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The Phantom Creeps (1939)

Approved | | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 January 1939 (USA)
A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.

Writers:

George H. Plympton (screenplay) (as George Plympton), Basil Dickey (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bela Lugosi ... Dr. Alex Zorka
Robert Kent ... Capt. Bob West
Dorothy Arnold ... Jean Drew
Edwin Stanley Edwin Stanley ... Dr. Fred Mallory
Regis Toomey ... Jim Daly
Jack C. Smith Jack C. Smith ... Monk
Edward Van Sloan ... Jarvis [Chs. 2-12]
Dora Clement ... Ann Zorka [Chs. 1-2] (as Dora Clemant)
Anthony Averill ... Rankin - Henchman [Chs. 2-12]
Hugh Huntley Hugh Huntley ... Perkins - Mallory's Lab Assistant [Chs. 2-12]
Monte Vandergrift ... Al - Guard [Ch. 5]
Frank Mayo ... Train Engineer [Ch. 6]
Jim Farley ... Skipper [Ch. 9] (as James Farley)
Eddie Acuff ... Mac - AMI Agent [Chs. 2-12]
Reed Howes ... Signalman [Ch. 10]
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Storyline

"The Phantom Creeps" was Universal's 44th sound-era serial (between "The Oregon Trail" and "The Green Hornet") and was re-issued to theaters in 1949 by Commonwealth Pictures Corporation, a distribution set-up handling primarily Universal re-issues. Commonwealth had no hand at all in the production of this serial (as incorrectly shown on site) as they were a distribution company only. Some sources mistakenly identify them as the serial producer because all of the 1949 re-issue prints (and the 16mm prints sold to television circa 1952) show "Commonwealth Pictures Corp. Presents" above the title.There is a whole lot of difference between "presenting" and "producing", a fact that some sources appear to not know or don't care. The serial is of interest to some collectors as it re-unites Bela Lugosi and Edwin Stanley from 1931's "Dracula", and the crater-discovery of the meteorite fragment by Zorka in the serial is stock footage from Universal's 1936 "The Invisible Ray." The stock footage ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A BLAZE OF DYNAMITE ACTION! Crashing...smashing...dashing through 12 spine-shivering chapters! See more »

Genres:

Action | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shadow Creeps See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes) | (edited feature film)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This was released less than one week before Bela Lugosi's "come back vehicle," Son of Frankenstein, in which Lugosi first played the monster's broken-necked BFF, Ygor. Phantom Creeps opened January 7 and Son of Frankenstein debuted Friday, January 13, both in 1939. See more »

Goofs

Anthony Averill and his two co-henchmen wear heavy mustaches that appear and disappear from one chapter to another, and even from one scene to another in the same chapter, #7, for example. See more »

Quotes

[after surviving a car crash, Zorka notices the hitch hiker they picked up, who looks like him, is dead.]
Dr. Alex Zorka: How fortunate, this will simplify everything!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Jungle Goddess (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

enough to destroy the world
5 January 2004 | by dweeber21See all my reviews

In the 30's and the 40's,universal(like republic pictures)produced many serials(action films viewed in chapters)dealing with superheroes,outer space,mad scientists and war, In this 12 chapter serial released by universal in 1939, bela lugosi(famous for playing vampires,mad doctors and monsters)plays doctor zorka,a mad doctor who has discovered an atomic meteorite,he harnesses its power,he then decides to sell it to spies,when a reporter(dorothy arnold) and a government agent(robert kent)set out to stop doctor zorka from destroying the world with the meteorite,they must battle spies,doctor zorka's explosive mechanical spiders and a giant robot through 12 chapters to save the world!an impressive serial,an incredible performance from lugosi and the supporting cast,and plenty of special effects,also seen in this serial is edward van sloan(who plays jarvis the spy chief) who starred along with bela lugosi in universals dracula(1931)!

it's worth watching


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