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The Phantom (1996)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  7 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 26,535 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 58 critic

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sala (as Catherine Zeta Jones)
Ray Zephro


Four hundred years ago, a young boy witnessed his father's death during an attack on their ship by the bloodthirsty Sengh Brotherhood. He was washed ashore on Bengalla Island where he swore to devote his life to bring down piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice. He became The Phantom, a masked avenger whose role was passed down for father to son, leading people to believe in an immortal figure called "The Ghost Who Walks". The 21st successor to the role of Bengalla's resident superhero must travel to New York City to prevent a power-hungry businessman from obtaining three magic skulls that would give him the secret to ultimate power. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Slam evil! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action/adventure violence and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 June 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El fantasma  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$197,603 (USA) (19 July 1996)


AUD 4,601,218 (Australia) (1 November 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Billy Zane shaved his head to get the Phantom's cowl to fit as close as possible. This necessitated all his scenes where he is out-of-costume with a full head of hair to be shot early in production. As a result, a scene where the Phantom removes his cowl was shot in two parts, in reverse order, several weeks apart. See more »


In the pan shot of the Pan American dockside terminal when Diane Palmer is boarding the Orient Clipper you can clearly see a modern window-style air conditioning unit sticking through the front wall of the terminal building. Such units did not exist in the time period in which this movie was set (late 1930s). See more »


Drax: There is opportunity in chaos. I give you...
[He holds up a metal skull to show everyone]
Drax: ... the skull of Touganda.
See more »


Version of Defenders of the Earth (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Great action movie.
9 July 2003 | by (Arizona) – See all my reviews

Having grown up with Lee Falk's "The Phantom" in the Sunday comic strip - I found this to be a very enjoyable action movie - - and much superior to the 1943 Tom Tyler version.

I totally agree with a previous comment - that had this movie been released ten years earlier - during the Indiana Jones years - it would have fared much better at the box office.

The action sequences were second to none - but were diluted by an attempt to introduce too many "story lines" into the plot. Perhaps this was an attempt to appeal to too wide of an audience - in which case it suffered the fate of appealing to too few. Perhaps one story line of the phantom vs the Sengh brotherhood would have fared better.

The actors/actresses were not at fault in that the acting was excellent. However the appearance of weak acting - was in my opinion - due to the film not being able to carry the momentum of the action and suspense of the opening scenes - and as stated - having too many story lines to present a smooth continuum of action and suspense.

All-in-all an excellent light hearted action film.

Congratulations to the producers who created a worthy big screen version of Lee Falk's "The Ghost Who Walks" - and Billy Zane who breathed life into the character.

39 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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it's been years but i distinctly remember this movie sucking...... oSEANoMALECo
I liked the movie, but. . . . L_Forster
Wrong color, showing eyes and other stupid things. Norsewerewolf
Bruce Campbell would have been a better Phantom patfreakinjones
I Loved this fim. tlr87
With the win of Obama the time is perfect for a new The Phantom movie! Vazel
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