Stars of the new Batman movie "Dark Knight" turned up on the black carpet in New York city even before the sun went down Monday night for the film's much-anticipated premiere, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
Veteran actor Michael Caine, who returned for his role in the Batman series, declared it "one of the best movies I've ever seen."
The much anticipated sequel to Batman Begins brought back most of the original cast; Michael Caine's trusted servant, Gary Oldman's uncorrupted Lieutenant, Morgan Freeman's gadget genius, and, of course, Christian Bale's haunted Caped Crusader.
"Bruce Wayne or Batman? Which did you like the best," Miller asked Bale Monday night.
"Those two are the same. Batman is a real representation of who Bruce Wayne is," explained Bale philosophically. "The private Bruce Wayne, the true versus the fake one is the playboy."
But this time around, Batman needs help. He gets it from a by-the-book district attorney fighting crime the old fashioned way.
"It's funny how my character deals with crime versus Batman," said actor Aaron Eckhart. "Batman is hiding in the shadows and Harvey Dent is working within the system of the law."
Caught in the middle; Batman's lady love, played this time by Maggie Gyllenhaal. "Would you want to be with somebody who could die at any moment and was sneaking out at night to put themselves on roofs of buildings?"
All are terrorized by super-villain "The Joker," who keeps them guessing at every turn.
Miller reports that hoards of fans came out to see the stars Monday night. But, of course, the one presence that so disturbingly fills the screen was the one missing from the black carpet. Six months after his death, Heath Ledger's "Joker" is winning rave reviews.
"He steals the movie, I'm quite happy to say that he absolutely does," said Bale. And some of his cast mates believe the buzz won't end after premier night.
"He was intense. Look at the performance, it's stunning," said Oldham. "He'll get an Oscar."