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The Phantom - Serial (2DVD) (1943) [Import]

Tom Tyler , Jeanne Bates , B. Reeves Eason    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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The Phantom - Serial (2DVD) (1943) [Import] + Mandrake the Magician [Import]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By E. LUND
Format:VHS Tape
Being a huge fan of Lee Falks' Phantom, I have tried to track down this seriel for quite awhile. I was able to obtain from a collecter who had this seriel before it was made available again to the public. Let me just say that Tom Tyler does a great job of playing the Phantom! Obviously this seriel does not have the production value of the Adventures of Captain Marvel, but it does have an excelent storyline that could fit into any Indiana Jones movie. This seriel does a much better job of establishing the mystique of the Phantom with the natives of Bengali and the mystery of the Phantom, the Ghost Who Walks.
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.
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Format:DVD
Most Columbia cliffhangers were made by independent producers, but in 1938-39 and 1943-44 Columbia made its own serials, using the studio's many sets, facilities, and contract players. Columbia's home-grown serials are very efficient, and THE PHANTOM is no exception.
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.
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By forrie
Format:DVD
...These Saturday morning matinee serials are great fun (before television).
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Columbia or not, I LIKED IT! June 26 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I generally agree that Columbia did not turn out a lot of the best serials, but they did a good job, IMHO, on this one. Well, maybe Tom Tyler couldn't act, but he was good enough. There's much to recommend this. The most interesting facet to me was that, unlike most serials, the main character is, in the minds of the bad guys, dead at the end of about nine of the fifteen chapters. This, of course, reinforces the idea of "The man who can not die", or "The Ghost Who Walks". The chapter endings in all serials show the hero in extreme peril, but not usually and continually as a result of a "death trap" plotted by the villains. And so, by the last chapter, even the primary villain is wondering if the Phantom is immortal or not.
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.
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