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The Phantom (1931)

A group of people are stalked by a masked killer in an old mansion.


Alan James (as Alvin J. Neitz)


Alan James (story) (as Allan James), Alan James (dialogue) (as Allan James)

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Complete credited cast:
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Dick Mallory (as Guinn Williams)
Allene Ray ... Ruth Hampton
Niles Welch ... Sam Crandall
Tom O'Brien Tom O'Brien ... Police Sgt. Pat Collins
Sheldon Lewis ... The Thing
Wilfred Lucas ... Dist. Atty. John Hampton
Violet Knights Violet Knights ... Lucy - the Maid
William Gould ... Dr. Weldon
Bobby Dunn ... Shorty - the Chauffeur
William Jackie William Jackie ... Oscar - the Lunatic


A group of people are stalked by a masked killer in an old mansion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mansion | See All (1) »


Horror | Thriller








Release Date:

1 November 1931 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Shorty is holding a gun when he joins the fight in the laboratory, but Sheldon Lewis' character knocks it from his hand. In the following close-up, he's still holding the gun but freezes in fright, when Lewis chokes him and he drops the gun again. See more »

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User Reviews

Creaky Beyond Words
24 April 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

A prisoner named the Phantom is moments away from going to the chair when he climbs over the wall, jumps on top of a passing train and makes a get away when a plane flies down and picks him up. He then threatens the DA, even though he's not the DA who sent him up the river...and then things get complicated.

This is a movie from the early days of sound. Using silent footage with sound effects it broadens what could be done at reasonable expense with the then bulky sound equipment. As a result this film does things that many similar movies from the period couldn't, it goes outside the drawing room, the best example is the jail break at the beginning.

But while it goes places that other films didn't, and it has more twists than a pretzel factory, this film suffers from the same problem that countless other lower budget films did, and that is its limited by sound itself. There is no music and many scenes are staged simply to have people talk, a sequence at the beginning in the newspaper editor's office for example, goes on way too long just so we can hear the characters talking on the phone.

The movie itself is interesting up to a point, but at times it seems to want to get as many of the mystery conventions into the movie as possible so things keep spinning out for no real reason other than to make the film reach a reasonable length. The problem is that as interesting as the plot is, the film's age hinders full enjoyment of it.

If you're in the mood for an antique give it a try, otherwise steer clear.

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