6.2/10
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11 user 11 critic

The Phantom Light (1935)

A lighthouse keeper has been murdered in mysterious circumstances and, during the ensuing investigation a Phantom Light keeps appearing at the scene of his death.

Director:

Michael Powell

Writers:

Evadne Price (play), Joan Roy Byford (play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Binnie Hale Binnie Hale ... Alice Bright
Gordon Harker ... Sam Higgins
Donald Calthrop ... David Owen
Milton Rosmer ... Dr. Carey
Ian Hunter ... Jim Pearce
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Claff Owen
Reginald Tate Reginald Tate ... Tom Evans
Barry O'Neill Barry O'Neill ... Capt. Pearce
Mickey Brantford Mickey Brantford ... Bob Peters
Alice O'Day Alice O'Day ... Mrs. Owen
Fewlass Llewellyn Fewlass Llewellyn ... Griffith Owen
Edgar K. Bruce ... Sgt. Owen
Louie Emery Louie Emery ... Station Mistress
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Storyline

A lighthouse keeper has been murdered in mysterious circumstances and, during the ensuing investigation a Phantom Light keeps appearing at the scene of his death. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

detective | haunting | See All (2) »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Welsh

Release Date:

5 August 1935 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La luce fantasma See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gainsborough Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When Alice Bright (Binnie Hale) remarks that she had just been performing in a play, Sam Higgins (Gordon Harker) retorts, "East Lynne?" This is a reference to the oft produced play and movie of Mrs. Henry Wood's novel of the same name. "East Lynne" was enjoyed for its mad plot and frequently incomprehensible dialogue. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Alice Bright: I'm going to tell you the truth.
[but she then gives a different reason for being there each time]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dad's Army: Put That Light Out! (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Fisherman's Song
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

Erect
8 February 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Superficially, this is just another of the many British comedy/dramas from the era. It has a characteristic manner: a fellow with a humorous take on life, a pretty girl, some intrigue and danger.

What sets this apart are two things.

The first is the setting in Wales, or more precisely among the Welsh. Its an odd sort or layering for me since I think the 30's era English are as different, strange, quaint to me as the Welsh are shown here from the English. The language is emphasized in the setup, first half of the movie. They surely are depicted as alien. At the end, there's a clear balance between evil Welsh and noble ones that come to the rescue. The chief villain of course, the ringmaster, is English of course. That Imperial undercurrent!

The second interesting thing is that the action, about 3/5s of the movie, takes place in an actual lighthouse, most at night. What an amazing challenge this must have been; there are no studio shots that I could discern. Its a small, curved structure with no opportunity to anchor the frame against a wall. There's lots of movement across different levels, as there must be, and some clever (from a staging point of view) movement from inside to outside. I suppose the director made up much of how this appears as he went along.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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