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The Phantom Cowboy (1941)

Passed  -  Western  -  14 February 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20 users  
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Stan Borden with the help of the stooge Sheriff is out to get the Toreno ranch. Kicking the peons off the ranch, they kill Miguel's father. Miguel then becomes the masked El Lobo and when ... See full summary »



(original screenplay)
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Title: The Phantom Cowboy (1941)

The Phantom Cowboy (1941) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Jim Lawrence
Virginia Carroll ...
Elanita Toreno
Stan Borden
Neyle Morrow ...
Miguel Garcia (El Lobo) (as Neyle Marx)
Rex Lease ...
Sheriff Ben Jeffers
Nick Thompson ...
Bud Osborne ...
Ernest Wilson ...
Burr Caruth ...
Lawyer Eric Motley


Stan Borden with the help of the stooge Sheriff is out to get the Toreno ranch. Kicking the peons off the ranch, they kill Miguel's father. Miguel then becomes the masked El Lobo and when Jim Lawrence arrives, the two team up to fight Borden and the Sheriff. Written by Maurice VanAuken <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


LIGHTNING ACTION that streaks across the burn bad lands...and bad men! (original print ad) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Man from Rio  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unlike western actors Johnny Mack Brown (University of Alabama) and Reb Russell (University of Nebraska and Northwestern University)who garnered much acclaim playing college football, Don Barry's fabricated claims to have been an all-star football player at Texas School of Mines/Texas Western College.University of Texas at El Paso, was strictly a figment of his imagination... and grew even more as the years went by. Those who bother to actually research such claims (like those of Allan Lane claiming to have been a star football player at the University of Notre Dame) are soon revealed to be just empty publicity claims, with no validity at all. See more »


Sheriff Jeffers: He can't be far, men! Spread out! Find him! And when you find him, shoot him on sight!
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User Reviews

Excellent Riding Sequences
12 March 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"The Phantom Cowboy" is not just another of the seemingly endless number of hour long B- Westerns churned out by Republic. What separates it from the pack is not the story (which is fairly typical of the genre) but the production design, the horse riding, and the quality of the featured horse. Republic put some actual resources into this production and most of it made it onto the screen.

The story concerns the will of a Mexican ranch owner who lives with his daughter (Virginia Carroll) in a fabulous hacienda. Working the Toreno Ranch are a large group of "peons" (apparently politically correct in the 40's). The terms of the will distribute some land to the "peons" if they are there when the will is read.

Greedy Anglo's are the villains. They murder the owner and attempt to drive the peons away before the will is read. A young pre-"Gunsmoke" Milburn Stone (virtually unrecognizable) plays the main bad guy and plans to marry the daughter and have the whole ranch to himself. He is in league with a corrupt sheriff (Rex Lease).

Watching out for the "peons" is a masked Zorro-like avenger named El Lobo who teams with "Red" Barry to resist the evil plot. The beauty of this concept is that it allows the use of a non-actor (insert competent horseman here) in El Lobo's many riding sequences which are some of the best I have seen in any western.

Like Johnny Mack Brown, Barry was a college football star who acted in a lot of westerns, most notably the 12 episode serial "The Adventures of Red Ryder". Unlike Brown he was not a prototype western hero, in looks or in size. He was only 5'4" but had a fair amount of natural acting talent and would go on to do a ton of television work in the 50's and 60's.

Virginia Carroll is quite talented and her conflicted character in "The Phantom Cowboy" provides some nice opportunities to showcase her acting talents.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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