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The Phantom Creeps (1939)

Approved | | Sci-Fi | 17 October 1939 (USA)
A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.

Writers:

(screenplay) (as George Plympton), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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An insurance investigator arrives at a creepy mansion to protect a millionaire who has had death threats made against him.

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When a plane carrying the daughter of a millionaire crashes in an African jungle, two pilots set out to collect the reward. They discover that she has become the goddess of a primitive ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis D. Collins
Stars: George Reeves, Wanda McKay, Ralph Byrd
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Edwin Stanley ...
...
Jack C. Smith ...
...
Dora Clement ...
Ann Zorka [Chs. 1-2] (as Dora Clemant)
...
Hugh Huntley ...
Perkins - Mallory's Lab Assistant [Chs. 2-12]
...
Al - Guard [Ch. 5]
...
Train Engineer [Ch. 6]
...
Skipper [Ch. 9] (as James Farley)
...
Mac - AMI Agent [Chs. 2-12]
...
Signalman [Ch. 10]
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Storyline

"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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

12 SPINE-SHIVERING ACTION THUNDERBOLTS! Sinister scientists...foreign spies...federal agents...and a pretty girl...crashing through amazing adventures! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shadow Creeps  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes) | (edited feature film)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last of Bela Lugosi's five serials, shot April 24-early June 1939, after Lugosi returned from England, where he completed "The Dark Eyes of London." See more »

Goofs

Anthony Averill and his two co-henchmen wear heavy mustaches that appear and disappear from one chapter to another, and even from one scene to another in the same chapter, #7, for example. See more »

Quotes

[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!
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User Reviews

As a modest collector....
12 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

Another original serial with a different theme and another best because of Bela Lugosi who made it work. Plots in serials tended to be stale later on. This was an exceptionally good plot and well written for the cliffhanger serial age. Invisibility and one of the robot theme scripts added to the thrills. I always thought it emulated Joe Louis.


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