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Phantom Ship (1935)

The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 15 October 1936 (USA)
During a horrific storm at sea, the crew realizes that there is a murderer among them who is killing them off one by one.

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(story), (scenario)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Anton Lorenzen / A. Gottlieb
...
Sarah Briggs
Arthur Margetson ...
Edmund Willard ...
Toby Bilson
...
Tom Goodschild
George Mozart ...
Tommy Duggan
Johnnie Schofield ...
Peter Tooley
Gunner Moir ...
Ponta Katz
...
Boas 'Sailor' Hoffman
Clifford McLaglen ...
Capt. Jim Morehead
Bruce Gordon ...
Olly Deveau
...
Andy Gilling
Terence de Marney ...
Charlie Kaye (as Terrence de Marney)
Edgar Pierce ...
Arian Harbens (as J. Edward Pierce)
Herbert Cameron ...
Volkerk Grot
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Storyline

During a horrific storm at sea, the crew realizes that there is a murderer among them who is killing them off one by one.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Master of Mystery in a Masterpiece of Weird Thrills!

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Phantom Ship  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Welden (Boas "Sailor" Hoffman) was the film's last surviving cast member when he died on October 17, 1997 at the age of 96. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening cast list: "The famous 'Q' Ship "Mary B. Mitchell" as Mary Celeste." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood! (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bela Lugosi at his best!
17 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie has recently been released as a cult classic for $1. Yes, ONE dollar. Didn't come in a standard DVD case, but a thick card-stock 'envelope'. It's packaged as 'Phantom Ship'. I couldn't pass that up and quickly added it to my collection...

The movie was of surprisingly good quality. Usually movies from this era (mid 30's) suffer from static and there is difficulty understanding the dialog at times because of the bad sound quality. Visually, the sets were extremely realistic and detailed. You could tell when the occasional stock footage was used, but it fit well with the movie.

The story is based on an possible answer to the mystery of the Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was a sailing ship loaded with 1,700 barrels of alcohol that left New York on November 7, 1872 bound for Genoa, Italy. On board were the captain, his wife, their young daughter, and a crew of eight. The ship was later found drifting at sea - no one on board.

The movie seems to deviate from the story in that the captain is single and has his fiancée with him. There is no daughter. One by one, people start to disappear as the crew realizes there is a murderer aboard the ship. The writer tried to build up a cast suspects.

Was it the crew member sent by the captain of another ship who had also proposed to the captains fiancée? When he sent that crew member on board, he told him to do whatever he needed to do...and maybe he could be a second mate someday.

Was it the sadistic second mate on the Mary Celeste? He seemed to love beating and torturing people.

Maybe it was one of the shanghaied (kidnapped) members of the crew. One of which threatened to kill the second mate and made it clear he was going to get even.

Maybe Bela Lugosi's character. A man who had been shanghaied years before on the Mary Celeste and wanted revenge for the brutality he had suffered.

One by one, people were killed. Each time the remaining crew would grow more paranoid and suspicious. I must confess that I was never quite sure who exactly was guilty until the very end. There were just too many possibilities. This made the movie unpredictable and enjoyable. The acting was superb throughout. The interaction between crew members and the atmosphere were extremely well done.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a scary mystery, any Bela Lugosi fan, or anyone who enjoys movies from the 30's.


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