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.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Several scenes developing the romance between The Phantom/Kit Walker and Diana Palmer were shot in Thailand, but director Simon Wincer reportedly ditched them because he wanted the film to be more fast-paced. See more »
The Martin M-130 "Clipper" aircraft depicted in the movie never existed. Only 3 were built, all flew for Pan American, and were named "Hawaii Clipper", "China Clipper", and "Philippine Clipper". The aircraft in the movie is named "Orient Clipper". None of the 3 M-130s survived WW II. See more »
In case you forgot...
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...
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Not many people realize that the Phantom is THE FIRST comic book hero, pre-dating Superman and pre-dating Batman. I grew up on the classic Lee Falk comic strip hero in my local newspaper. The ads for this film made me suspect it would be faithful to the character and storyline. When the film opens with the comic strip's classic line "For those who came in late " (always used between the end of one storyline and the beginning of the next with one-day strip with a brief synopsis/reminder of the origin of the Phantom), I got goose bumps and the film maintained its integrity, unlike people who have no clue as to who is "The Phantom." While some alternations were made for it to be a little more PC (the Phantom's local pygmy people are omitted, possibly "replaced" by the Rope People we see at one point), the film's flavour remained untarnished. I can see why Billy Zane fought so hard for the role. Treat Williams clearly had a blast chewing up the scenery as the villain. Then-newcomer Catherine Zeta-Jones certainly had we males dislocating our jaws with amazement (it always pained me later she'd be referred to mostly as "Catherine Zeta-Jones from Zorro" for a time, as though this tongue-in-cheek action adventure film was to be neglected). For the non-intellect, this film may fare better on tape or on cable. For those who know the character from his origins, see it either there or if it should ever hit theatrical re-release. The saddest thing about this film is it has not yet spanned a series of sequels.
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