awards including Academy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe Awards for Best Supporting Actor, making The Dark Knight the first comic-book film to receive major industry awards. (It also received the Oscar for Best Sound Editing.) Ultimately earning in excess of $534 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide, The Dark Knight broke several box-office records and became the highest-grossing 2008 film, the fourth-highest-grossing film of its time, and the all-time highest-grossing superhero movie.

Since its release, The Dark Knight has been assessed as one of the greatest comic-book adaptations ever made, as well as one of the best movies of the 2000s. It is considered by many the blueprint for modern superhero adventures, particularly for its rejection of a typical comic-book movie style in favor of a crime film that features comic-book characters. Many filmmakers sought to repeat its success by emulating its gritty, realistic tone to varying degrees of success, and The Dark Knight has been widely analyzed for its themes of terrorism and the limitations of morality and ethics. The United States Library of Congress selected Nolan's achievement for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2020, and to this day the film holds he film holds a 94-percent approval rating from the aggregate Rotten Tomatoes.

The Dark Knight will be shown on the Putnam Museum & Science Center's Giant Screen at 2 and 6 p.m. on September 16, admission to the film is $8-9, and more information and tickets are available by calling (563)324-0049 and visiting Putnam.org.

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