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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 »

Alternate Versions

This serial was edited down to a feature film running 78 minutes and also titled "The Phantom Creeps." See more »

Connections

Featured in Mad Scientist Theatre: 50 Movie Mega Pack (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

As a modest collector....
12 May 1999 | by crow-34See all my reviews

Another original serial with a different theme and another best because of Bela Lugosi who made it work. Plots in serials tended to be stale later on. This was an exceptionally good plot and well written for the cliffhanger serial age. Invisibility and one of the robot theme scripts added to the thrills. I always thought it emulated Joe Louis.


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