7.0/10
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Phantom (1922)

A shiftless young man becomes obsessed with a mysterious woman and yearns to find her again.

Director:

F.W. Murnau

Writers:

Gerhart Hauptmann (based on the novel by), Thea von Harbou (adapted for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Alfred Abel ... Lorenz Lubota
Frida Richard Frida Richard ... Lubotas Mutter / Lubota's Mother (as Frieda Richard)
Aud Egede-Nissen Aud Egede-Nissen ... Melanie Lubota
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Hugo Lubota (as H.H. v. Twardowski)
Adolf Klein Adolf Klein ... Eisenwarenhändler Harlan
Olga Engl ... Harlans Frau / Harlan's Wife
Lya De Putti ... Veronika Harlan / Mellitta (as Lya de Putti)
Ilka Grüning ... Baronin / Baroness
Grete Berger Grete Berger ... Pfandleiherin Schwabe / Pawnbroker Schwabe
Anton Edthofer ... Wigottschinski
Karl Etlinger Karl Etlinger ... Buchbinder Starke / Bookbinder Starke (as Karl Ettlinger)
Lil Dagover ... Marie Starke
Heinrich Witte Heinrich Witte ... Amtsdiener / Clerk
Wilhelm Diegelmann ... Literary Editor
Gerhart Hauptmann ... Himself in Opening Credits
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Storyline

Lorenz Lubota is a city clerk with no direction in life. One day on his way to work he is run over by a woman driving a chariot and he is immediately infatuated with her. His life begins to spiral out of control as he searches for this girl and tries to win her heart. Written by page8701

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

13 November 1922 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Phantom See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Uco-Film GmbH See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) |

Sound Mix:

Silent

Color:

Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was considered lost for a long time but is now available in good condition. See more »

Goofs

When Lorenz'a Aunt Schwabe reads his letter of termination, she is wearing gloves, but the close up of the letter shows a bare hand holding it. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits Lya De Putti only appears credited as Mellitta. The "actress" who plays the role of Veronika Harlan appears credited only as "x x x". See more »

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User Reviews

 
I agree with Kitchent--this is a letdown
6 July 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

PHANTOM is a very heavy-handed morality tale of a simple man who inexplicably becomes infatuated with a woman after seeing her only briefly. Despite being a seemingly nice guy, he throws his life away and the film revels in this spiral as well as the parallel story of his sister who becomes a prostitute.

While the film on technical merits isn't bad (it did have some inventive camera work), it was a major letdown since it was directed by the legendary director F. W. Murnau. Had it been done by some studio hack, then I could understand why this film was so hokey and unbelievable--but from Murnau, his fans have come to expect so much more.

Unlike some reviews on IMDb, mine is a bit unusual in that I have now seen just about every known Murnau film in existence today (PHANTOM was the last) and so I can compare it to the body of his work. Clearly, it is the worst of his films and lacks the magic and genius that Murnau is known for having. You might be surprised to hear that although his most famous film is NOSFERATU, it may not be his best film--mostly because NOSFERATU, like PHANTOM, seems a tad old-fashioned and stilted--even for 1922. This can be forgiven in NOSFERATU because despite these lulls, the rest of the film is so transcendent and amazing--making it one of the greatest silent films of all time. There is nothing about PHANTOM that can make you overlook the very dated plot--it's just heavy-handed and not particularly memorable.

As I said, Murnau made some truly amazing films. Aside from NOSFERATU, he is most famous for the Oscar-winning SUNRISE, but neither of these is my favorite. I love and recommend you see FAUST because the camera work and artistry is just amazing--making Goethe's story a freshness and style that just have to be seen to believed. I also liked it because I (unfortunately) have read the very long book "Faust" and found the film actually made me like the story! THE LAST LAUGH and TARTUFF are also simply wonderful films that any serious student of German cinema must see.

So, my advice is to watch PHANTOM if you like, but if you aren't acquainted with F. W. Murnau's films, try any of the others first--otherwise you might not be able to detect his genius and deftness.


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