"What kind of damage are we looking at?"
―Carl Grissom.[src]

Gotham Mob Boss Carl Grissom was a powerful crimelord who was created specifically for the 1989 film, Batman. He was portrayed by the late Jack Palance.


Carl Grissom was the most powerful crime lord in Gotham City, with some or even most of the GCPD (except Commissioner James Gordon) on his payroll, including Lieutenant Max Eckhardt. When the recently-elected District Attorney Harvey Dent began to make connections between Grissom and Axis Chemicals, Grissom panicked, and knew that the evidence that was stored at the plant was enough to have him sent to the electric chair.


Carl Grissom speaking to Jack Napier.

Grissom also found out somewhere along the line that his mistress, Alicia Hunt, had an affair with his second-in-command, Jack Napier (it's implied that he may have found out from crooked GCPD Lieutenant Eckhardt due to the latter's asking under his breath "Where [has Jack Napier] been spending [his] nights?"). In revenge, Grissom sent Napier and his men to Axis Chemicals to seize the evidence before Dent could. At the same time, Grissom called Eckhardt and ordered him to lead a team of police officers to kill Napier. The plan failed when Commissioner Gordon intervened to take Napier in alive as a potential witness. Eckhardt then attempted to escape, but was shot in the chest and was killed by a vengeful Napier. Napier was then confronted by Batman, but fell into a vat of chemicals, and left Grissom to believe that he was dead, much to his delight.

The next night, after a shower, Grissom had a visit from Napier, who survived the ordeal and wanted revenge. Grissom feigned relief, but Napier scoffed him, and played wise to his moves. Grissom then pleaded for his life by offering to cut a new deal with Napier, but Napier refused and instead revealed his new identity: The Joker, with white skin, green hair, and a widened and permanent red grin. At that point, Joker shot Grissom to death and took over his criminal empire.

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • Grissom character's inspiration was from Batman's comic book gangster enemies Rupert Thorne and Sal Maroni. Interestingly enough, an earlier draft of the script included Rupert Thorne in Grissom's place, who sent Joe Chill to murder Thomas Wayne, who ran against Thorne for City Council.
  • Carmine Falcone may have also been the inspiration. Like Falcone, Grissom appeared to be a very powerful mob leader who had some control over Gotham.


Screen CapturesEdit

Production PhotosEdit

Production Stills (from by James Sawyer)Edit

External linksEdit