In Batman Begins, upon his second meeting with Batman, James Gordon says:

Jim Gordon: Commissioner Loeb set up a massive task force to catch you. He thinks you're dangerous.

Batman: What do you think?

Jim Gordon: I think you're trying to help...

[Gordon looks away momentarily; upon turning back, he finds that Batman has disappeared]

Jim Gordon: But I've been wrong before.

The film shows and flat out states several times that nearly everyone in the Gotham legal system is corrupt, but is this dialogue just meant to further indicate this point or is it perhaps a reference to some specific history he had with another character before meeting Batman?

  • 3
    The apparent inexperience with a vigilante hero like Batman always made me assume that he was referring to a cop or DA who turned out to be dirty.
    – phantom42
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 4:35
  • i think the same thing, in Gothem where anyone could be dirty its hard to put faith is someone or something.
    – Himarm
    Commented Sep 17, 2014 at 13:01

3 Answers 3


This is pure speculation on my part, but in my experience "But I've been wrong before" is a very common phrase. I use it a lot, for instance, to acknowledge that my opinion is just an opinion.

In this context, I always took Gordon's line to mean either:

  1. He knew that he would be in the minority by trusting Batman
  2. Batman's blatant distance from and disregard for any kind of official power structure (He has no formal affiliation with the GCPD, which he demonstrates repeatedly by disappearing on Gordon mid-conversation; his methods are highly illegal; etc.) gave Gordon cause to doubt his instinct to trust Batman

It's not necessarily a reference to a past event.


You don't need to read that deep into it. He says it as the common phrase (expression) is used (even if Gordon may have had a really hard time as a Gotham cop due to his honesty).

Gordon is not refering to any other vigilante or ally (in the universe of Nolan's Batman Begins, Gotham City has seen no vigilantes yet, and when that movie was released in 2005 there were no plans to explore back on the city's or Gordon's past, like in the new upcoming show Gotham)


This is probably due to his experiences in Gotham City. If you look at the TV show Gotham, there are several instances where Gordon makes a bad judgement call on a character's personality, often causing severe problems later on. If you want to keep in with the Nolan trilogy's continuity, however, it should be noted in The Dark Knight Rises that Gordon tells John Blake that he, too, used to have hope for Gotham, which was crushed by the overwhelming crime and corruption. Post a comment if you'd like a more elaborate answer; sure I can find something to help.

  • 4
    If you can make a better answer, why ask us to ask you to do so? Commented May 4, 2016 at 15:13
  • What I meant by more elaborate answers, I meant adding specific scenes or episodes from The Dark Knight Trilogy and the tv show Gotham. Commented May 4, 2016 at 16:04

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