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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 07/17/2008

Dark Knight: Heath vs. Jack

By Michael Cavna

We are hours away from the midnight showings of "The Dark Knight" in theaters across the country. Meantime, just in case watching the trailer online for the 500th time isn't enough to hold you over, we here at Comic Riffs offer some more fodder for debate.

Who's the Best Joker?
Jack Nicholson vs. Heath Ledger. From the moment many fans first saw the Joker-filled trailer for "The Dark Knight" in December, the bantering began. Could Heath really hold a candle to Jack? As Ledger's Joker says in the movie ...
"And here ... we ... go!"

Our take: Jack's performance as the Joker is one for the ages. In a truly dark film, his Joker was the psychotic comic relief, but hilarious nonetheless. Ledger's Joker, while funny at times, is scary all the time.

Jack's Joker at the end of the day -- well, it's still Jack. Under the green hair, white face, red lips -- still Jack. The laugh, the grin, the charisma, the personality. If I see Jack's Joker in the streets, I'm intrigued; heck, I might even ask him what he thought of the Lakers blowing it against the Celtics. If I see Ledger's Joker? I'm running the other way.

I can't bring myself to say who's the better Joker. I want to give the edge to Ledger, but it's hard to turn my back on Jack after relishing his performance for two decades. (For pure mesmerizing acting, my colleague Michael Cavna leans toward Ledger -- he says Heath's work is a more mysterious performance that easily summons a dozen cinematic influences. Post film critic Stephen Hunter says Ledger's performance "is so intense and so lasting" in spite of the insane mask, not because of it.)

-- David Betancourt

By Michael Cavna  | July 17, 2008; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Superheroes  
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Next: Dark Knight: Joker's Top Moments...

Comments

I can't remember wanting to see a movie this bad in a long time (and that includes the latest Indy movie, you just knew that was going to be a little...egh). Don't know if I'm going to be able to choose who is the better Joker after seeing the movie tonight but damn am I excited...and I noticed that there are a few theaters that have showings at 3:30AM tonight, did Spidey have showings that late as well?

Posted by: Chris | July 17, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Some theaters are having 6 a.m. showings.

Posted by: DB | July 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I am kicking my husband out of the house tonight to go and see a midnight or 3am showing of this movie. He deserves a little fun. I wholly think that this movie will eclipse "Spider Man 2" (which was an excellent sequel), or "3" (not so excellent), mostly because "Batman Begins" was a wonderfully fresh and exciting take on the Batman franchise.

Other than that, I think that Ledger's Joker is going to be the new standard by which all other Jokers - nay, all other comic book villans - will be held to on film. When I've watched the trailer I can't even SEE Ledger behind the makeup, which makes him all the more sinister. With Jack... well, you knew that it was Jack behind the clown face and cheesy fake smile.

Posted by: erin | July 17, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I am really looking forward to this movie. However, I am a little concerned that it is going to end up being a bit too dark for the mainstream movie-going audience, and this might be the thing that tips the box-office scales in Spiderman's favor. It reminds me of another movie which was hailed for a surefire-Oscar, manic performance ... in fact, an alternate title for this movie could well have been: "Batman: There Will Be Blood." :)

Posted by: Amit | July 17, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I saw The Dark Knight at a preview screening yesterday. Heath Ledger was The Joker, not "Heath Ledger As The Joker." Jack Nicholson was always "Jack Nicholson As The Joker," never the character itself.

Posted by: Glover Park | July 17, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

This movie is most definitely going to be bittersweet, especially for fans of Heath Ledger. It's disheartening to know he's gone and can never reprise the role of the Joker, that he effortlessly made his own. However, it's both enlightening and inspiring to know that he has created this charcter to last a lifetime. My children and my children's children for that matter, will get to experience Heath's cinematic excellence in this movie. I know I will be defining this movie as a classic! To all those going to see the movie tonight....I am TRULY envious. I promised my boyfriend we'd see the movie together, unfortunately for me he's not off work until saturday :-( rain, shine, hell, or high water, I will be at the theatre saturday morning waiting to be awe struck by what i'm sure will be a fantastic cinematic production!

Posted by: AmB | July 17, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Jack's Joker was just Jack in clown makeup, there was no interpretation. That said, Jack in clown makeup is still pretty cool. But Ledger's performance is an interpretation of the comic book Joker, it is more authentic, so it is better.

Posted by: Lou | July 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

from he trailers, to me Heath's joker had too many inflections and influences of the Jack Nicholson when he was the main character in the Shining.

Posted by: davidah | July 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I was/am a huge fan of Ledger and I have seen him in many different roles, however the role of the Joker seems to surpass everything he has everdone. He truly becomes the character and it is almost frightening the intensity he plays the role with. I cannot wait to see the movie, but it saddens me that he will not be around to pick up the role again. RIP HEATH

Posted by: Rachel | July 17, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Two words:

Mark Hamill

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I am concerned that this movie may become huge, not for the acting or for the movie itself, which I am 120% it is awesome, but because of Heath Ledger's death. I do not deny that he is a great actor, but everyone is ignoring Christian Bale who is one of the greatest actors of this era, and he made Batman Begins, he was Batman. He takes his roles to heart. This movie will be amazing, but I hope it is amazing for what it is and not because of some tragedy.

Posted by: Sydney | July 17, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd definitely give it go Jack.

Every clip I've seen of Ledger is him doing an impression of Jack doing the Joker. Same cadence, same tone, same body language.

Posted by: Daniel | July 17, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The argument between Jack and Heath's Jokers has become ridiculous. Jack Nicholson is one of the greatest actors of all time. Heath's Joker is more dark and sinister. This movie is darker and people nowadays like that, but I bet that if this role was given to Jack once again, he would've done an amazing job at this Joker as well.

Posted by: Alanis | July 17, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

You're comparing apples and oranges.

A scene out of "My Favorite Year" comes to mind, where Peter O'Toole's character cries out, "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star!" Jack Nicholson is a fantastic actor, but his persona as a movie star emerged long before Batman, and it overpowers his performance.

The poignancy of Ledger's death enhances his performance in our minds, further complicating comparisons.

Consider also the difference in the world surrounding each performance. The kind of terrorist that Ledger plays would not have been written 20 years ago.

All that to say I agree: you can't truly compare. I say rent the original and enjoy both!

Posted by: Public Speaker | July 17, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

What happened to the TV show? Isn't that where many of us old farts got our first glimpse of Batman, Robin, Joker, etc.?

I vote for Cesar Romero.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003110/bio

Posted by: MSchafer | July 17, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Jack's Joker was that of the comic-book world. Fantastic and flamboyent, but not what we'd see in real life.

If you look at the way the franchise went, they always tried to stick to the comic books with out of this world type villians and over the top Batman performances. With "Batman Begins", Nolan, along with Bale, turned Batman into someone you could imagine being real, someone you could truly believe in. Following that, I think this Joker is exactly what he should be, real. I can see someone as sick and twisted as this, cutting his face up, putting on makeup and being completely manaical. I think this Joker will be one that lasts in your mind, as someone who really was a villian, not just an interpretation of a comic-book villain

Posted by: Joshua | July 17, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope this film surpass Titanic.

Posted by: keniwa | July 17, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

It be real cool if the new album by Judas Priest, Nostradamus was made into a movie.

Posted by: Eddie | July 17, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Public Speaker, above, splits the uprights. Nice work.

Posted by: Akron | July 17, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

just by what i have seen in clips i can already tell he beats out jack's performance. he also i believe will win the oscar for best supporting actor, despite all the negative media about how he wont win for real. he'll win.

Posted by: batfan#1 | July 17, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Jack Nicholson ALWAYS plays the same role: "Jack Nicholson as...." Jack almost always gives a great performance, but he's always performing the same character. It's a great character, but in terms of acting, think about Jack's joker: you never forget it's JACK. If Heath is able to give me something besides HEATH, then I think he will have done the better job.

Posted by: Chuba | July 17, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I think the combination of Ledger's death and the buzz and the cross-over marketing will eclipse Spidey's haul. That being said,the D.C. superheroes particularly Batman owe their success to Stan Lee's reinvention of the genre. Lee made heroes and villains who had foibles and flaws which made them real and accessible. Frank Miller took that to a new level when he reinvented Daredevil and later Batman for the comics. So Bruce Wayne may reign supreme for the box office set this weekend but as always "Make Mine Marvel"

Posted by: Andrew B | July 17, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I just have a comment for the person that mentioned it was an "effortless" role for Ledger. The preparation for this role and the depth in which he entrenched himself was the reason he was in such a depressive state. People close to him said that taking on this role exasperated him in every way, especially mentally and emotionally. He himself made several comments during interviews in which he explained how much of a toll it took on him.

Posted by: Mike Hawk | July 17, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The reason why everyone will love the new Joker is because this is the first time we will see a maniac, masochist, sociopath Joker that has never been portrayed on film. Comic book characters are now evolving. Kids back then are now adults and they are tired of the flashy, artsy superheroes. The reason why graphic novels like The Watchmen, Long Halloween and Batman Year One were successful.

Posted by: keniwa | July 17, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me or does Ledger's Joker look more like the Crow?
Movies always have to expand and distinguish thmselves from the original printed works - I think Keith's villan will be an incredible performance, but it won't be the Joker - it will be this really evil guy in Joker makeup. That's why I still give it to Jack - he was being the Joker.
But I still say Jeff Goldbloom would be perfect.

Posted by: JoE | July 17, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I cannot wait until tomorrow night...and I rarely ever go to movies. Heath has become eternal with his untimely death, much like Cobain or Morrison. The darkness, the performance, the plot... this movie defines our current day in history.
This will be the biggest movie of all time..."and here we GO!"

Posted by: TDogg | July 17, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

No one beats Cesar Romero.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I've been reading, enjoying and collecting comics for over 40 years. I've gone from "Dork" to "Doofus" - "Knucklehead" to "Nerd" to "Wow! You know comics.", so I take my Batman a little more seriously than the average person. Throw out any other small or large screen interpretations of the Joker that may have flashed before your eyes. Everybody, sit down. Heath Ledger IS the Joker. Mark Hamill did it with voice characterization in the animated series but the whole personification of Jokerarity belongs to Heath Ledger. This is no flash. This is a permanent retina burn of a performance. The Joker is a homicidal maniac who kills for no other reason than... he can. And he has, except during that laquered-over mustachioed stint of Cesar Romaro's in the 60's, usually been portrayed that way in the comics. Even the greatest, Jack Nicholson, succumbed to the campiness, no doubt induced by either "Peer Toxin" ... wait for it... wait... or Prince's condescending musical homage to "POW! BAM! SPLAT!" Comparing these fine actors' performances is like comparing Sean Connery as James Bond to Roger Moore's James Bond Lite. Connery's Bond was the embodiment of a governmental killer. I want that man working on my side. Moore's 007 wouldn't have been taken seriously by E-Harmony. Likewise, Jack's Joker wasn't scary. He was more carnivalous than
carniverous. If I saw Heath's Joker coming down the street, I'd do like Sandra Bullock in "Crash", I'd want to cross over to the other side. We've finally got a Batman worthy of the cape and cowl in Christian Bale, let's enjoy Heath Ledger's Joker and let it stand on it's own.

Posted by: ComicGenius | July 17, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I think Heath Ledger has acted well, given the fact that the director wanted to make this a darker version of the Batman series.. Jack's role was fabulous in context because the first 'Batman' was a fun movie - I mean, come on, with a OST by Prince and the kind of war paint on Jack's face, it was indeed meant to be a lighter look at the caped crusader..

Posted by: E. Will | July 17, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Heath's performance reduces Jack's to nothing more than a joke.

Posted by: MODyssey | July 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Spiderman would knock out any Joker or Batman.

Public Speaker has it dead on.

Paris Hilton as the next Joker - maybe she will overdose and die too before the movie comes out.

Posted by: jeff | July 17, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Jack's joker is NOT the Joker. Any fan of the comic will tell you that.

Posted by: dtp | July 17, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Black Jack or Heath's Black Dog? Let it be known that Heath's performance was fuelled by a fairly rigorous ingestion of drugs, some wild depression, and a kind of self-effacing vanity which left him cold. Heath was like a kid who did not let go of the innocence of love, and then found out that grown ups don't allow dreams to happen. His dream was witnessed by the joker front-n-centre, cajoling him and persuading him, getting him down. He was gentle, wise, but stoned. His guilt caused him no relief, and his rebellion could reduce his guilt to rubble. That's Heath. Jack Nicholson is a superstar.
http://gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2008/02/022108_heath_portrait.jpg

Posted by: Chris | July 17, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

6 midnight showings are sold out here. We're not a big market. Loving it!

Posted by: ra's al ghul | July 17, 2008 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I saw an early showing of the "Dark Knight" and WOW !!! No one and I mean no one who has ever played the joker (even Mark Hammil) has even come close to what Heath did with the character in this movie. So theres really no comparison to what Heath did and what Jack did. Jack IMO never really played the joker. He played Jack Napier who calls himself the Joker.

Posted by: DJ Baker | July 17, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Mayb I'm too nostalgic. Caesar Romero's contribution to the Joker is worth remembering. Sure the plots and scripts were camp but for a maniacal laugh Mr. Romero could not be beat. And when he allowed that glimpse of evil you knew you didn't mess with the Clown Prince of Crime.

Posted by: Ron Eardley | July 17, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I am gonna watch the movie for Christian Bale, though Heath is a good actor and stuff but I believe Bale deserves lot more then he gets. He is so very committed to his acting and thats the reason I am gonna watch the movie.

Posted by: Madhukar | July 17, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I have two words for you

CESAR ROMERO

The original and best!

Posted by: towny61 | July 17, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

For me i will always think of Caesar Romero!!!! As the Joker and Jack as entertaining. As for Ledger time will tell?

Posted by: john long | July 17, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Ceasar Romero's Joker was insane! he is the joker! the rest are just offshoots of him including Jack. Ceasar's Joker IS the comic book Joker bar none! The Joker is my all time favorite. I'm certainly rooting for the Joker like always and Heath will hopefully do him justice. Heath was a crappy actor until broke back. He was coming into his own.

Posted by: Frank | July 17, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see this movie. I am a huge fan of Heath's, ever since he was 17 and starred in Fox's "RAWR". The movie that really impacted me was Brokeback Mountain. Once I saw that, I knew how devoted he was to acting. This will be no exception. I'm sure his joker will be far more intense then Jack's. R.I.P. Heath. You were a true talent.

Posted by: Jamie L. | July 17, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

damn!! the dude died. wat a way to end ones life. jack.n had warned heath that the role eats into you and jack had difficulty sleeping. heath should have listened to him. the role drained him and he had to resort to medication to go to sleep.

Posted by: matt | July 17, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

To tell you the truth i wasn't really looking forward to seeing this movie since i have never really been a BIG batman fan, but My boyfriend is obsessed so we went and seen it last night and i thought it was AMAZING! Heath Ledger did an Awesome job I don't think it could have been any better, I think honestly he did better than Jack but thats just me. Heath was both funny and scary but i thought Jack was just funny and i don't think he did as good as Heath did, he was amazing and thats all i can even say about his part of the movie. I went home and could not sleep because of how good i thought it was and i can't wait to see it again! =)

Posted by: Holly | July 17, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Just got back from the midnight showing. Heaths acting was the best ive ever seen. It puts Jack way out of reach of "the best joker". And spiderman doesnt come close to being a super hero movie after this.

Posted by: joe | July 18, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

I just got back from seeing the midnight showing and I can honestly say that the hype is true. Ledger totally deserves all the praise he will get from his portrayal of The Joker. He was brilliant and I believe he will get an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role.

I hated the first two Batman movies with a passion (Michael Keaton could never be The Dark Knight, IMHO). Now, I liked the Val Kilmer one and the Clooney one? Good God, how lame. But Bale as Batman is perfect and Ledger as The Joker is a stunning piece of casting. I never liked Nicholson as The Joker, he wasn't dark enough, but Ledger nailed the intensity of The Joker from the comics. From now on, Heath Ledger will always be The Joker to me.

Posted by: Lasha | July 18, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Caught the midnight showing and hope never to have a public screening experience like that again in my life! They over-buttered the popcorn, the coke was watery, and they were out of Milk Duds!

Best Joker? Forget it: Burgess Meredith's Penguin tops ALL B'man characters!

Posted by: Urban | July 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

for those of you who kept on bringing up Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson: In your time, yes. Today's generation: Heath Ledger.

Posted by: keniwa | July 18, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Why not just ask:

Adam West or Christian Bale?

The analogy should be clear - these performances represent vastly different visions and interpretations of the character, and the same is true of the Joker. Batman was never a kid's comic, nor a kitschy lark. The NEW films capture the true essence of the Dark Knight - and also that of his nemesis.

Posted by: Chris | July 18, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the Dark Knight last PM and it was pretty incredible. As an almost 50-year old who still loves 'BATZ'- the Joker is obviously one of the great villians. As portrayed by Romero and Nicholson- pure camp- silly, a diversion for the Batman- never to be taken seriously. This isn't a bad thing necessarily- it's just different and an extension of the 1960's energy that spawned the TV show. The Joker of the late 60s and 70s comic books(Englehart and Rodgers specifically)is the definitive portrayal for me, hearkening back to the Joker of the 40s.
I loved much of Jack Nicholson's early acting work but his later stuff, including the Joker was a huge disappointment. I'll concur with a number of other observors- it was always Jack- playing Jack. He had ONE moment in that movie in which I actually believed he was the Joker and it lasted all of 5 seconds. Perhaps this was because of the direction he was given? While I appreciate the Burton Batman and its attempt to pump new energy into the franchise-his movie attempts are always high on style and atmosphere but fall short of good story-telling and drama. Batman Begins and now, The Dark Knight- are simply the most honest and exciting treatments of a comic book franchise that we've witnessed to this point. Kudos to Heath and the entire cast for incredible and engaging performances. This Joker is the crazy, dangerous, sociopath that anyone who reads the comic has come to know and love. This is real, scary and makes you think...

Posted by: mdewguy | July 18, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I saw the 1am showing and it was absolutely incredible. This is probably the best movie I've ever seen. As far as Heath vs. Jack for me it's no contest. Heath. Jack did an excellent job playing the role he was assigned, but honestly the question is more Tim Burton vs. Christopher Nolan than anything else. Jack played the joker that fit his movie very well, but he was acting in a movie that wanted to portray a comic book. Heath was in a movie that showed real people doing believable things. Absolutely amazing. I love the way Batman is going, and while I don't think they could top the dark knight (with the money they are going to make off of it) it will be fun to see them try. RIP Heath Ledger

Posted by: ChrisR | July 18, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I saw the midnight showing of the Dark Knight and without a doubt, Heath totally stole the show and topped Jack's performance twice over. Not only was it pure genius, I actually believed that Heath was the Joker. Which is exactly what a great actor does best. I did not look at him and see Heath Ledger, I saw THE joker. It was disturbing and haunting, but I loved every second he was on screen.

No one will ever be able to top what he did with this performance.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 18, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I SAW THE MOIVE LAST NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.THAT WAS A GREAT PERFORMANCE BY HEATH LEDGER, HE WAS AMAZING AS THE JOKER CHILLING, GOOSEBUMPS, WHEN JACK NICHOLSON PLAYED THE JOKER THAT ALSO WAS GREAT,BUT HEATH YOU WIN!!MAYBE YOU R.I.P

Posted by: kellie lemon | July 18, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Jack nicholson didn't even act to become the joker, it was still the same silly old jack the whole time. Heath made his character much darker and believable by adding a much more psychotic demention to the character. Bravo my vote is Ledger

Posted by: tomd | July 18, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

jack was the better joker. In my view, the joker has always been smart, sharp, and a maniac. Not just a maniac. It was hard to get really into Heath's character, or beleive that he had more up his sleeve in the action sequences. And those comparison's to him being a 'terrorist' were ludacris.

Posted by: joker<3 | July 18, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Heath. No contest. He may actually be the greatest villain of all time.

Posted by: jeff | July 18, 2008 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Jack Nicklson did Tim Burton's comic book
joker. And Heath Leadger did a perfect dark
very dark very good joker comparing the two would be like comparing the first 2 batmans with batman begins and dark knight
no contest I love the darkness of Batman Begins and Dark Knight it the way they should be!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mmmmingj | July 19, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

TDK was more than a movie. It was a look at the nature of Mankind. There was no black and white, good and evil-the Joker had a point. After all, life IS absurd. The police are corrupt, the government is useless, and people fail. Why not go mad? Why not laugh and play in the streets? Or flip a coin to decide everything?

Truly, truly brilliant film.

Posted by: GuesssWho | July 19, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

To the person who stated that Ledger played this role 'fueled on drugs and depression', that's completly absurd. He's an actor. He acts really well. I highly doubt that the drugs had anything to do with the joker or vice versa (and most interviews with caste and crew confirm that heath was actually in very good spirits on the set).

It's a darkly romantic idea of an actor falling into his role, especially a role as dark as this, but it's completly silly. He is an actor. Actor's 'act'. Playing a part like this doesn't mean that you have to let it become you, Nicholson is full of it.

With all of that out of the way, Heath finally brought the real Joker to the the silver screen. Kudos.

Posted by: Mark | July 19, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I saw the dark knight last night and must say Heath Ledger blew me away. He literally played the Joker to the "T." When I say that he captured who the Joker was from the Batman/Dark Knight comic series. The Joker is a scary, psychotic, sociopathic killer and Ledger had me believing in all of that and then some.

His acting will be truly missed. No pun to Jack's Joker, which was more of a showman Joker, but Ledger took it to a whole other level. He had me believing he was the Joker and liek another writer here stated, I didn't even realize it was Ledger playing him.

Overall ,ledger stole the show and movie and totally hit a grand slam playing such a demented, utterly psychotic chaotic role. Kudos to him and God Bless him. He definitely is looking down at everyone and heopfully he is hearing how much people respect his work and especially his work from this role.

To me, no comparison of Jack and Heath, Heath won this round. Now that was the Joker.

Posted by: R GRECO | July 19, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

i just saw the dark knight i have to say that heath has a real good performance. An oscar that i doubt. As far as jack v heath, i have to give to jack. Simply beacuse i grew up being a joker fan and i read every comic he has been in. Jack's joker is the joker that has been around years and years. The joker is smart, charming and a crazed psycho and jack was it. The original is still the crowned prince of crime.

Posted by: ahardy80 | July 19, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

if you read every comic, i dont understand
how you can even say jacks joker beats
healths.

you must have not read read all the comics then i guess

Posted by: .... | July 20, 2008 3:57 AM | Report abuse

guess what this joker has nothiing to do with comics, so be a lakers fan while the tru thugs represent. heth ledger is an actor. he proves it with this performance. jack needs to publicly say he has no talent ands hes too old to be considered n actor. the cast for this movie combined is still too young to see one flew over the cookus nestr. heatth is the realist coming from a jack fsn and a heath h8tr, this is the real joker please satnd up

Posted by: Anonymous | July 20, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

read the dark knight series and killing joke, then u will understand. "Batman/Dark Knight comic series." Re-read what was written.

Posted by: r greco | July 20, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Heath Ledger was a Method actor. Method acting is an extremely dangerous form of acting from which you must totally focus on the role and character that you are playing in. In Heath Ledger's case he was thinking as the joker and probably acting like the joker for quite some time in real life. This would most likely have been the reason why he faced an untimely death. In the context of things Heath Ledger's performance as the joker was method acting at its complete extreme. Heath Ledger performed an iconic role as the joker which evidently killed him in the process.

Posted by: Kal Shah | July 20, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Im sick and tired of all you people bashing one of the best actors of our time Jack Nicholson. "jack needs to publicly say he has no talent ands hes too old to be considered n actor. the cast for this movie combined is still too young to see one flew over the cookus nestr." he has no talent huh, guess you dont know good movies, oh and by the way im in my 20's and one flew over the cuckoos nest is probably one of the best movies of all time. You probably never actual saw it, probably to deep for you. (Besides you cant even spell it. nor can you do math) Oh also Jack isn't just Jack in his movies anybody who says this hasn't seen the Shining talk about becoming the role he makes that movie. In terms of the joker Jack is amazing, so is Heath. Just different styles of acting. Also I was so happy to see Nolan direction of this film, reminds me of Tim's dark direction, I stopped watching batman films after the first because they became kiddy and crappy. Glad to see another good joker.

Posted by: Gentle Ben | July 20, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Kal Shah:

Actually, method acting isn't what killed Ledger. There's been quite a few articles to disprove this over-blogged, monday morning quarterback theory.

Also, I had to say I was amazed how many toddlers there were in the audience. Some parents had the common sense to take their kids out after the "pencil" and "story about my father" scenes. Others didn't. I'm sure their children will never see a pencil or a liberty dollar the same again. In the US, "PG-13" means "if your kid is under 13, this may scar them".

Posted by: Jon | July 21, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

While Jack played the younger, sharper joker,Heath's Joker has aged and his mental illness has progressed. Jack was an enjoyable villan while Heath keeps us feeling that the Joker is out of any control. Both actors deserve their recognition.

Posted by: Judy | July 25, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Heaths joker was amazing! Jacks was too childish and was not scary at all. Heaths joker was always unpredictable in his insanity. RIP HEATH

Posted by: tj | July 26, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Heath was amazing as The Joker. He captured The Joker's very essense. But now I've just gotta say, Where's the love for Markey boy! Mark Hamill was simply incredible as our dear Clown Prince of Crime! And we have all got to admit that his laugh is addictive. Ah well, it doesn't matter who plays the part, just as long as we get our J-man just the way he is: perfect!

Posted by: Harley Q. | August 1, 2008 5:59 AM | Report abuse

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