Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

The Phantom (1931)

Starring Guinn Williams, Allene Ray, Niles Welch, Tom O'Brien, Sheldon Lewis
Directed by Alvin J. Neitz
(actor & director credits courtesy

A district attorney is guarded by the police after a notorious killer escapes from prison, but the killer's intended victim may really be the attorney's daughter.

Part mystery, part horror film, but with many comedic scenes, this picture isn't great, but is entertaining enough and has a few distinctive visuals, including the killer's escape onto a speeding train, and a cloaked figure with twisted fingers who may or may not be "The Phantom."  Per IMDB, director Neitz is actually veteran western and serial director Alan James, who regrettably doesn't have too many action scenes to stage here.  The character of a frightened maid is a little grating, and the inclusion of a romantic triangle seems rather pointless, but all in all, this isn't a bad time-passer.

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