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Phantom Raiders (1940)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  7 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

An insurance company tasks Carter and Beeswax to Panama as cargo ships are mysteriously exploding and sending their valuable cargoes to the bottom with all hands.



(screen play), (original story), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Florence Rice ...
Cora Barnes
'Gunboat' Jacklin
John Ramsell, Jr
Steffi Duna ...
Franklin Morris
Matthew Boulton ...
John Ramsell, Sr (as Mathew Boulton)
Alec Craig ...
Andy MacMillan
Thomas W. Ross ...
Dr. Grisson (as Thomas Ross)
Eddie Anders
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Lally ...
Port Inspector (scenes deleted)


A mysterious rash of cargo ship sinkings in Panama leads insurers Llewellyns of London to hire vacationer Nick Carter and his eccentric associate Bartholomew to investigate. Nick recognizes influential nightclub owner Al Taurez as a shady operator, but getting the goods on him depends on slick diversions involving the heavyweight champ of the Pacific Tuna Fleet, a Panamanian bombshell armed with American slang, a young couple in love and a whole raft of crooks and cutthroats. Written by Sister Grimm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nick Carter in Panama  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At the beginning of the film a bet is made in pesos. The monetary unit in Panama is the Balboa, not the peso. See more »


Nick Carter: Keep you smile, Deadeye.
Nick Carter: [as Carter begins to search MacMillan, he giggles as if he's being tickled] Oh, you're a nice boy. Written home to your mother lately?
'Gunboat' Jacklin: [Indignant] You keep our mothers out of this!
See more »


Follows Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Standard B adventure with just enough unique twists and turns
12 December 2013 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Instantly sinister, Joseph Schildkraut gives a knife throwing lesson to some underlings. Schildkraut is delightfully wicked as a shady character who manages a night club—and also runs a ship-wrecking insurance scam.

Walter Pidgeon makes his second appearance as detective Nick Carter, once again exuding self-confidence; he is again joined by Donald Meek as would-be detective Bartholomew, better known as the Bee Man. Together they gradually unravel the ship-wrecking plot with the help of the usual supporting characters—including John Carroll as a shipping magnate's son, and Florence Rice, who is quite good as the requisite beautiful young woman mixed up in the case.

The setting is Panama, and while the first half of the picture moves rather slowly, it features plenty of MGM-style Panama atmosphere. Eventually the plot starts to move along and builds nicely to a truly exciting climax on board ship.

Nat Pendleton is amusing as a dumb henchman who is told to "Take a walk around the block" any time there is real dirty work to be done. Meek is entertaining as always, and Pidgeon handles both the detective work and the smart-alecky dialog adeptly. Schildkraut as the villain, however, has the juiciest role.

The plot is nothing special but it does include a nifty surprise or two; overall, there's not much to this picture but it's plenty easy to watch.

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