Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his daughter Diana (Jeanne Bates) search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a ...
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Law student Chris Moore is an urban daredevil who gets his kicks from racing across rooftops. When a secret organization approaches him with proof that he is actually the son of a legendary... See full summary »
The Phantom, descendent of a line of African superheroes, travels to New York City to thwart a wealthy criminal genius from obtaining three magic skulls which would give him the secret to ultimate power.
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Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his daughter Diana (Jeanne Bates) search Africa for the Lost City of Zoloz, reputed to be the source of a large hidden treasure. Also searching is a local crook, Singapore Smith (Joe Devlin), and Dr. Max Bremmer (Kenneth MacDonald), a Nazi agent who plans to destroy the peace in which the native tribes have been living and build a secret German airbase at Zoloz. But Diana's fiancé Godfrey Prescott (Tom Tyler), who is also The Phantom, feared and respected by the natives as The Ghost Who Walks, circumvents the traps and schemes of the villains. Written by
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The gorilla, "Brutus" who fights The Phantom in chapters 12 and 13 is played by Ray "Crash" Corrigan, stuntman and the gorilla actor for Columbia Pictures, including the Three Stooges shorts where a gorilla was featured. See more »
"The Phantom" is one of the better serials released by Columbia Pictures. It benefits from the casting of Tom Tyler in the lead role. Tyler had previously played a comic book hero in "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" (Republic-1941) and was physically suited for the role. Tyler kept himself in good shape and didn't look out of place in the Phantom costume. Although he primarily played in westerns, ironically, it is for these two serials that he will probably be best remembered.
The "run through the jungle" story has Professor Davidson (Frank Shannon) and his daughter Diana (Jeanne Bates) searching for the Lost City of Zoloz and the hidden treasure therein. Their efforts are being thwarted by Singapore Smith (Joe Devlin) who wants the treasure for himself. Kindly Dr. Bremmer (Kenneth MacDonald) an apparent foreign agent, is trying to destroy the peace among the natives, which had been controlled by the Phantom, to build a secret air base.
Geoffrey Prescott (also Tyler) who is Diana's fiance succeeds his father as the Phantom when the older man is murdered. Even though the Phantom wears only a small eye mask to cover his face, in true serial tradition, no one including Diana is able to recognize him.
Over the course of the 15 chapters, the Phantom escapes death from explosions, poison gas, avalanches, a collapsing rope bridge etc. etc. With the help of his trusty dog Devil the Phantom is able to overcome the villains and again bring peace to the jungle.
Although the serial gives billing to only Tyler and Bates there are several other familiar faces (other than those already mentioned) in the cast. Ernie Adams plays Rusty, the Phantom's ally, Dick Curtis a Tartar Chief and Anthony Carouso, George Chesebro, Wade Crosby, Edmund Cobb, I. Stanford Jolley and Kermit Maynard as varios henchmen. And watch for a brief appearance by Jay Silverheels in chapter 9 as an Atari warrior.
Director B.Reeves Eason keeps the action moving and tries to come up with new twists on the chapter ending cliff hangers. The VCI DVD has restored the serial to its original brilliance although some dialogue sequences had to be re-dubbed due to the deterioration of the original soundtrack.
"The Phantom" certainly has to rank as one of the top 5 serials of all time.
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