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

3.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Tyler, Jeanne Bates, Ernie Adams, John Bagni, Robert Barron
  • Directors: B. Reeves Eason
  • Writers: Lee Falk, Leslie Swabacker, Morgan Cox, Ray Moore, Sherman L. Lowe
  • Producers: Rudolph C. Flothow
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 30 2001
  • Run Time: 254 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000051SH3
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
VCI Entertainment's 2001 DVD edition of the 1943 Columbia serial The Phantom is well-done.

I'm not a big fan of serials, and don't collect them as a matter of course, but I heard good things about this one, and the praise was justified. This is a very entertaining serial, ranking up there with Zorro's Fighting Legion (1939) for quality of production, script and acting. Tom Tyler (who played The Mummy in the 1940 Universal film The Mummy's Hand) is great in the lead role. It's very hard for an actor to wear a comic-book hero suit without looking ridiculous, but Tom Tyler looks really good in the Phantom suit. His dialogue is also reasonably fluid and natural (compared with, say, the stiff and robotic dialogue of Clayton Moore in the Lone Ranger serial). Perennial Three Stooges villain Kenneth MacDonald is the Phantom's nemesis in the serial, and MacDonald is very good as an oily schemer. The action scenes, often cowboy-style fisticuffs, are pretty good. Some of the cliffhanger endings are good, too, though I wouldn't say brilliantly original. The film is flawed by its indefinite geographical location: the lions indicate Africa, the tigers Asia, the tailed monkeys South America, and the natives look like a cross between Indians from Hollywood Westerns and Polynesian islanders. And how a supposed Tartar warlord who resembles Attila the Hun (who figures in one episode) would still be around in the 20th century is a mystery which the screenwriters don't even pretend to explain. Suspension of historical and geographical disbelief is very much required. But once you make the concession, the story is engaging and enjoyable.

The picture and sound are very good throughout.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with the quality of the presentation and the price. It's not that I expected great quality in the reproduction of the serial, it has more to do with what I paid for it. Under those circumstances, I will no longer be ordering similar dvd's from that company.
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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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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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