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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

The inscription in the wall of the lighthouse is the opening line of Psalm 127: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it." See more »

Quotes

Alice Bright: Mr Higgins, I'm going to tell you the truth. I live nearby in a small village. Life in a small village is very dull, Mr Higgins.
Sam Higgins: Not with you there, I'll lay a pound to a sausage.
Alice Bright: Of course I do all I can. I belong to a psychic society. Wales is full of folklore, you know.
Sam Higgins: Is it?
Alice Bright: Didn't you know?
Sam Higgins: No.
Alice Bright: Now, I've heard this legend about 'the phantom light' and I mean to investigate it for my society.
Sam Higgins: Well I'm very sorry Miss, but you can't do it on my lighthouse. You see, I got me instructions, ...
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

 
Fondly familiar family fare
3 January 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

In '30's British films I've always liked the mix of pithy Music Hall humour, mild ghostliness, a frisson of sex, and manly London chaps saving the day, all displayed perfectly in the Phantom Light. Director Michael Powell's best stuff was yet to come of course, but this can be seen as him still learning his craft practising with more inconsequential trifles.

Gordon Harker here shines with some cracking comedy lines handed to him, as the new lighthouse-keeper at a rather ... insular Welsh coastal village, apparently 200 years behind the times with Wrecking ships on the rocks still big business. Ian Hunter is the manly Londoner with all the brains ... er, I think this was his last British film until after the War ended. He was the best King Richard Hollywood ever had! Until the last reel Binnie Hale has no brains but admirably compensates with long legs. Herbert Lomas perfects the character he particularly re-used later in Ask a Policeman and The Ghost Train - he was even back in Powell & Pressburger's I Know Where I'm Going! But the film that borrowed the most from this was Arthur Askey's Back Room Boy from '42, it even looked the same inside the lighthouse!

A pleasant 75 minutes spent in the company of familiar faces and story.


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