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The Phantom (1996)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Comedy  |  7 June 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 26,536 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?


The Skull is a dominate symbol in The Phantom's life. He lives in the Skull Cave, he wears the Skull Ring, and in the movie, he was trying to find three Skulls. If you look closely at his costume, you will even see a skull design on it. See more »


The motorcycle cops are riding motorcycles with body parts from Indian motorcycles from the '40s when the movie takes place in the '30s. See more »


Diana Palmer: Before I go... take off your mask? Let me see your face... Kit.
The Phantom: You know, I'm not really permitted to reveal all of my secrets, Diana.
Diana Palmer: You're not?
The Phantom: Actually, I am. That's only to one person.
Diana Palmer: Who's that?
The Phantom: Another woman I intend to marry.
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Psych the Musical (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Comic Book Heroes
13 January 2002 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

There's always a danger in bringing comic book heroes to the screen in that most are pretty bad. Some are satisfying, e.g., the Batman and Superman films come to mind. But, the Phantom was essentially a strip comic by Lee Falk that I used to read as a kid and which had been around long before me (I'll be 65 this year). I remember seeing the serial at the Saturday morning matinees and loved the comic strip. Time passes and the Phantom faded and then, in 1993, I went to Somalia as a consultant during the UNITAF occupation and was billeted with the Aussies. To my amazement, I discovered the Phantom was not only alive and well Down Under, but there were active comic books cults, conventions and the like there as well. So, no wonder the film enjoyed a revival of a defunct strip but, alas, there is much to be desired in the effort and the final product is almost a parody of the original. My wife and I saw it for a bargain matinee and I enjoyed it. However, I suffer few illusions that it could not have been done better. It was a romp and maybe, as one reviewer noted, Catherine Zeta-Jones was worth the price of admission. Well, for my part, I liked young Billy Zane's Phantom with the sheepish grin, Treat Williams's sardonic evil smile and Christy Swanson's Diana, a pleasant departure from her Vampire staking role as Buffy. It was also good to see Patrick McGoohan, former Secret Agent Man as the Phantom's predecessor. I think this film is worth the price of a rental for a rainy afternoon.

33 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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