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The Phantom - Serial (2DVD) (1943) [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
This has alot of action with the Phantom and Devil and the Phantom battles a gigantic gorilla. This ends up being a guy in an ape suit but it is a pretty cool looking menacing suit and not just a cheesy gorilla outfit. It is overall fun and a blast to watch if you are a Phantom fan. Anyone who enjoys old movie seriels knows the formulas used so don't expect groundbreaking cliffhangers. This may not be the best seriel ever made but it is a very well done seriel and one I recommend if you like action/adventure heroes.
It's a jungle serial, so this writer expected a lot of pedestrian dialogue scenes embellished with old wild-animal footage. It's true that the first chapter falls into this pattern while the story is being set up, but from there it's a lot of fun, almost all of it staged for this production, with Tom Tyler an ideal Phantom. For some reason the supporting cast was not credited, but fans of Columbia will easily recognize Kenneth MacDonald (terrific as the suave villain), Dick Curtis (great to see him play a benign role, for once), Ernie Adams (in a bigger-than-usual role as the Phantom's pal), and some familiar faces in the goon squad (George Chesebro, Wade Crosby, Kermit Maynard, I. Stanford Jolley, Al Hill). Good stuntwork and brisk direction (by B. Reeves Eason) keep this one moving, with Tom Tyler in there punching through 15 chapters. Ace, the Phantom's handsome dog, later became "Rusty" the German shepherd in Columbia's family series.
THE PHANTOM has two pleasant surprises for the Columbia serial fan. The recap narration is exceptionally brief (even though the recap footage is lengthy). And each closing "teaser" of next week's episode does NOT spoil the suspense by showing the imperiled hero out of danger. Every cliffhanger in THE PHANTOM keeps the viewer guessing, for a welcome change.
The print is excellent, with fine picture and sound. Only Chapter 11 has soundtrack trouble for a few minutes, and the video producers have remedied it as best they could. The DVD release also includes commentary by Max Allan Collins of "Dick Tracy" fame. Definitely of interest to serial collectors, and fans of Columbia's "B" movies and short subjects will especially enjoy this.
Well "The Phantom" 1943 serial was once one of these long lost films rediscovered, digitally remastered and thanks to VCI Entertainment is now on DVD. This 2 DVD set gives us 15 action packed chapters introduces us to this mysterious character. This is fun stuff.
Summary: Tom Tyler plays "The Phantom" and this serial introduces us to this mysterious family who for generations has played "The Phantom" the man who never dies. It seems that a descendent male member must perpetuate the "Phantoms" existence. Why, because the "Phantom" is the law of the African jungle & keeps the peace among more than 50 native tribes. In 15 chapters the Phantom is poisoned to death,(because he knows of the Lost city of Zolov). His son replaces him before he actually dies. (therefore keeping the legend of the man who never dies going.) Privateers want the hidden treasure of Zolov. Mysterious nation wants to build secret air field at Zolov. Phantom is in the middle. Everyone tries to kill the man who never dies. For 15 exciting chapters we see how the "Phantom" eludes death and escapes periless traps.
The extras include; a One Chapter commentary by famous comic strip writer Max Allan Collins, Biographies, and comic book art.
This is a great secret serial rediscovered for us to watch once again. Enjoy.
I also enjoyed the use of Ace, "The Wonder Dog", as the Phantom's dog, "Devil". I am glad that they didn't try to have the main character's white horse featured in the comic strip as part of this serial.
The plot was better than average, a bit more complicated. The chapter endings weren't spectacular, but the action was continuous. So I recommend this, especially to those familiar with the comic strip.
Most recent customer reviews
My tape was so bad that I can't even watch it to decide if I like the movie or not. Constant scrolling of film that we just cannot adjust. Makes the film unwatchable. Read morePublished on June 27 2002
Columbia Pictures never produced a movie serial comparable to the best Republic cliffhangers. However, "The Phantom" (1943) survives as one of the studio's better efforts, thanks... Read morePublished on April 5 2002 by Scott T. Rivers
This a must for any fan of The Phantom. It remains true for the majority of it to the original comics and contains some excellent action scenes. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2001 by the_ghost_who_walks
I have been a Serial nut since I was 6 years old back in 1939.After looking for years for a Phantom print I finally found one with Amazon. Read morePublished on April 15 2001 by Al Guzman
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