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The Phantom Empire (1935)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Music | 23 February 1935 (USA)
When the ancient continent of Mu sank beneath the ocean, some of its inhabitant survived in caverns beneath the sea. Cowboy singer Gene Autry stumbles upon the civilization, now buried ... See full summary »

Directors:

Otto Brower, B. Reeves Eason (as Breezy Easton)

Writers:

Wallace MacDonald (story), Gerald Geraghty (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Autry ... Gene Autry
Frankie Darro ... Frankie Baxter
Betsy King Ross ... Betsy Baxter
Dorothy Christy ... Queen Tika
Wheeler Oakman ... Lord Argo
Charles K. French ... Mal
Warner Richmond ... Rab
J. Frank Glendon ... Professor Beetson (as Frank Glendon)
Smiley Burnette ... Oscar (as Lester 'Smiley' Burnett)
Peter Potter Peter Potter ... Pete (as William Moore)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Doctor Cooper (as Edward Piel Sr.)
Jack Carlyle Jack Carlyle ... Saunders
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Storyline

When the ancient continent of Mu sank beneath the ocean, some of its inhabitant survived in caverns beneath the sea. Cowboy singer Gene Autry stumbles upon the civilization, now buried beneath his own Radio Ranch. The Muranians have developed technology and weaponry such as television and ray guns. Their rich supply of radium draws unscrupulous speculators from the surface. The peaceful civilization of the Muranians is corrupted by the greed from above, and it becomes Autry's task to prevent all-out war, ideally without disrupting his regular radio show. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NATION 20,000 FEET UNDERGROUND! (original three-sheet poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gene Autry and the Phantom Empire See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mascot Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Wallace MacDonald said in an interview that he dreamed up the film, complete with character names, plot ideas, costumes, etc., after he was sedated by nitrous oxide while undergoing dental work. When he awoke he went directly home, put everything down on paper, and brought it to producer Nat Levine at Mascot Pictures, who loved the idea and approved the production. See more »

Quotes

Queen Tika: Gene Autry! How do you like our world?
Gene Autry: I think the dampness and dead air of your land is more suited for rats and moles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening Credit: Featuring the Scientific City of Murania. See more »

Alternate Versions

Re-edited into a 70-minute feature released as _Men With Steel Faces (1940)_ See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sierra Sue (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Zanzibar
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Hadley
[used as a theme for Murania]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
When I was 12, I was in HEAVEN.....
6 June 2000 | by miller-moviesSee all my reviews

No, I wasn't 12 in 1935! Try 1955 when this 12 episode serial played on Saturdays in Colorado Springs. I grew up with westerns, with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash Larue, and the rest. I was also acquainted with the science fiction serials and films of the period. Imagine my GLEE when I found out that they had merged the two genres!!!

I saw this again recently, and while it has aged a bit in relationship to more modern westerns and SF films, this is indeed a landmark film: The only SF serial in which a major Western cowboy is the star!!!

I am amazed that so few people have scored this film in IMDb. Please do yourselves a favor and seek out this one, watch it, enjoy it, and then give it a vote respective of its mark in cinematic history!


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