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The Phantom in the House (1929)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  20 October 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 52 users  
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A man is blamed for a murder that was actually committed by his wife.



(adaptation), (continuity), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Nancy Welford ...
Dorothy Milburn
Henry B. Walthall ...
Boyd Milburn (as Henry Walthall)
Grace Valentine ...
Peggy Milburn
Jack Curtis ...
'Biffer' Bill
Thomas A. Curran ...
Judge Thompson (as Thomas Curran)
John Beck
John Elliott ...
Police Captain
Larry Steers
Henry Roquemore


An inventor takes the blame for a killing his wife committed and serves a long prison sentence. Upon his release he returns, he returns as a 'family friend,' hoping to get to know his now-grown daughter who thinks he is dead. His wife is doing rather well, thank you, from the proceeds of his inventions. but does not seem all that enthused about his return, plus there is an oil-can-harry, gold-digging-gigolo Marquis courting his daughter...and, then, another murder. Will Papa take the fall, this time? Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

20 October 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Homem Fantasma  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


You'll Never Be Forgotten
Written by Abner Silver and Maceo Pinkard
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User Reviews

At his self sacrificing best
15 June 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Some rather stilted acting characterizes this melodrama about a man who confessed to a murder his wife did and got life in prison for it. Henry B. Walthall who played a lot of noble and self sacrificing characters on the silent screen and in talkies was at the top of his game in both those categories. The title of the film is a misnomer because there are no ghostly apparitions here, simply Walthall hanging around his family under an alias. But his daughter Nancy Welford bonds with him and can't explain the connection she feels.

Walthall was an inventor and his patents were assigned over to his wife Grace Valentine which has made her a most wealthy society dame. She wants a title for Welford to marry and there's some silly English earl played by Rolfe Sedan hanging around probably looking to give some woman his title for her money.

That's not what Welford wants, she wants to marry earnest young Ricardo Cortez. But Valentine threatens to ruin him if he marries her.

Into this mess walks Walthall back into their lives, given parole after 15 years. He's traveling incognito at first as the daughter has been given a whole different story about a father who died in the late World War. I won't go any farther except that in the end both the women come to a radical reassessment about things. And Walthall once again thinks of others.

I doubt we'll ever see a remake of this old fashioned story. The Phantom Of The House was written for a different with different tastes in literature and different ideas about what constitutes a hero. Also it is plain the players were getting used to sound and both Walthall and Cortez did much better work in sound very shortly.

It's a real museum piece of a film.

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