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The Phantom Creeps (1939)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  17 October 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 606 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 14 critic

A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.


(story) (as Willis Cooper) , (screenplay) (as George Plympton) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Kent ...
Dorothy Arnold ...
Edwin Stanley ...
Jack C. Smith ...
Edward Van Sloan ...
Dora Clement ...
Ann Zorka [Chs. 1-2] (as Dora Clemant)
Anthony Averill ...
Hugh Huntley ...
Monte Vandergrift ...
Al - Guard [Ch. 5]
Train Engineer [Ch. 6]
Jim Farley ...
Skipper [Ch. 9] (as James Farley)
Eddie Acuff ...
Mac - AMI Agent [Chs. 2-12]
Reed Howes ...
Signalman [Ch. 10]


"The Phantom Creeps" was Universal's 44th sound-era serial (between "The Oregon Trail" and "The Green Hornet") and was re-issued to theaters in 1949 by Commonwealth Pictures Corporation, a distribution set-up handling primarily Universal re-issues. Commonwealth had no hand at all in the production of this serial (as incorrectly shown on site) as they were a distribution company only. Some sources mistakenly identify them as the serial producer because all of the 1949 re-issue prints (and the 16mm prints sold to television circa 1952) show "Commonwealth Pictures Corp. Presents" above the title.There is a whole lot of difference between "presenting" and "producing", a fact that some sources appear to not know or don't care. The serial is of interest to some collectors as it re-unites Bela Lugosi and Edwin Stanley from 1931's "Dracula", and the crater-discovery of the meteorite fragment by Zorka in the serial is stock footage from Universal's 1936 "The Invisible Ray." The stock footage ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


CRASHING...SMASHING...DASHING DYNAMITE! 12 spine-shivering chapters of thunderbolt action and amazing adventure! See more »








Release Date:

17 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shadow Creeps  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(12 episodes) | (edited feature film)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The explosion and avalanche footage from Universal's 1934 serial 'The Vanishing Shadow' (1934) is used in Chapter 11 of this serial as stock footage. See more »


During the car chase the reporter is shown driving on the right side of the car, although before and after the chase plus in overhead shots she is shown correctly on the left side. See more »


[after surviving a car crash, Zorka notices the hitch hiker they picked up, who looks like him, is dead.]
Dr. Alex Zorka: How fortunate, this will simplify everything!
See more »


Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Ring of Terror (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Not Lugosi's best, but still good
2 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As far as horror movies go id have to say this is a b-horror film... though its not really scary in the least. Maybe it's just my liking for Bela Lugosi, but I liked this movie.

And if you like his robot soldier in this movie you can see him again and again in the rob zombie music video "Dragula" dancing strangely in the back ground.

The acting in this movie isn't anything special, neither are the effects, but if you go into a 1939 low budget movie looking for either of those things then you should step back and take a look at why you even bother.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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