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The Phantom (1996)

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The Phantom, descendent of a line of African superheroes, travels to New York City to thwart a wealthy criminal genius from obtaining three magic skulls which would give him the secret to ultimate power.

Director:

Simon Wincer

Writers:

Lee Falk (characters), Jeffrey Boam
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Zane ... The Phantom / Kit Walker
Kristy Swanson ... Diana Palmer
Treat Williams ... Xander Drax
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Sala (as Catherine Zeta Jones)
James Remar ... Quill
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ... The Great Kabai Sengh
Bill Smitrovich ... Uncle Dave Palmer
Casey Siemaszko ... Morgan
David Proval ... Charlie Zephro
Joseph Ragno ... Ray Zephro
Samantha Eggar ... Lily Palmer
Jon Tenney ... Jimmy Wells
Patrick McGoohan ... Phantom's Dad
Robert Coleby ... Capt. Philip Horton
Al Ruscio ... Police Commissioner Farley
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Storyline

Four hundred years ago, a young boy witnessed his father's death during an attack on their ship by the bloodthirsty Sengh Brotherhood. He was washed ashore on Bengalla Island where he swore to devote his life to bring down piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice. He became The Phantom, a masked avenger whose role was passed down for father to son, leading people to believe in an immortal figure called "The Ghost Who Walks". The 21st successor to the role of Bengalla's resident superhero must travel to New York City to prevent a power-hungry businessman from obtaining three magic skulls that would give him the secret to ultimate power. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Slam evil! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action/adventure violence and some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El fantasma See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,072,346, 9 June 1996

Gross USA:

$17,300,889, 1 September 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Campbell and Kevin M. Smith were considered for the role of the Phantom. See more »

Goofs

Black cables can be seen attached to the Phantom's belt when he slides down the elevator cable and grabs hold of the floor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: In case you forgot...
Phantom's Dad: It all began a very long time ago, when a merchant ship was set upon by pirates of the Sengh Brotherhood. A small boy watched helplessly as his father was killed by the pirate leader, the Evil Kabai Sengh. He jumped overboard, and was washed ashore on a mysterious jungle island called Bengalla. It seemed like a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire, but the Touganda tribesmen meant the boy no harm. They scooped him up and carried him to their village...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film title appears from the Phantom's skull ring. See more »

Connections

Version of The Phantom (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pleasant surprise
18 March 2005 | by konoverSee all my reviews

This 100-minute nugget of superhero charm was a lot more fun than I had expected. I subscribe to Netflix, the mail-in rental service, so I had forgotten which movie I had coming next. I groaned slightly when I saw The Phantom was it.

I started watching, feeling that I was going to be in for a dud. About a week ago, I rented The Rocketeer---a mildly entertaining movie with some good moments, but didn't really add up to a DVD purchase or repeat viewings. I thought I was in for more of the same, but alas.

The Phantom had all the charm, action and humor missing from Rocketeer.

I particularly enjoyed the two leads. Billy Zane delivered the one-liners with aplomb. He has the swagger, voice, demeanor and charm to carry the role successfully. He transcends a rather mundane superhero outfit. Treat Williams gave an amusing turn as the villainous Xander Drax, ("Starts and ends with X.") Not the typically evil superhero nemesis, he's more of a lighthearted villain in the "Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor" mold, but his line delivery is spot on.

The movie definitely comes alive with the characterizations, a feel of a time and place early in the 20th century, and always on the move, but not too much in a hurry to make you enjoy these characters. I rather liked the idea of a superhero with a pet horse and wolf.

I'm not sure I've seen a recent superhero film that strikes a perfect balance of action, humor, sets and characters. Enough humor to keep me smiling throughout, but mildly serious enough to engage me for the duration.

Definitely worth a look for those who haven't seen it, and a future addition to my DVD collection.


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