7.3/10
3,124
66 user 34 critic

Phantom Lady (1944)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1944 (USA)
A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by) (as William Irish)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Suspect (1944)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Dean Harens
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: George Sanders, Ella Raines, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Police Lieut. Candella, longtime friend of the Rome family, walks a tightrope in the case of cop-killer Martin Rome.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Fred Clark
The Glass Key (1942)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A crooked politician finds himself being accused of murder by a gangster from whom he refused help during a re-election campaign.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy
The Prowler (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janoth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man whose identity he doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, Robert Preston
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon-to-ship-out sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Susan Hayward, Bill Williams, Paul Lukas
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Secretary tries to help her boss, who is framed for a murder.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Lucille Ball, Clifton Webb, William Bendix
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nick and his partner Al stage a payroll holdup. Al is shot and Nick kills a policeman. Nick hides out at a public pool, where he meets Peg Dobbs. They go back to her apartment and he forces her family to hide him from the police manhunt.

Director: John Berry
Stars: John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Estela Monteiro (as Aurora)
...
Fay Helm ...
...
Andrew Tombes ...
...
...
...
Kettisha
Virginia Brissac ...
Dr. Chase
...
District Attorney (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Unhappily married Scott Henderson spends the evening on a no-name basis with a hat-wearing woman he picked up in a bar. Returning home, he finds his wife strangled and becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Every effort to establish his alibi fails; oddly no one seems to remember seeing the phantom lady (or her hat). In prison, Scott gives up hope but his faithful secretary, "Kansas," doggedly follows evanescent clues through shadowy nocturnal streets. Can she save Scott in time? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most talked about mystery in ten years! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Condemned to Hang  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the film's release, Jacques Press and Eddie Cherkose sued Universal for $20,000 for not getting on-screen credit for their song "Chick-ee-Chick." See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, the character Scott Henderson is found guilty of second-degree murder and condemned to death. In New York in the 1940s, the jury would have to find him guilty of first-degree murder in order to condemn him to death. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ann Terry: [to bartender] Give me a nickel, please.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Remember April
(uncredited)
Music by Gene de Paul
Lyrics by Patricia Johnston & Don Raye
[played during opening credits and throughout the movie]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The most suggestive 'sex scene' in '40s films.
4 April 2004 | by (New York, N.Y.) – See all my reviews

Film students and fans of film noir always hear about PHANTOM LADY and now that I've seen it I'm inclined to report that it's overrated. Though the premise is initially intriguing, it quickly accumulates so many plot holes that you instantly figure out who the murderer is. But this is an exercise in style, not content. Director Robert Siodmak saved the film by giving visual distinction to a poor script.

His training in the German Expressionist style makes for very striking images thoughout despite the low budget: dramatic contrasts between light and dark with simple, strong lighting effects never fail to provide interest and tension. And he goes a long way in suggesting the ethnic and racial mix of New York City in 1944 by his offbeat choice of extras and supporting players, most of whom are not the types you see in movies of the time. And the set of sculptor Franchot Tone's apartment complete with furniture and busts would be the envy of many a Soho or Tribeca resident in 2004.

In the lead, Ella Raines looks rather like a poor man's Gene Tierney. She is attractive and likable and you have no trouble maintaining interest in her, but she doesn't have much acting range, at least at this point in her career. Franchot Tone does a very professional job in an impossibly sketchy and ludicrous part, and Thomas Gomez is okay as the detective. As the wronged man, Alan Curtis provides his own visual interest via a strong jaw and broad shoulders, and an occasional hint of surliness makes his character more interesting.

But as others have indicated here, the single most surprising and effective scene is one where horny drummer Elisha Cook, Jr. takes Ella Raines to an after hours dive to show her what he's made of. Equating jazz and especially drumming with hot sex, Siodmak cross cuts between Cook's orgasmic frenzy at the drums (complete with a closeup insert of his crotch) with Ella seemingly transported as well, giving him the come-on, urging him to climax. It's the most overtly sexual scene I've ever seen in a '40s film and it's one you shouldn't miss.


48 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show