6.6/10
65
4 user 6 critic

The Phantom Strikes (1938)

The Gaunt Stranger (original title)
A suspense thriller with virtually the entire cast under suspicion of murder. In this, the third of at least 4 film versions of the Edgar Wallace story, John Longden plays the police ... See full summary »

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(based on The Ringer by), (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sonnie Hale ...
Wilfrid Lawson ...
...
...
Peter Croft ...
George Merritt ...
...
...
...
Arthur Hambling ...
Detective Sgt. Richards
Charles Eaton ...
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Storyline

A suspense thriller with virtually the entire cast under suspicion of murder. In this, the third of at least 4 film versions of the Edgar Wallace story, John Longden plays the police inspector for the second time. The inspector and a police surgeon team up to find the killer who has just announced his (or her) intention to kill a lawyer. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ealing | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Edgar Wallace's Greatest Thriller

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Phantom Strikes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Det. Insp. Alan Wembury: Scared Hackett?
Samuel Cuthbert 'Sam' Hackett: Oh no - I've always wanted to 'ave me throat cut, ever since I was a boy in velvet drawers...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits of film are shown by a policeman directing his torchlight onto, what appear to be, theatre playbills. See more »

Connections

Version of The Gaunt Stranger (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude
(uncredited)
from "Tristan und Isolde"
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Good Old-Fashioned Mystery
14 December 2010 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

That is, a good mystery that is old-fashioned. Made before WW II, it has the obligatory comic relief that was so prevalent in movies of that era, the worst example being "The Cat And The Canary". To me, mystery and humor are like oil and water.

The British cast was good and the plot, taken from an Edgar Wallace novel, was very good. The premise, a deceased notorious killer who returns to kill again, was plausible, allowing for a few plot holes which can be overlooked. The best part is that it is difficult to guess who the murderer is, as there are so many suspects. Sonny Hale plays the annoying comic in the story and it is too bad he, too, didn't become a victim.

"The Gaunt Stranger" is a British production and woven into the plot are some uniquely pre-war English touches of an interpersonal nature that we Yanks might find off-putting, or at least peculiar, customs and attitudes from another era, but just go with them and try to figure out who the murderer is. That is where this picture earns my rating....and there is no 'gaunt stranger' as the title suggests.


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